Breaking the fast during Ramadan for the tennis player

  • Publish date:26/07/2010
  • Section:Fasting
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Question:

I will be playing tennis matches during the first week of Ramadan at noon when the temperature reaches 30 degrees. It will be very difficult for me to fast under such circumstances. Am I right if I break the fast and feed a poor person for each missed day of fasting?

Answer:
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.
 
Fasting in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Islam is built on five [pillars]: [among them, he mentioned]… fasting Ramadan...” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Breaking the fast in Ramadan intentionally without a Sharee‘ah-approved excuse is one of the grave major sins. Abu Umaamah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Once I was sleeping, and two men came to me and took me by my arm and brought me to a rugged mountain. They said, ‘Climb.’ I said, ‘I cannot [climb].’ They said, ‘[Go ahead] we will make it easy for you.’ Therefore, I went up until I reached the middle of the mountain. There, I heard loud screams. I asked, ‘What are these voices?’ They said, ‘This is the howling of the people of Hell.’ Then they led me [to another place] where I saw people who were hanging from their heels. Their mouths were torn apart from the corners [of their mouths] dripping with blood. I asked, ‘Who are these [people]?’ They said, ‘Those who broke their fast before the proper timing of breaking their fast.’” [Al-Haakim and Al-Munthiri - Saheeh, Al-Haythami: Narrators of this Hadeeth are authenticated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Al-Albaani - Saheeh]
Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Breaking the fast intentionally ýwithout a Sharee‘ah-approved excuse is a grave major sin.”
Ath-Thahabi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him stated, “The believers have unanimously agreed that whoever refrains from fasting in Ramadan without being sick and without having an excuse is worse than an adulterer, wrongful tax-collector, or one who is addicted to drinking (intoxicants). They are likely to think of him as an atheist or [at least] a deviant.”
Allah The Almighty allows breaking the fast in Ramadan only for two excuses: sickness and travel. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up].} [Quran 2:184]
If you were a patient or a traveler, then, it is permissible for you to break the fast; however, no scholar can ever say that it is permissible for you to break the fast simply to play a sport.
Beware, dear Muslim brother, not to commit this grave major sin, which incurs the anger of Allah The Almighty. If it is difficult for you to fast and play, then you will have to abandon playing because it will never avail you against Allah The Exalted.
Finally, you should know that whoever breaks the fast of Ramadan, while he is able to make up for it, has to make up for the missed days of fasting rather than feeding a poor person. We ask Allah The Almighty to guide all of us to the right path.
Allah Knows best.

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