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Fasting / Does a psychological illness permit breaking fast in Ramadan?

Does a psychological illness permit breaking fast in Ramadan?

publish date : 2014-08-23 | Views : 2076
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Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Does a psychological illness permit breaking fast in Ramadan?

هل المرض النفسي يبيح الفطر في رمضان؟

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: Psychological illness are of different categories, and each category has different classifications. For example there is depression, schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Thus a person should see if the illness that is affecting him permits him to fast. Additionally, a doctor can help him in diagnosing  his condition, and determine if he is able to fast or not. If he cannot fast then this means that his illness allows him to break his fast. Allah said, “But if any of you is ill or on a journey” [al-Baqarah 2: 184]. Sickness refers to all types of sicknesses which affect fasting. Some scholars  held that the sickness mentioned in the verse applies to ailments even if they are not linked to fasting. Thus according to them, if a person is experiencing pain on his finger which does not affect  fasting, is not increased by fasting, its cure is not delayed by fasting and it does not consist of additional difficulty, such a person is allowed to break his fast because illness is likely to cause difficulty, and the presence of likelihood is sufficient in establishing a ruling.  The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that an illness which is affected by fasting is the one which permits the breaking of fasting. A sickness is affected by fasting in three ways: The sickness may cause extraordinary hardship, thus fasting affects the illness by increasing it and the burden of fasting is added to that. The second way: is that the cure of the illness is delayed, meaning that if the sick person fasts he will be cured within a month but if he does not fast he will be cured in three, four days or one week. Thus if his cure will be delayed by fasting, he is allowed to break his fast.   The third criteria for a sickness which permits breaking fasting in Ramadan is if fasting increases the severity of the illness. If this is the case the person is permitted to break his fast, and it is not from piety for him to fast in this condition. Such a person may be included in the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that, “It is not righteousness that you fast on a journey” [al-Bukhari (1946)], because it consists of difficulty and the same applies to sickness because breaking fast in a state of sickness is a concession.

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