QUESTIONS ON FASTING IN RAMADAAN
Should the one who travels by transportation to make his journey easy, break his fast in Ramadaan? Is it better for the traveler to fast or break his fast?
The traveler has a choice between fasting or breaking his fast. Both were practiced by the Prophet (ﷺ) and his companions (رضي الله عنهم).
On the authority of Abī Sa’īd al-Khudrī (رضي الله عنه) who said:
“We went out on an expedition with Allaah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on the 16th of Ramadaan. Some of us fasted whilst others broke their fast. The ones that fasted did not fault the ones that broke, nor did the ones who broke find fault in the ones who fasted.”
وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ
Whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not fast must be made up] from other days.
(Al Baqarah, 2:185)
He (ﷻ) has made it permissible to break one’s fast when travelling.
The Prophet (ﷺ) also said:
“Allaah the Most High loves that His allowances be practiced, just as he dislikes that disobedience to Him be committed.”
(Musnad of al-Imam Aḥmad, 2/108; ibn Khuzaymah, 2027. Authenticated by ibn Ḥibbān, 3567)
It is from the Sunnah to break one’s fast when traveling, as this is what the Prophet (ﷺ) and his companions did. That which is apparent from the legislative proofs is that breaking one’s fast as a traveler is more preferable especially in cases when there is extreme heat and immense hardship (on the journey). In this instance, it is disliked for that traveler to fast.
The proof of this is in the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ):
”It is not from righteousness to fast when you are a traveler (and there is extreme hardship).”
As for the one who chooses to fast on his journey, then that is acceptable if it is not too difficult for him. If the Muslim feels that making up the fast will be burdensome and difficult for him, he should fast.
There is no difference whether the transportation is comfortable or not, due to lack of restriction within the proofs and evidence (he has the choice; he can fast or break his fast). Both cases are considered traveling, so he practices the allowances.
Allaah (ﷻ) has legislated for His servants the rulings for the traveler and resident, during the time of the Messenger (ﷺ), for all those after him until the day of Judgement. He is fully aware of what has and will happen in all predicaments (on a journey).
He is aware of the various means that are used or could be used in a journey. If the ruling was to change, He (ﷻ) would have mentioned it. As He said:
وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ تِبْيَٰنًا لِّكُلِّ شَىْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allaah as Muslims).
(An Nahl, 16:89)
He also said in Sūrah al-Naḥl:
وَٱلْخَيْلَ وَٱلْبِغَالَ وَٱلْحَمِيرَ لِتَرْكَبُوهَا وَزِينَةً ۚ وَيَخْلُقُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride and as an adornment. And He creates (other) things of which you have no knowledge.
(An Nahl, 16:8)
See 30 Questions and Answers on Fasting in Ramadaan by ‘Allāmah Abdul-‘Azīz Ibn Bāz, translated by ‘Abi ‘Abdir-Raḥmān Uways Onwordi at-Taweel
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