Fatwa: 500

Category: fatwas about fasting

The ruling regarding one who moves to a country with an additional or missing day in fasting

The question:

What is the ruling regarding one who observes the first day of Ramadan in his country, while it is the second day in the other country where he moves, knowing that the second country may observe twenty nine (29) days of fasting while that person fasts just twenty eight (28) days.

So, should he complete his fasting when the people of the second country, where he goes, stop fasting? Or he should break his fasting with them, and later he should make up for that day?

Also, what is the ruling regarding one who is confronted to the opposite, .i.e. he fasts a day in his country before the other country, where he moves, starts fasting.

So, what should he do if the second country observes thirty (30) days of fasting? Should he observe thirty one (31) days of fasting? Benefit us, and may Allah reward you?

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

As a rule, the Muslim should observe and break the fasting with the congregation, with the multitude of people and with their ruler. He should do that, whether with the people of his country or in another country, because the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said, “Fasting is the day when you (i.e., the Muslim community) fast, Iftâr (breaking the fast) is the day when you (all) break your fast and Adha (sacrifice) is the day when you (all) offer your sacrifice”(1).

This meaning which establishes the obligation of fasting and breaking the fasting with the community, in this hadith, was used as an argument by `Âisha رضي الله عنها when Masrûq had refrained from fasting the day of `Arafa for fear that it would be the day of sacrifice; Masrûq said, “I came to`Âisha رضي الله عنها on the day of `Arafa. She said to her servants, “Give Masrûq some Sawîq (fine flour with water) to drink it and make it sweet. He said, I said, “The reason why I do not fast to day is that I fear that it would be the day of sacrifice. `Âisha said then, “The day of sacrifice should be observed when people observe it, and breaking the fasting should be observed when people observe it”(2).

Hereupon, one should understand that individuals are not considered as regards the congregational acts of worship, such as fasting, breaking the fasting, sacrifice, `Aïd and others. Moreover, they should not observe them according to another community except with which they live. In fact, this matter is left to the ruler and to the congregation where they live, whether in fasting or in breaking the fast.

So, as the ruling of the ruler and the congregation includes the individual; then, if one fasts less than twenty nine days in the country where he moves, he should make up later the day he would miss, because the lunar month can not count less than twenty nine days, and can not be more than thirty days. This is according to the hadith where the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said, “We are an illiterate nation; we neither write nor know accounts. The month is like this and this”(3), [.i.e. Sometimes of twenty nine days and sometimes of thirty days].

Also, if one completes thirty days of fasting, then he moves to another country where it remains one or more days to fast; in this case, the person should fast with its people, and the additional day (or days) of fasting would be considered supererogatory. He should also break the fasting when they do it and observe `Aïd when they observe it. This is in order to realize the will of the Sharia concerning the union and communion of the Muslims in accomplishing their religious rites, and in order to avoid all what can divide and disunite them. In fact, Allah’s Hand (His Support) is with the communion.

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers, Ramadhân 11th, 1427 H
Corresponding to: October 4th, 2006

(1) Reported by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Fasting” (hadith 2324), At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “Fasting” (hadith 697), Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “Fasting” (hadith 1660), `Abd Ar-Razzâq in “Al-Mussannaf” (hadith 7304), Ad-Dâraqutni (hadith 35), Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 6378) on the authority of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged authentic by Ibn Kathîr in “Irshâd Al-Faqîh” (1/280) and judged Hassan (good) by Al-Albâni in “Al-Irwâ'” (4/13).

(2) Reported by Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 8301). Al-Albâni said that its chain of narration is good in “As-Silsila As-Sahîha” (1/1/442).

(3) This hadith is agreed upon between Al-Bukhâri and Muslim. It is reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Fasting” (hadith 1814), Muslim, chapter of “Fasting” (hadith 1080), Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Fasting” (hadith 2319), An-Nassâ', chapter of “Fasting” (hadith 2140), Ahmad (hadith 4997), Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 8292) and Al-Baghawi in “Sharh As-Sounna” (6/228) on the authority of `Abd Allâh Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما.

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