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Umrah in Ramadhan – If a traveller arrives in Makkah and he is fasting, should he break his fast? – Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen

June 17, 2015

Q. 405. If a traveller arrives in Makkah and he is fasting, should he break his fast in order to gain strength to perform ‘Umrah?

A. We say that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) entered Makkah on the twentieth of Ramadan in the year of the conquest of Makkah and he was not fasting, and he led the people of Makkah in a two Rak’ah prayer and he said to them:

Oh, people of Makkah! Complete the prayer (i.e. pray four Rak’ahs), for we are travellers.” [1]

It has been confirmed in Sahih Al-Bukhari that the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) did not fast for the remainder of the month, because he was a traveller, so the journey of a person performing ‘Umrah does not end with his arrival in Makkah, and he is not obliged to fast if he arrives while not fasting.

Some people might continue to fast even while they are travelling, thinking that to fast while travelling in the present day is not difficult for people. So, they will continue fasting even while travelling, then they arrive in Makkah and feel tired, and so they say to themselves: Should I continue my fast and delay the ‘Umrah until after I have broken my fast, or should I break my fast in order to perform the ‘Umrah immediately upon arrival in Makkah. We would say to them in these circumstances: It is better for you to break your fast in order to perform ‘Umrah immediately upon arrival in Makkah, in order to perform this rite. 

Because when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) entered Makkah and he was performing his religious rites, he would go straight to the Masjid, even making his camel kneel outside the Masjid, entering it in order to perform the rites, for he was so preoccupied with it. Therefore, for those who perform ‘Umrah, breaking your fast in order to perform ‘Umrah briskly is better than remaining in a state of fasting, then performing your ‘Umrah after you have broken your fast at night.

It is confirmed from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) that he was fasting on his journey to the battle for the conquest of Makkah, and the people came to him and said: “Oh, Messenger of Allah! Fasting has become difficult for the people and they are waiting to see what you will do.” And this was after ‘Asr, but the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) called for water and drank it while the people were watching. [2] So, the Prophet broke his fast during his journey, indeed, he broke his fast at the end of the day, and all of this was in order to make it clear to his people that this was permissible. Fasting while travelling, as some do, in spite of difficulty, contradicts the Sunnah; of this there is no doubt. To this applies the statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم):

It is not righteousness to fast while on a journey. ” [3]

Footnotes:

[1] Reported by Al-Bukhari in the Book of Battles, in the Chapter: The Battle of the Conquest in Ramadan (4275).
[2] Reported by Muslim in the Book of Fasting, in the Chapter: The Permissibility of Fasting or Breaking the Fast During the Month of Ramadan for the Traveller Without Disobedience (1114)
[3] Reported by Al-Bukhari in the Book of Fasting, in the Chapter: The Statement of the Prophet to the One Who Was Shaded and Upon Whom the Heat Was Oppressive: It is not righteousness to fast whilst on a journey. (1946); and by Muslim in the Book of Fasting, in the Chapter: The Permissibility of Fasting and Breaking the Fast During the Month of Ramadan for the Traveller Without Disobedience (1115).

From the Book “Fatawa Arkanul-Islam “
Islamic Verdicts on the Pillars of Islam (Volume Two)
By the Honorable Shaikh Muhammad bin Salih Al- ‘Uthaimeen

Ramdhan & Fasting Index Page – http://salaf-us-saalih.com/ramadhan/

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