Injuctions Pertaining to Fasting of the Traveller

Attention: open in a new window. PDFE-mail

By Mawlana Inaam Haq Qasmi


Traveller_Fast

Q 01) Is it Better for a Musaafir to Fast in Ramadhaan or to Omit the Fasts?
Q 02) Unlike the Case of Salaah, why is it not Waajib for the Musaafir to Practice on the Concession Provided For Fasting?
Q 03) Can a Musaafir Observe Nafl or Qadha Fasts During Ramadhaan?
Q 04) It is Compulsory to Fast if the Musaafir’s Journey Begins Only after Subh Saadiq.
Q 05) Is a Musaafir Permitted to Break a Fast?
Q 06) Undertaking a Journey or Choosing a Long Road to Avoid Fasting.
Q 07) Did Rasulullah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam) ever Miss a Fast while Travelling?
Q 08) Breaking One’s Fast because of Extreme Thirst.
Q 09) When One’s Forced to Break One’s Fast on a Journey.
Q 10) A Fast Can be Broken to Satisfy One’s Host.
Q 11) A Musaafir Decided to become a Muqeem, Fasted and then broke his Fast.
Q 12) A Fast was Broken before the Journey could Begin.
Q 13) A Muqeem had Already Intended to Fast when he Embarked on a Journey.
Q 14) When a Musaafir becomes a Muqeem.
Q 15) A Fasting Muqeem Traveled, Returned before Completing the Distance of Safar and then Broke his Fast.
Q 16) A Fasting Musaafir Engaged in Sexual Relations upon reaching Home.
Q 17) It is not Permissible to Miss One’s Fast for a Minor Journey.
Q 18) Staying Over at a Place for Less than Fifteen Days.
Q 19) Countries where the Duration of Day and Night are Unusual.
Q 20) Fasting More than Thirty Days.
Q 21) Fast Less than Twenty-Nine Days.
Q 22) Reaching a Place where the Sun has not yet Set after Terminating one’s Fast.
Q 23) When will One End One’s Fast on an Aeroplane?
Q 24) A Person Performs the Eid Salaah in Another Country and then returns home to find that Ramadhaan has not yet Ended.
Q 25) When should a Musaafir Observe the Qadhaa Fasts?
Q 26) The Qadhaa of a Person who is Continuously Travelling.
Q 27) The Musaafir who Passes Away while Travelling.
Q 28) What Happens to a Musaafir who Never Finds the Opportunity for Qadhaa?
Q 29) Can a Musaafir Pay the Fidya?
Q 30) The Musaafir who is Incapable of Paying the Fidya.
Q 31) Will the Reward of the Six Fasts after Eid be Attained if a Musaafir observes his Qadhaa Fasts therein?
Q 32) Will the virtues of Nafl Fasts be Attained when One Observes them with the Intention of Qadhaa?




Is it Better for a Musaafir to Fast in Ramadhaan or to Omit the Fasts?

If a Musaafir is healthy and strong and will not experience excessive difficulty during his journey by fasting, it is best for him to fast in the blessed month of Ramadhaan.

However, if the Musaafir is weak or ill, will experience excessive difficulty by fasting during the journey or fears that his travelling companions will be put into difficulty by fasting, it will be Makrooh for himt o fast.
[Aalamgeeri Vol. 1 Pg. 201]

 


Unlike the Case of Salaah, why is it not Waajib for the Musaafir to Practice on the Concession Provided For Fasting?

It is Waajib for a Musaafir to perform Qasr salaah, which is a concession for him. Similarly, he also has the concession of not fasting during his travels. Why is it not Waajib for him to practice this concession?

The reason for Qasr being Waajib is the Hadith in which Rasulullaah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam) states that Qasr salaah is Allaah’s gift to the Musaafir. Rasulullaah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam) then instructs Muslims to accept Allah’s gift by performing Qasr when they are Musaafirs. Concerning the concession not to fast (which is mentioned in the Qur’aan), Allaah gives the Musaafir a choice. If he is able to fast, he should fast. Highlighting the virtue of fasting when the Musaafir is able to do so without difficulty, Allah Ta’aala says: “If you do fast (despite the concession) it is best for you” [Surah Baqarah, verse 184]. Of course, it is best not to fast if one will experience difficulty.

