Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ramadan 2012 – Day 22, Illness

Well I have developed a cold, which is a pain. So far it's not a very bad cold but I have a sore throat and I'm coughing a little. Now would be a good time to research fasting while being ill.

The Qur’an clearly states if you are ill don’t fast:

Observe fasts for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number should be made up from other days. . . . (Surah 2:184)

The next verse also repeats what was said above.

But what exactly does it mean by "ill"? Minor sniffles? On death's door? Here's what various sources on the internet has to say:

• This [section of the Qur’an] implies that you physically are incapable of fasting on one or more days

• The Quran did not mention any specific kind of sickness and did not describe the sickness which exempts a person from the fast during Ramadan. Therefore, a person suffering from any ailment whatsoever of the stomach, side, eye, heart, etc... may apply this stipulation. The Quran contains a general statement and does not specify the severity of pain or degree of danger involved.

• One of my Qatari friends had a small headache one day so I asked him why he doesn't just break his fast and he said that you should only do it if you feel really bad and you just don't feel that you can keep up fasting because of the illness He said he can live with the headache so he kept fasting

• Internet forms generally agreed with my friend. Most commentators were of the view that you should continue to fast for mild ailments, only breaking your fast if you feel ill enough that you really shouldn't continue fasting.

So far my cold isn't too bad. I'll take a nap this afternoon and that should get me through till Iftar. If I develop a fever or it gets much worse then I will stop fasting. No point in killing myself.


Hadith of the Day

Ramadan is not the only time you can fast, there are many other fasts as well. The toughest one, which almost no one manages to follow, is the fast of the Prophet David . . .

Abdullah bin ‘Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "the best fasting with Allah is that of Dawud [David], and the best prayer with Allah is the prayer of Dawud for he used to sleep half of the night and perform prayer for one third of it and sleep the sixth of it. And he used to observe fast every second day.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book of Fasting)

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