Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain
Question: I have two questions: (a) If one cannot fast because they are weak or think that he/she may end up breaking it, how are they supposed to make up for it? (b) If someone suffers from migrane headaches, is he/she considered sick and skip fasting as one never know when a migrane headache starts.
Answer: Assalamu Alaykum
1. One cannot leave fasting because one thinks one may end up breaking the fast.
If one has fears that one could end up breaking the fast due to weakness then the first resort is to eat properly at suhur and exercise caution in one’s dealings throughout the day as to not put oneself into a position where one would break the fast. Having taken reasonable precautions then if something happens during the day that would allow one to break the fast then it can be broken.
The above would apply unless the fear has a sound basis, which is through obvious signs, past experience or the advice of an upright reliable doctor. If the fear has a sound basis then one may leave fasting for that day.
As for making up for a broken or missed fast due to sickness or weakness then one only needs to make up the missed fast after Ramadan without any payment.
[Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Ibn Nujaym, Bahr al-Raiq]
2. If it is not known when the migrane headache will start, then one has to fast. If the migrane starts and results in ubearable pain and hardship then one can break the fast, and it must be made up after Ramadan. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani
Sidi Waseem Hussain attained an M.Sc. in Engineering, concentrating on international technology management. He studied the Islamic sciences in Amman for a number of years, with particular emphasis on fiqh, hadith and `aqida. He is founder of the Danish Islamic Q&A service www.haya.dk. He currently lives in Denmark with his wife.