Fasting is compulsory on any male or female that has reached the age of puberty. They must be of sound mind and good health. Young children should also be encouraged to fast however do not force them if they are not able to. They can begin by fasting half-day.
Who is exempted from fasting?
– a weak elderly person and a person who is permanently sick. If they will never be
able to make up their missed fasts because of their condition they are required to
give/pay an amount equal to a plate of food, for each day missed.
– a sick person who will worsen his condition by fasting. Must fast missed days after
– a women menstruating or in a state of nifaas. However she has to fast these days in
again before the next Ramadaan.
– a pregnant or breastfeeding women who fears that she will cause harm to herself and
her baby by fasting. However she has to make these days up again after Ramadaan.
– a person on a journey. These missed days are to be made up again after Ramadaan.
Allah says in the Qur’aan : “Observing Saum (fasts) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (eg. An old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskîn (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast is better for you if only you know.” (2:184)
“The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur’ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadaan i.e. is present at home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allâh [i.e. to say Taqbir (Allâhu Akbar ; Allah is the Most Great] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him” (2:185)