Breaking Sawm of Ramadaan for a baker

Question: There is a man in our village who works in a bakery. This man offers Salaah (Prayer) and observes Sawm (Fast) in Ramadaan – all praise be to Allaah – but he asked me if he is permitted to break his Sawm during Ramadaan? Please note that when he bakes the bread, he has to stand in front of the strong heat of the fire for a long time during the day when he is observing Sawm, so he gets very thirsty and exhausted from his work. I hope that Your Eminence will answer my question on this matter, if Allaah (Exalted be He) wills.

Answer: This man is not permitted to break his Sawm; in fact, fasting is obligatory on him. Baking bread in the daytime of Ramadaan is not a legitimate excuse for breaking the Sawm. He should work according to his more here.

A 15 year old boy breaking Sawm during Ramadaan

Question: What is the ruling on a 15-year-old youth who breaks his Sawm (Fast) during Ramadaan under the excuse that he is very tired and cannot complete his Sawm? If he is required to make up for the missed Sawm, can he make up for it after the next Ramadaan?

Answer: It is prohibited for a Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions) – someone who is a sane, adult, healthy, resident (non-traveling) Muslim – to break their Sawm during the daytime in Ramadaan. If they experience hardship and are forced by necessity to break their Sawm, exactly as someone who is forced by necessity to eat dead meat, they may only eat as much as is needed to remove the more here.

Sawm of workers who do physically hard jobs

Question: All praise be to Allaah (Exalted be He) and peace and blessings be upon His Honorable Prophet. We supplicate to Him (Glorified and Exalted be He) to make Islaam and the Muslims strong and to guard them against the Enemies of Allaah. It is the Islaamic centers, as you know, that are the front for Islaam and Muslims in these countries. We have received a message from one of the scientific departmentsof the University of Tübingen in West Germany, the Department of Occupational and Social Medicine. This letter contains some questions asking for Fatwas pertaining to Ramadaan and observing the Sawm (fast) in this month. Realizing the importance and the sensitivity of the subject, we decided to ask for your advice, hoping that you will guide us to the truth with Allaah’s support.

The questions that were sent to us in that letter are:

What is the Islaamic ruling on observing Sawm for workers who do physically hard work, especially during summer months, such as those who work with blast furnaces?

What is the Islaamic ruling on observing Sawm in the northern parts of the earth where the sun only sets for a very short time, maybe only a few minutes, or in places such as Scandinavia where the sun never sets? We would like to inform you that your Fatwaa may be misused by the authorities in order to issue laws and apply them to the foreign workers here in Germany. There are more than one and half million Muslim workers in this state. We are worried that if these questions are answered without taking these matters into consideration, it may cause great problems for the Muslims living in these states, as most of them do not know the legal rulings of their religion.

Answer: It is well-known in the religion of Islam that fasting in Ramadaan is an obligation upon every Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions) and that it is one of the pillars of Islaam.Therefore, every Mukallaf should observe the Sawm in order to fulfill what Allaah has obligated them to do, hoping to get Allaah’s Reward and fearing His more here.

Breaking Sawm of Ramadaan for workers who are overtaxed by work

Question: I heard a Khateeb (preacher) while delivering the Khutbah (sermon) on the second Friday of Ramadaan saying that workers who get extremely exhausted because of the nature of their work, and they have no other source of income, are allowed to refrain from Sawm during Ramadaan. Instead, they should feed a poor person for each day of Ramadaan they do not fast on or equally pay fifteen Dirhams. This urged me to write this letter to you to ask if this Fatwaa is substantiated by any authentic evidence from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.

Answer: It is not permissible for a Mukallaf to break their Sawm during the daytime in Ramadaan under the pretext that they are workers. However, if they suffer from great hardship that may force them to break their Sawm during the daytime, they are permitted to break their Sawm but only up to the point of relieving the hardship. After that, they have to resume abstention from the invalidators of Sawm until sunset and break their Sawm at the time all Muslims break it. However, they have to make up for such a day later. Accordingly, the Fatwa you mentioned is more here.

Breaking Sawm of Ramadaan for a policeman

Question: I am a solider and Ramadaan has arrived. Am I permitted to break my Sawm (fast) during Ramadaan as the circumstances do not help me to observe it?

Answer: You are not permitted to break your Sawm in Ramadaan if you are Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions), unless you are on a journey or suffering from a disease that makes you unable to more here.

Breaking Sawm of Ramadaan for a farmer during the harvest

Question: What is the ruling on someone who cultivates land and it happens that the time of harvest coincides with Ramadaan? Is he excused from fasting during Ramadaan because of his work or not? Please bear in mind that the man cannot observe the Sawm (fast) and work at the same time.

Answer: The Sawm of Ramadaan is one of the pillars of Islam and is unanimously agreed upon as an obligation upon every Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions). Allaah says: So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadaan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other more here.

Breaking Sawm of Ramadan for a patrolling policeman

Question: During my service as a military guard of king `Abdul-`Azeez (may Allaah be merciful to him), we travelled from Al-Taa’if to Riyadh. In the middle of Ramadaan, while we were observing Sawm (Fast), tents were set up for us at Qasr Al-Murabba` by Fajr (Dawn). I had the guns gathered and appointed a guard to take care of them for two hours before noon. It was such a sweltering summer that I felt unbearable thirst. At the end I found myself forced to drink. Then I abstained and completed fasting. I did so in spite of the fact that neither I nor any other person of the guard knew whether we were to be considered travelers or residents. Asking a religious scholar about the ruling in this regard, he stated that a day of Ramadaan cannot be made up for through observing Sawm on another day. Please advise about the ruling on that!

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned, then you have an excuse for breaking your Sawm. You did well in completing fasting the day. You have to fast a day in place of the day on which you broke Sawm with an excuse. You have mentioned in your inquiry that you have already fasted a day to make up for the missed day, thus this suffices you. Allaah is full of mercy towards His more here.

Breaking Sawm of Ramadaan for a shepherd

Question: A man observed Sawm (Fast) fifteen days of Ramadaan only, justifying his deed by being a hired shepherd. Asking a person who claims to be a knowledge seeker, he was given a Fatwaa (legal opinion) by the latter that he should give in charity a quarter dinar for each day he missed to fast. In issuing this Fatwaa, he cited the following Aayah (Qur’aanic verse): And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day). I witnessed the dialogue between the inquirer and the answerer.

Answer: First: It is permissible for a shepherd not to observe Sawm in Ramadaan only in case of being forced by severe hunger, where he can just have what maintains his life and then abstain from having anything else until Maghrib (sunset). He must make up for the days he missed more here.