fast of Ramadan is rigorous, particularly during long summer days when
it may be required to resist all food and drink for as many as sixteen
hours at a time. This strain may be too much for people with certain
Qur'an instructs Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan, but also
gives clear exemptions for those who may become ill as a result of
if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (of
Ramadan days) should be made up from days later. For those who cannot do
this except with hardship is a ransom: the feeding of one that is
indigent.... Allah intends every ease for you; He does not want to put
you to difficulties...." - Qur'an 2:184-185
In several other passages, the Qur'an instructs Muslims not to kill or harm themselves, or cause harm to others.
to Ramadan, a Muslim should always consult with a doctor about the
safety of fasting in individual circumstances. Some health conditions
may be improved during fasting, while others may possibly deteriorate.
If you decide that fasting could possibly be harmful in your situation,
you have two options:
yours is a temporary, not chronic, condition you may make up the fast
(a day for a day) at a later time, when your health improves.
yours is a permanent or chronic condition, you may make a donation in
charity in lieu of fasting. The amount should be sufficient to feed one
person a day, for each fasting day that is missed.
There is no need to feel guilty about taking care of your health
needs during Ramadan. These exemptions exist in the Qur'an for a
reason, as Allah knows best what issues we may face. Even if one is not
fasting, one can feel part of the Ramadan experience through other areas
of worship -- such as offering additional prayers, inviting friends and
family for evening meals, reading the Qur'an, or donating to charity.
information is available below for those with specific health concerns.
Again, you should always consult with your own doctor to evaluate your