Performing 'Umrah during Ramadan
Fatwa No: 88806

Question

A person intends to perform 'Umrah during Ramadan. And because of traveling a long distance to Makkah, he is planning to use the relaxation of postponing the fasting during travel. My question is, is it correct to postpone an obligation for doing a Mustahib act (Umrah in Ramadan)?

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.

 

During Ramadan, a person who is traveling for any reason may break the fast and make it up later. So the permission of breaking the fast is not granted to obligatory type of the travel only. Rather, any one who travels for permissible reasons could break the fast, whether it is for a non-obligatory 'Umrah or for permissible business, as Allaah says about fasting (what means): {So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during fasting days]-then an equal number of days [are to be made up]} [Quran 2:184]

Hamza Ibn 'Amru Al-Aslami may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "O Messenger of Allaah! I find within me the strength to fast while traveling. Would there be any blame upon me if I were to do so?" The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) answered: "It is a concession from Allaah. Whoever takes it has done well and whoever likes to fast, there is no blame upon him." [Muslim]

However, Imaam Al-Bukhari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reported the same Hadeeth with the following wording: "Shall I fast during travel?" (And he used to fast a lot). So the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) told him: "If you wish you can fast, and if you wish you can break the fast."

Imaam Muslim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also reported that Abu Sa'eed and Jaabir  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them said: "We traveled with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) so some of us broke the fast and some of us fasted, and none criticized or blamed the other for what he did."

So a traveler has the choice either to fast, or to break the fast and make it up later, if fasting does not cause him any harm. As regards the traveler who is harmed by fasting during his travel, then it is more appropriate for him to break the fast as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "It is not an act of virtue to fast during travel." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allaah Knows best.

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