Can I Stop Fasting on Thursdays to Follow My Training Schedule?
Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I habitually fast on my current free day, Thursday. I started extra strength training to improve my amateur Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu performance as well, but this requires a diet regime and forfeiting my fasting. This is my coach’s advice. Some of the Salaf preferred not to fast for their voluntary spiritual routine. Beyond listing the pros and cons for each, renewed intentions, and istikharah, what do you advise in light of our spiritual tradition combined with the reality of living in London? What replacement habit do you advise?
May Allah reward you for embodying the saying of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that the strong believer is better than the weak believer, though there is good in both.
I would advise you to follow the advice of your coach and replace your fasting with another form of worship. You may also fast on another day of your choice as long as you don’t single out Friday for continuous voluntary fasting.
In terms of establishing other regular devotional acts, I would urge you to follow the advice of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), It was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr said, “The Messenger of Allah said to me: ‘Read the Quran in a month.’ I said, ‘I am able to do more than that.’ And I kept asking him until he said: ‘In five days.’ And he said: ‘Fast three days a month.’ I said: ‘I am able to do more than that.’ And ‘Observe the most beloved of fasting to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, the fast of Dawud, he would fast one day and not the next.’” [Nasa’i]
I also urge you to establish a routine of helping others. This can be greater than performing ritual worship alone. “Whoever relieves a Muslim of a burden from the burdens of the world, Allah will relieve him of a burden from the burdens on the Day of Judgement. And whoever helps ease a difficulty in the world, Allah will grant him ease from a difficulty in the world and in the Hereafter. And whoever covers (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will cover (his faults) for him in the world and the Hereafter. And Allah is engaged in helping the worshipper as long as the worshipper is engaged in helping his brother.” [Tirmidhi]
Serve your parents and relatives, help orphans or the poor, and at the very least, perform more prayers in the mosque as much as you can.
Please see these links as well:
Ten Types of Ibadah (Worship) – Imam al-Ghazali
What Is the Best Way to Draw Close to Allah?
Is it Disliked to Fast on Fridays? If So, What to Do if the Day of Arafa Falls on a Friday?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.