Traveling in order to avoid fast in Ramadan

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Question:

My son lives in Canada. His exams will be held in Ramadan. Two exams are dated two hours before the Maghrib (sunset) prayer, which is the time he feels most tired while fasting and suffers headache. Does he have a concession not to fast? If not, can he travel in the morning of the day of the exam for more than 80 kilometers in order to utilize the concession of a traveler?

Fatwa:

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Taking exams is not one of the Sharee‘ah-approved excuses for not fasting in Ramadan. The eminent scholar Ibn Baaz  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “A person who is competent for religious assignment is not allowed to abandon fasting in Ramadan for the sake of an exam, as it is not a Sharee‘ah-approved excuse. Rather, he is required to fast and he can study during the night if it is difficult for him to study during the daytime.

Your son must fear Allah and not make it permissible for himself to abandon fasting in Ramadan. Deliberate abandoning of fasting in Ramadan without a Sharee‘ah-approved justification is a grave major sin. Rather, he should know that obeying Allah is the best means to attain one's aspirations and achieve the desired objectives. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out - And will provide for him from where he does not expect.} [Quran 65: 2-3]

Suffering headache is not a Sharee‘ah-approved justification to abandon fasting. The hardship is simple and endurable in such a case; and religious obligations usually involve some hardship of this type.

Travel in order to abandon fasting is impermissible. It is like a trick to shirk religious obligations and this is unlawful under Sharee‘ah. Shaykh Al-‘Uthaymeen  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said,

"Fasting in principle is obligatory. It is an obligation and one of the pillars of Islam. It is impermissible to play a trick to drop it. When one travels just to make it permissible to abandon fasting, his travel as well as the action of breaking the fast are prohibited. He must repent, cancel his travel and fast. If he does not cancel the trip, he has to fast even if he is traveling. In sum, one is not permitted to evade fasting in Ramadan by making an unplanned trip. Scheming to drop the Sharee‘ah obligation does not cancel it. Likewise, scheming to make lawful what is unlawful does not make it lawful." [End of quote]

It should also be noted that when he travels then returns to his place of residence with the intention of staying for four days or more, such a person is no longer regarded as a traveler.
Allah Knows best.

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