Illnesses that allow breaking the Sawm

Question: My wife was suffering from an abdominal illness, so I took her to Al-Huda Specialist Hospital in Al-Taa’if. She observed Sawm (Fast) for ten days last Ramadaan, but she could not complete the rest of the month. The specialist said to us that she had to eat six meals a day due to her weakness. Now Ramadaan is near again and I remembered that she has not been able to make up for the days that she missed last Ramadaan. I, therefore, ask of Allaah, and then of you, to guide me to the correct Fatwaa. Can paying a Fidyah (ransom) compensate for the days of Sawm she missed, because the doctor said that she must eat six meals daily over the course of the day? Please advise us. May Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: If the case is as you mentioned, she is excused for not fasting during Ramadaan. She has to make up for the days she did not fast, if Allaah cures her and she becomes able enough to fast. Likewise, if she is unable to fast during the coming month of Ramadaan or part of it, she can abstain from Sawm and make up for the missed days, if Allaah cures her... read more here.

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Kidney dialysis as a nullifier of Sawm

Question: Some patients – may Allaah cure them – suffer from renal failure, so they need to go through kidney dialysis,which is used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function to filter poisonous wastes in the blood typically two or three times a week. Blood is taken to the dialysis machine that carries the removed blood to the dialyzer for filtering out impurities wherein blood is diffused with a dialysate. Kidney dialysis is so necessary to the patient’s life that may be endangered because of contingent renal dysfunction.

Does this process invalidate Sawm (Fast)? Please bear in mind that it is a necessity and it is so difficult for the patients to break their Sawm and make up for it later, while the only benefit they get is filtering poisonous waste in the blood. In fact, this is a frequently asked question. Please give us information in this regard, may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: His Eminence the Manager of King Faysal Hospital and His Eminence the Manager of the Military Hospital in Riyadh were addressed by letters no. 1756/2 dated 14/8/1406 and 1757/2 dated 4/8/1406 respectively to enquire about the nature of the process of kidney dialysis, whether it involves mixing chemicals, and whether it includes nutrients... read more here.

Kidney dialysis invalidates Sawm (fast)

Question: Some patients – may Allaah cure them – suffer from renal failure, so they need to go through kidney dialysis (wash), which is an artificial kidney used to purify the blood from waste products two or three times a week. All the patient’s blood is passed through this artificial kidney, cleansed, and then returned to the body. Some purifying substances are added to the blood inside the artificial kidney; otherwise the patient’s life will be endangered because of the renal dysfunction.

The question is whether this process invalidates Sawm (Fasting), given that it is a necessity. It is so hard for the patients to break their Sawm and make up for it later, while their bodies gain nothing except having the blood cleaned from impurities. This is a question asked by many people. Please advise concerning this, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: His Eminence the Manager of King Faysal Hospital and His Eminence the Manager of the Military Hospital in Riyadh were addressed by letters no. 1756/2 dated 14/8/1406 and 1757/2 dated 4/8/1406 respectively to inquire about the nature of the process of kidney dialysis, whether it involves mixing chemicals, and whether it includes nutrients.

They replied with letters no. 5693 dated 27/8/1406 and 10/16/7807 dated 19/8/1406 respectively clarifying that kidney dialysis is transfusion of the patient’s blood to a machine (an artificial kidney) which purifies it and then returns it to the body. Some chemicals and nutrients are added to the blood, such as carbohydrates, salts and others… read more here.