 

Can a Musaafir Observe Nafl or Qadha Fasts During Ramadhaan?

Practicing on the concession allowed to him, a Musaafir did not observe the fast of Ramadhaan while on a journey. However he fasted with the intention of observing Qadhaa, Nadhr Mu'ayyin or Qasam fasts. In these cases, the fast will be valid for whichever of the above intentions he made. However, if his intention was to observe an optional (Nafl) fast or he fasted without any specific intention, the fast will not be regarded as a Nafl fast but as a fast of Ramadhaan.
[Shaami Vol.2 Pg.92]

 

It is Compulsory to Fast if the Musaafir’s Journey Begings Only after SubhSaadiq

A Musaafir is only allowed to miss a fast of a particular day if he commenced his journey before Subh Saadiq of that day. It is not permissible for him to miss a fast if he leaves after Subh Saadiq even if the decision to travel was made before Subh Saadiq. However, on the subsequent days of the travelling he will have the option to miss the fasts. It is also permissible for him to miss the fast of a day if he starts his journey before Subh Saadiq (even though his original decition was to leave afterwards).
[Shaami Vol.2 Pg.133]

 

Is a Musaafir Permitted to Break a Fast?

While travelling, it is inappropriate for a Musaafir to break his fast without a valid excuse. However, if the Musaafir does break his fast without a valid excuse, he will only have to observe the Qadhaa as compensation and will not have to pay the Kaffaarah. If a Muqeem began to fast and was forced to undertake a strenuous journey, he will only be allowed to break the fast if he experiences difficulty. In this case as well, no Kaffaarah will be due from him.
[Fataawaa Mahmoodiyya Vol.3 Pg.141; Aalamgeeri Vol.1 Pg.206]

 

Undertaking a Journey or Choosing a Long Road to Avoid Fasting

During the month of Ramadhaan, a spiritless Muslim decides that the summer fasts are too long for him. To evade the obligation of fasting, he sets out on a journey, thinking that he will observe the Qadhaa during the winter months when the fasts are shorter. Another person has the option of travelling two roads to his destination. Because one road is shorter and will not qualify him to be a Musaafir, he takes the longer road that does qualify him to be a Musaafir. He does this so that, as a Musaafir, he has the choice of not fasting.

Both persons in the above cases are permitted to miss their fasts, but they are guilty of perpetrating a detestable act.
[Fataawaa Daarul Uloom Vol.6 Pg.496]

 

Did Rasulullah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam) ever Miss a Fast while Travelling?

According to varied circumstances, Rasulullaah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam) sometimes fasted and sometimes did not fast. During the 8th year after the Hijrah, the Muslims marched to conquer Makkah in the month of Ramadhaan. Upon reaching a place called Usfaan,  Rasulullaah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam) asked for a cup of water and, practicing on the concession, drank the water in full view of all the Sahaaba (R.A). Seeing this act of Rasulullaah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam), many Sahaaba (R.A) also broke their fasts. There were also many Sahaba (R.A) who continued to fast, much to the dissatisfaction of Rasulullaah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam).

Rasulullaah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam) did not fast on the day because the Muslims were out for Jihaad which, together with spiritual strength, also required physical strength. Rasulullaah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam) was upset with those Sahaaba (R.A) who continued to fast because fasting can physically weaken a person, thereby affecting his ability to engage in Jihaad [A variation of the above hadith is reported in Vol. 1 Pg. 356 of Muslim]

 

Breaking One’s Fast because of Extreme Thirst

If a person is on a jjourney which may even be of less than the distance of Safar, he is permitted to break his fast if he suffers such extreme thirst that he fears for his life or his mental health. If he breaks his fast under such circumstances only Qadhaa will be due without the need for Kaffaarah.
[Durrul Mukhtaar Vol.1 Pg.126]

 

When One’s Forced to Break One’s Fast on a Journey

It is Waajib (compulsory) for a Muslim to break his fast if an enemy is threatening to kill him or to break his limb if he does not. If he refuses to break his fast and loses his life or a limb as a result, he will be regarded as a sinner.
[Badaa’ius Sanaa’i Vol.2 Pg.96]

