Not fasting in Ramadhaan to concentrate on exams

Reference: Fataawa Ramadhaan – Volume 1, Page 393, Fatwa No.352
al-Fataawa libni Baaz – Kitaab ad-Da’wah – Volume 1, Page 162-163

Question: If the secondary level (high school) exam is in Ramadhaan, is it permissible for the student to refrain from fasting in Ramadhaan so he is able to concentrate on [preparing for] the exam?

Response: It is not permissible for the one legally responsible [for his actions according to the Sharee’ah] to refrain from fasting in Ramadhaan because of exams; That is because it (exams) is not from the Sharee’ah-based excuses [allowing one to refrain from fasting], rather it is obligatory upon him to fast and do his revision at night if he finds it difficult during the day [whilst fasting].

And it is befitting for those in charge of [setting] the exams to be lenient with the students and to make the exams in other than Ramadhaan so as to combine the benefits of fasting as well as allowing the students time to devote to preparing for the exams.

And it has been authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:

«O Allaah, whoever has been placed in charge of any of the affairs of my Ummah and was lenient with them, then be lenient with him; And whoever has been placed in charge of any of the affairs of my Ummah and caused them hardship, then cause him hardship», transmitted by Muslim.

So my advice to those responsible for [setting] the exams is to show leniency to the students and not to schedule the exams in Ramadhaan, rather, have them before or after it.

And we ask Allaah that he grants us all success.

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. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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