Can I Change the Opinions I Follow Regarding the Rules of Fasting?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


By default, I follow the Shafi‘i madhab for my acts of worship. Suppose that in Ramadan 2022, while following the Shafi‘i madhab, I had ten fasts that were not valid because I swallowed phlegm that had entered my mouth. After Ramadan 2022, I decided to take the dispensation from the Hanafi madhab regarding swallowing phlegm during fasting to make it easier for me, as I found it difficult to follow the Shafi‘i opinion in this regard.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

You will be rewarded, in sha’ Allah, for your previous fasts. Your future fasts, as regards these rules, will be valid as well, and Allah knows best.

Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) cites Abu al-Fath al-Harawi, a contemporary of Imam al-Shafi‘i, saying, “The opinion of the majority of our companions (i.e., fellow scholars of the Shafi‘i School) is that a particular legal school does not bind the general public. If they find a mujtahid Imam, they follow him…” [Nawawi, Rawdat al-Talibin]

Some past and contemporary scholars declare following one specific legal School an obligation. This, however, is not the majority opinion. And Allah knows best.

A Reader on Following Schools of Thought (Madhabs)
What Aspects Should a Shafi’i Look Out for When Taking a Hanafi Dispensation for Fasting?

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.