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Fasting / It is permissible for the one whose work is hard and he finds it difficult to fast to

It is permissible for the one whose work is hard and he finds it difficult to fast to

publish date : 2014-07-02 | Views : 1856
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Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. It is permissible for the one whose work is hard and he finds it difficult to fast to leave fasting?

هل يجوز الفطر لمن عمله شاق ويصعب عليه الصيام؟

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.   Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.   As to what follows:   In response to your question, we say:   Allah the Exalted mentioned a comprehensive rule concerning legislation, commands, prohibitions and rulings. He said, “So fear Allah as much as you are able.” (at-Taghabun 64: 16). This is the effective cause of legal responsibility, “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity” (al-Baqarah 2:286), and  “Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it” (at-Talaq 65: 7). There is no difference between the scholars concerning this.  This why Allah has made ability to be of specific effect in fasting and He said, “And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] ”  (al-Baqarah 2:184). He mentioned those who have the ability to fast, and this indicates that those who cannot fast have a different ruling. The issue of hard jobs is a relative issue, and there is no common factor to define it.  What may be hard for one person may not be hard in respect of another. However, some people’s work may involve working in  direct sunlight, some may work in steel factories, and others may be working in the vicinity of ovens. All this is possible. A person who is accustomed to something is not like the one who is not accustomed and not used, therefore, the issue of difficulty is relative. Thus a general answer to this question is a type of  misguiding people. This is why I say, “The principle is that Allah  prescribed fasting for all the believers. “O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you” (al-Baqarah 2:183). Allah the Exalted also says, “So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe fast that month” (al-Baqarah 2:185). This address is to all believers. However, Allah excused types of people from this and He said, “ So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up”, (al-Baqarah 2: 184) and He said, “And whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days” (al-Baqarah 2: 184). This proves that people will with legal excuses have been give a concession not to fast by Allah. Therefore, a person whose work  is extraordinarily difficult such that if he fasts he will be harmed or die, and cannot do without that job, or change the working hours so as to be able to fast; then in such a case he will be permitted to leave fasting according to these conditions which I have mentioned. The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) especially the Hambalites mentioned that whoever has a difficult job and cannot leave it, and is harmed by fasting while on the job, is permitted to leave fasting. This proves that it is imperative to consider ability in all the compulsory duties. So, if such a person is allowed to leave fasting, in that case Allah has said, “ and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days” (al-Baqarah 2: 185), thus undoubtedly he must make up for the missed days. However, he should make up during the days that he can fast, in cold days, and at times when the day is short. However, it is pertinent to note that the need to leave fasting may be imagined and it may be real, thus it does not behoove a believer to have the intention of not fasting at the first instance, rather, he should make an intention to fast like all the Muslims and believers in general, and then when he experiences what causes him difficulty, weakness and suffering then in such a case Allah does not burden a soul beyond its capacity. So, fear Allah as much as you can.  A fatwa was issued by Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Humaid and Shaykh ‘Abdul’aziz ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on them) concerning this issue of people with difficult jobs, that they should fast from the morning, and when fasting becomes difficult for them then they will be permitted to break their fast, if the relevant conditions are applicable to them like  if their jobs are extraordinarily difficult, and fasting either causes them to die or suffer tremendous harm, in this case they are permitted to break the fast. This is proven by the generality of Allah’s statement: “So fear Allah as much as you are able,” (at-Taghabun 64: 16) and His statement  “ and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days” (al-Baqarah 2: 185).   However, it should not be said that in general whoever has a difficult job should not fast, because this is a type of deluding and misguiding talk which may cause many people to be negligent about fasting because their work is difficult, or because they experience hardship in work, while in fact they can organize their affairs in a manner which combines the benefits of religion and the worldly affairs.

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