Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: I have a really big and important exam to study for and my time is really limited for it. With having to fast, it is more difficult to study and I am maybe not getting as much done as I should because of the difficulty of fasting. Is there any way I can be excused from fasting this month?
Seeking a Permissible Income or Career
Allah has ordered that we struggle to pursue a income that is permissible and at times this means establishing a career or an education that requires examinations. But, the importance of those examinations does not overshadow the importance of the obligations of our faith. Thus, taking an exam or studying for it are not valid excuses to break the fast. The books of law (fiqh) give us extensive lists of what is and what is not considered a valid reason to break a fast.
We Are People Who Believe in the Unseen
Remember that we are people that believe in the unseen and part of that is that we believe in blessing (baraka). This blessing can be in our time or our efforts. So while some people make sure to fulfill every possible outwardly apparent means to gain something, as Muslims we believe that we can do less and Allah puts blessings to fill whatever deficiency may outwardly be in our effort.
Remember Those Who Came Before Us
As an example of blessing, we should remember the noble Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) who in the month of Ramadan, defeated the polytheists at the battle of Badr. Those noble men were fasting during the summer of Arabia and yet it was their fasting that was one of their reasons for victory.