Those who are seen not to be fasting during Ramadhaan

Reference: Fataawa Ramadhaan – Volume 1, Page 376, Fatwa No.335
Fataawa Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen – Volume 1, Pages 491-492

Question: What is the ruling regarding someone who was seen not to be fasting in Makkah during Ramadhaan?

Response: The presence of a person not fasting in Makkah during these days is not something odd, because in Makkah there are those who are travellers and there are those who are local natives from the people of Makkah.

As for the travellers, then it is permissible for them not to fast if they came to perform the ‘Umrah and then plan to return to their homeland. So we have [the example of] the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who was the most knowledgeable person regarding Allaah and was the most fearful of Him, when he conquered Makkah in the 8th year of the Hijrah on the 20th day of Ramadhaan, it came to pass that he remained in Makkah for the last ten [days and nights] of Ramadhaan and he did not fast [those ten days].

This is confirmed of him in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree from the narration of Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhi-yAllaahu ‘anhumaa). [Eventually] he (the Prophet) remained in Makkah for 19 days [and nights] whereby he shortened his [obligatory daily] prayers, for [the last] ten days of Ramadhaan and [the first] nine days of Shawwaal.

So [the fact that] this man is not fasting is not odd. And this issue is an issue which [many] people are ignorant about. They assume that whoever arrives in Makkah is required to fast, and that it is not permissible not to fast. And this assumption is incorrect, rather, the traveller may choose not to fast until he returns to his homeland [and this is permissible for him to do so].

Abu 'Abdullaah

About Abu 'Abdullaah

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.