 

A Fast Can be Broken to Satisfy One’s Host

It may occur that a host, with love and sincerity, prepares a meal for a Musaafir but the guest is fasting. Just as it is permissible for a host to break his Nafl fast to entertain his guest, so too it is permissible for a Musaafir guest to break his fast to satisfy the host. Of course , he will have to repeat the fast on another day. However, if the guest is certain that the host will not be ofeended by his refusal to partake of the meal, he should continue with his fast.
[Maa Laa Budda Minhu Pg.100, Durrul Mukhtaar Vol.2 Pg.132]

 

A Musaafir Decided to become a Muqeem, Fasted and then broke his Fast

A Musaafir had no intention of fasting. It then occurred that he decided to stay over at a place to become a Muqeem. As he did this, he began to fast but broke his fast without completing it and broke his fast. In this case Kaffaara will not be binding on him.
[Shaami Vol.2 Pg.133]

 

A Fast was Broken before the Journey could Begin

A person intended to travel but had not yet embarked on the journey when he broke his fast without a valid excuse. A Qadhaa fast as well as Kaffaarah will be binding on him because he broke his fast while still a Muqeem.
[Ibid]

 

A Muqeem had Already Intended to Fast when he Embarked on a Journey

A Muqeem made the intention to fast from the night before the fast. However, he had to leave town on a journey before Subh Saadiq. It is permissible for this person to miss the fast if he chooses to. However, if he intended to fast from the night before and only left town after Subh Saadiq, it will not be permissible to break the fast. If he does break the fast, Kaffaarah will not be necessary.
[Ibid]

 

When a Musaafir becomes a Muqeem

During the month of Ramadhaan, a Musaafir reached home or decided to stay fifteen or more days at a particular place thereby becoming a Muqeem. If on the night before, he did not make the intention to fast and when he became a Muqeem, he had nothing to eat or drink since Subh Saadiq, he can formulate the intention to fast – on the condition that he becomes a Muqeem before midday. If he becomes a Muqeem after midday, he cannot fast because the time in which the intention is formulated has already expired. However, he should refrain from eating and drinking like a fasting person because it is Makrooh for him to eat or drink. The same will apply when he has already eaten after Subh Saadiq irrespective of whether he becomes a Muqeem before or after midday (i.e. he can neither fast nor eat).
[Ibid]

 

A Fasting Muqeem Traveled, Returned before Completing the Distance of Safar and then Broke his Fast

A Muqeem began fasting but had to leave on a journey. However, he had not yet traveled the distance of Safar (90km) when he decided to return home to fetch something that he had forgotten behind. Upon his return home, he broke his fast. Kaffaarah will be binding on him because he is no longer regarded as a Musaafir and the laws applicable to a Musaafir do not apply to him.
[Ilmul Fiqh Vol.3 Pg.36]

 

A Fasting Musaafir Engaged in Sexual Relations upon reaching Home

A Musaafir reached home before midday and decided to fast. However, he engaged in sexual relations with his wife before sunset. In this case, although his fast is broken, Kafaarah will not be due from him.
[Aalamgeeri Pg.206]

 

It is not Permissible to Miss One’s Fast for a Minor Journey

It is not permissible for a person to miss a fast of Ramadhaan when he is travelling a distance less than 90km even though the journey may be strenuous. Since such a person will not be regarded as a Musaafir, he will be unable to benefit from the consession of Qasr as well as that of Iftaar (i.e. not fasting).
[Fataawaa Darul Uloom Vol.6 Pg.143, Shaami Vol.3 Pg.126]

 

Staying Over at a Place for Less than Fifteen Days

When a Musaafir decides to stay over at a place for a period less than fifteen days, he will still retain the option of not fasting. However, it is best for him to fast so that they do not lose the virtues of Ramadhaan. It is especially recommended that Ambassadors and people with a high standing in Deen fast on such occassions so that people wihtout knowledge do not mock them and unwary people do not use this action to substantiate their negligence to fast.
[Shaami Vol.2 Pg.134]

 

Countries where the Duration of Day and Night are Unusual

Certain areas like Lapland and Tundra have unusually long daylight hours and a day may extend for up to 22 or 24 hours at times. If a Musaafir fasts in any such area, he will only be allowed to end his fast after sunset. It is not permissible for him to start and end his fast according to the times followed in his home country. However, if the day is longer than 24 hours, he should end his fast just before the expiry of 24 hours. He should end the fast only that much of time before the expiry of 24 hours, within which he is able to eat and drink what is necessary.

