Breaking obligatory fast while traveling after making intention to fast
Fatwa No: 331849

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. My question is that while I was traveling during the month of Ramadan, I made the intention of fasting the following day. However, due to the hot weather, I broke my fast as I convinced myself and my wife that since we were traveling, our intention could be broken. Now I am confused, was I right although I made the intention and broke the fast anyway? Wassalaam.

Answer

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

The scholars differed in opinion about whether the traveler is permitted to break the fast after having made the intention to fast.

The Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia detailed their statements as follows:

If while traveling a person intended to fast by night and in the morning woke up fasting without changing his intention before the Fajr, then he is not permitted to break the fast on this day according to the view of the Hanafi and Maaliki Schools, and it is also the probable view of the Shaafi'i School, but if he breaks the fast, then there is no expiation on him because of him believing that what he did was permissible… The adopted view of the Shaafi'i School and the view of the Hanbali School is that if a traveling person wakes up in the morning while fasting and then wanted to break the fast, this is permissible without him having a sound excuse for doing so – because the excuse is already present, which is traveling, or due to the excuse still existing – as mentioned in Al-Muhalla. Their evidence is the hadeeth by Ibn Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him who said, “…he [the Prophet] fasted until he passed by a spring of water [then he broke his fast],” as well as the hadeeth by Jaabir  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him who said, “He [the Prophet] fasted until he reached Kuraa’ al-Ghameem [a name of a valley]…”

An-Nawawi said: According to our Mathhab (the Shaafi'i School), there are two views about the dislike of breaking the fast: the most correct opinion is that he is not obliged to fast; the evidence is that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did that [i.e. he broke the fast while he was traveling].

The Hanbali School added that such a person [i.e. a traveling person] may break the fast with anything he wishes, such as having sexual intercourse with his wife and eating and drinking, because the one who is permitted to eat is also permitted to have sexual intercourse, and there is no expiation on him if he breaks the fast and has sexual intercourse because he had made the intention of breaking the fast before having sexual intercourse, and then he had sexual intercourse after he already had the intention of breaking the fast.

Based on the above, what you and your wife did is permissible according to the view of many scholars; therefore, you are not sinful, but each of you is obliged to fast one day instead of the day when you broke the fast.

Allaah knows best.

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