Thursday, 2 July 2015

Fatwa on Fasting in Ramadan During Long Summer Time

Interview with Dr. Ahmed Al-Dubayan
Fatwa on Fasting in Ramadan
during long Summer Time

Dr. Mozammel Haque

Recently Fatwa was given on Fasting in Ramadan during the UK long Summer time and it was published in the UK’s main daily newspapers, it was also in the website and it was debated and discussed in the Television, particularly it was discussed in the Sunday Morning programme of the BBC on Sunday, 21st of June 2015. It created confusion and controversy among the Muslim communities in the UK. In order to get the proper information on this complicated Shari’ah issue, I met and interviewed two most knowledgeable scholar of UK, one is Dr. Ahmed al-Dubayan, Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre & Regents Park London Central Mosque and another is a very well-known Islamic scholar, Dr. Suhaib Hassan, Chairman of the Islamic Shariah Council and Trustee of the Al-Tawheed Mosque, Leyton. Both the scholar said that the Fatwa on following the Makkah timing for Suhoor and Iftar is not correct. Followings are opinions Of Dr. Ahmed al-Dubayan on this subject.

Interview with Dr. Ahmed Al-Dubayan
Dr. Ahmed al-Dubayan said, “There is a Fatwa given by some Shaikh saying that Muslims in London and in the West supposed to follow Makkah in the fasting time, because the day in London too long about 18 hours. Actually this question was discussed some long time ago by every scholar. Allah the Almighty said in the Qur’an “Complete your fasting till the night’. And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, in the authentic Hadith, ‘When night comes from here this side and it goes from this side it is the time for Iftar’. So the Qur’an and the Hadith link the time of Iftar with the night.”

Muslims should fast in day and Iftar at night
Dr. al-Dubayan also mentioned that as long as there is clear day and night, Muslims should fast in day and Iftar at night. He said, “What is the scholars and great Muftis decided and this is what the Qur’an also said that as long as there is the night Muslims should fast all the day and have Iftar during the night. If the day is too long by 22 hours or 20 hours or 18 hours and the night is too short if the health of anybody does not help him to do the fasting, he can break fasting like he will be treated in the religion as sick person. Okay, this is his capacity he cannot go beyond that. Then he can break fast and he can fast after Ramadan, Insha Allah. Allah the Almighty made our faith so easy; He ask us to fast whenever we can and whenever we cannot fast at all or there is a danger actually for our health or the doctor decides or advises us to ask us not to fast; we must not fast because this is dangerous for us.”

Our faith is a religion of easiness
Dr. al-Dubayan also mentioned, “Our faith is a religion of easiness and Allah the Almighty has given us always the exit to all the situations, prayer, for example, is five times but when we travel, it will be joined; it will be three; similarly, Wudu Ablution is a duty but when we don’t have water we make tayammum; fasting is a duty for everyone Muslim but if you are sick or a woman is a pregnant or a person is a diabetic then he can break fasting or then fast later on or if he cannot at all, there is no hope to be cured like those who may sick with cancer or something like that, then they can feed poor person or feed one person per day to replace fasting. Zakat, Alhamdo lillah, if you are rich or have saving you must pay Zakat but if you are not then you don’t. Hajj Alhamdo Lillah if you can, your health is helping you to go to Makkah, you have money and it is safety for you to go and come back then Hajj is a duty; but if you cannot and if you are not in a safe area, for example, you don’t have money or you are sick you cannot go.”

Following Makkah and Madina for
Suhoor and Iftar is not correct
To break fast around Asr, or following Makkah even if in London is not correct; it is a scholar opinion but not correct, said Dr. Al-Dubayan. He said, “Allah the Almighty does not ask any Muslim to kill himself to perform Ibadah. All the Ibadah Allah the Almighty asks us to do always connected or related to our ability. When we cannot; there is always another option which the Qur’an and Sunnah offer us. So, I think this Fatwa of having Muslim to break fasting after Asr, for example, or following Makkah even if they are in London is not correct.  This is a scholar opinion but it is not correct I believe and it is against the Fatwa of other Fiqh Council in other areas and also some of the great scholars in the history.”

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