The Office of the Supreme Leader

Rules of Fasting

  • Fasting Defenition
  • Types of Fasting
  • Conditions of Obligatory Fast
  • Ways to Establish the New Lunar Month
  • Fasting Intention
  • Fast Invalidators
  • Medical Rules of Fasting
    • A Physician Forbids Fasting
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      A Physician Forbids Fasting

      The Criterion for Validity of a Physician's Forbidding
      173. Considering that some physicians are not aware of Islamic laws, should the patient obey a physician’s order if he forbids fasting?
        A: If the physician’s statement makes the patient certain that fasting is harmful for him or he fears of harm in fasting — either on the basis of his statements or on some other reasonable grounds — then it is not obligatory for him to fast.

      Interdiction by an Untrustworthy Physician

      174. Some physicians who are not truly committed to Islamic laws forbid their patients to fast, claiming that fasting is detrimental to their health. Should their orders be acted upon or not?
        A: If the physician is not trustworthy and his statements are not relied upon to the extent that the patient fears harm due to fasting, then his statements are not worthy of notice. Otherwise, they should not fast.

      To Fast Despite of the Physician's Interdiction
      175. An ophthalmologist ordered me not to fast due to an eye disease. But, I did not pay attention to his order and began fasting. However, while fasting I felt a pain in the afternoons on some days. Now, I wonder whether I should refrain from fasting or bear the pain until sunset. Basically, is it obligatory for me to fast? And should I maintain the fast on the days when I am not certain whether I can continue fasting until sunset or not? What should my intention be?
        A: If you are confident — due to what your physician said — that fasting is harmful for your health or you fear so, then it is not obligatory for you to fast. In fact, it is not permissible for you to fast in such a situation, and the intention to fast is not correct when there is fear of harm. When there is no fear of harm, the fasting intention is not problematic, but the validity of your fast depends on the actual absence of harm.
      176. Last year, I had surgery on my kidneys, and the surgeon ordered me not to fast for the rest of my life. However, I eat and drink normally and do not feel any signs of illness. What is my duty?
        A: If you personally do not fear any harm in fasting and there is no shar‘ī ground for that, you are obligated to fast during the month of Ramadan.
      Not to Fast due to a Physician's Order but to Find out Otherwise

      177. A physician told a patient that fasting is harmful for his health. However, after a few years, he realized that fasting was not harmful for him and the physician was wrong in excusing him from fasting. Does he have to pay kaffārah in addition to performing qaḍā’? 
        A: If he had refrained from fasting due to fear for his health based on an experienced and reliable physician’s diagnosis or some other reasonable basis, he has only to perform the qaḍā’ of the missed fasting.
    • Fear of Harm
    • Fast of Special Patients
    • Injection While Fasting
    • Rules of Dentistry
  • Rules for women
  • Zakat ul-Fitrah
  • Eid ul-Fitr Prayer
  • The Qaḍā’ Fast
  • Hired Fasts
  • Kaffārah of Fast
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