Of course, if the Musaafir cannot bear to continue his fast and fears for his life or health, he is allowed to break the fast. If he is capable of continuing the fast without difficulty, it is not permissible to break it. This will apply if the Musaafir began his journey after Subh Saadiq. If he began before Subh Saadiq, he will be allowed to break the fast even if he made the intendion to fast that day.

NOTE:

In areas where the days are extremely long, the people living there are generally able to fast and they do.

If an inhabitant of places with extremely long days travels to an easterly place where the days are extremely short (3 or 4 hours), they will fast for as long as the people of the easterly area fast. They will not fast according to the times they are accustomed to.
[Fataawaa Mahmoodiyya Vol.13 Pg.129]

 

Fasting More than Thirty Days

Fasting usually begins a few days earlier in the Arab states. People living in India and South Africa often begin fasting with the Arabs while they are there. However, after fasting for thirty days, they return home to find that the people at home still have a day or more to fast. Although they have discharged their responsibility of fasting, after fasting for thirty days, they will have to fast to concur with the rest of the Muslims and in honor of the blessed month. This fast will be regarded as Nafl as the fast of the Musaafir who returns home after midday. Such a Musaafir is not allowed to eat or drink so that he may concur with the other Muslims and duly honor the sacred month.
[Shaami Vol.2 Pg.116]

 

Fast Less than Twenty-Nine Days

A person traveled to an Arab state during the month of Ramadhaan while he was still observing his twenty-eighth fast according to the calendar of his country. However, when he reached, he found that the people there had already completed their fasts and were celebrating Eid. The Musaafir will have to celebrate Eid with the people there and fast an additional day sometime afterwards.
[Aap Ke Masaail Vol.3 Pg.327]

 

Reaching a Place where the Sun has not yet Set after Terminating one’s Fast

A person ended his fast after sunset. Thereafter, he travelled westward by jet and reached a place where the sun had not yet set. This will not nullify his fast, but he will have to behave like a fasting person until sunset (by refraining from everything that will break a fast).
[Ahsanul Fataawaa Vol.4 Pg.69]

 

When will One End One’s Fast on an Aeroplane?

Although the timetable at ground level states that the sun has set, a person on board a plane flying at 35,000 feet will still be able to see the sun. Will the person on board the plane end his fast according to the timetable or should be wait until the sun is no longer visible? The basic principle to bear in mind in any such situation is that a person will follow the times applicable to the place where he is located at that particular time. Therefore, he will be unable to end his fast until the disappears.
[Aap Ke Masaail Aur Un Ka Hal Vol.2 Pg.270]

 

A Person Performs the Eid Salaah in Another Country and then returns home to find that Ramadhaan has not yet Ended

A Musaafir performed the Eid Salaah after fasting a complete 29 or 30 days in a particular country. Thereafter he reaches another country where a day or two of Ramadhaan are still left. Although his obligation is over, it will be necessary for him to observe the fasts with the rest of the Muslims and perform the Eid Salaah with them to concur with them and to honor the blessed month and occasion.
[Fataawaa Mahmoodiyya Vol.13 Pg.130]

 

When should a Musaafir Observe the Qadhaa Fasts?

After returning home, the Musaafir should observe the Qadhaa fasts as soon as the first opportunity makes itself available. If he did not get the opportunity and is about to leave this world, it is Waajib for him to make bequest in his Will that the Fidya (compensation) for these fasts be paid. Of course, this will apply when he leaves sufficient inheritance. After his death, his heirs will pay the Fidya from one-third of the estate. In lieu of each missed fast they will have to give half a “saa” (approximately 1.7kg) of wheat (or wheat flour) to the poor (or the value thereof in cash). If the person passes away without making this bequest, he will be sinful and accountable in the Aakhirah (Hereafter). In this case, if the heirs decide to pay the Fidya from their personal funds, it is hoped that Allaah will accept this and not take the deceased to task.
[Aalamgeeri Vol.1 Pg.103]

 

The Qadhaa of a Person who is Continuously Travelling

There are people who are continuously travelling throughout the year. They never have the opportunity to become Muqeems anywhere and cannot forsee any stage in their lives when they will be able to stop travelling. If a person is truly faced with such a situation and never find themselves settling down as Muqeems, neither is fasting compulsory for them nor is it compulsory for them to make the bequest to pay the Fidya.
[Durrul Mukhtaar Vol.2 Pg.127]

 

The Musaafir who Passes Away while Travelling

If a Musaafir loses his life during a journey, he will not be required to make a bequest for the payment of Fidya for those fasts that he missed on that particular journey which claimed his life. It is also not necessary for anyone else to pay the Fidya for these fasts.
[Ibid]

 

What Happens to a Musaafir who Never Finds the Opportunity for Qadhaa?

Practicing on the concession granted by the Shari’ah, a Musaafir missed a few fasts while travelling. Upon reaching home, he did not find the opportunity to observe the Qadhaa when he suddenly passed away. The situation can assume two forms:

a) If he passed away immediately after returning home and could not observe the Qadhaa fasts at all, the missed fasts will be forgiven.

b) It could occur that he had an opportunity to observe the Qadhaa fasts after becoming a Muqeem but he failed to do so on some account and then passed away. In this case, it is waajib for him to make a bequest that Fidya be paid for those Qadhaa fasts that he could have completed before his death. He will be accountable to Allaah if he neglected to make this bequest. Of course, Allaah may forgive him for this if his heirs choose to pay the Fidya from their own wealth.
[Ibid]

 

Can a Musaafir Pay the Fidya?

If a Musaafir has the ability to observe his Qadhaa fasts, it will not be permissible for him to pay the Fidya. He will have to fast. The fasts will still be incumbent on him even if he pays the Fidya. A person may only pay the Fidya when he is physically incapable of fasting and has no hope of ever regaining the ability to fast.
[Fataawaa Daarul Uloom Vol.6 Pg.463]

 

The Musaafir who is Incapable of Paying the Fidya

After returning from a journey, a Musaafir is incapable of observing the Qadhaa fasts and has no hope of ever regaining the strength to fast. In addition to this, he does not have the financial means to p;ay the Fidya although he would have readily done so if the means were available. The Fidya will therefore be waived from him.
[Ahsanul Fataawaa Vol.4 Pg.459]

 

Will the Reward of the Six Fasts after Eid be Attained if a Musaafir observes his Qadhaa Fasts therein?

The virtue of fasting six days in Shawwaal are mentioned in the following Hadith:

Rasulullaah (sallallaahu-alayhi-wa-sallam) said, “whoever fasts in the month of Ramadhaan and then follows these fasts with six fasts in the month of Shawwaal, it will be as if he has fasted the entire year.” [Mishkaat Pg.179]

If a Musaafir begins to observe his Qadhaa fasts in Shawwaal with the anticipation that he will also receive the reward for the sixth Shawwaal fasts, his enthousiasm is well received but he will not attain the desired reward. The reason for this is that the reward is promised for fasting six fasts in addition to the full month of Ramadhaan. It is gathered from this hadith that every fast of Ramadhaan is equivalent to ten days of fasting. By this equation, 30 days of fasting during Ramadhaan is equal to ten months of fasting. To cpmlete a year’s fasting, the remaining two months are filled by the six fasts of Shawwaal. The reward of the six fasts of Shwaal will therefore only be attained when a person observes them solely with the intention of Nafl fasts.
[Ahsanul Fataawaa Vol.4 Pg.431]

 

Will the virtues of Nafl Fasts be Attained when One Observes them with the Intention of Qadhaa?

If a person observes his Qadhaa fasts during the days in which Nafl fasts are to be observed, the Qadhaa will be discharged but – not the Nafl fast. As a result, the rewards and virtues promised for this particular Nafl fast will also be lost.

 

 

 


Taken From: Injunctions Pertaining to the Traveler Pg 164-176