Question: this is the last [question], we have with us in Egypt a Mufti who passed the verdict for the permissibility for secondary students, in general, to break their fast in Ramadan using the analogy of a traveler. This is despite the fact that the student [only] leaves his house to go to the school next to his house. The Mufti uses the reason of difficulty for that [verdict]?
Answer: “Refuge is sought with Allah. These verdicts which make permissible what Allah prohibited are not allowed ever for a student of knowledge, especially of this Legislated knowledge if such a term is correct, to break the fast in Ramadan while he is a resident. It is not allowed for him to cheat and go out of the land to take the ruling of a traveler. This is because it is from the way of deception which they oppressively call Legislated deception. I say: if there is a strenuous/stressful task which is difficult for a student and he is fasting, then it is upon him to take the means which do not expose him to the likes of this stress/strain. Or it is upon him if he is a Muslim, a true believer to pray the Fajr prayer in congregation, then study what he needs to study of knowledge which he wants to present in the exam for two or three hours. After the Fajr prayer in accordance to his enthusiasm. As for sleeping the whole night and sometimes not awakening for the Fajr at all and if he awakes and prays, then he prays after the time, then he studies in the day and it is said to him: “It is allowed for you to break the fast”, then this is deception regarding the rulings of Allah and His Legislation. It is strange how these Muftis do not observe the condition of these students. They do not clarify to them the path which they should tread in order to combine between observing the obligation and preparing for what is obligatory upon them. That they are approaching an exam. They (the Muftis) don’t mention to them, for example, the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ):
بورك لأمتي في بكورها
My Ummah is blessed in the early mornings
[Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 2606]
So you find most of the students staying up the night until midnight and this is against the Sunnah. As you know the prohibition of the Prophet (ﷺ) about sleeping before Isha and speaking after it. Then they sleep after midnight and they do not wake up for Fajr. Then they make things difficult for themselves in the day and they (the Mufti’s) pass them the verdict for the permissibility of breaking the fast.
First: there is not a necessity for the likes of this verdict because what is this knowledge which they are studying and exerting effort in order to pass? It is not Legislated knowledge, and even if it was Legislated knowledge, it is not allowed to expose oneself to breaking the fast. As I said in my annotations on the treatise of ‘Izz Abdus-Salam in the refutation of al-Ghumaari’s annotations to (بداية السول). I said: the one who has concern for Takhreej of Ahaadith without clarifying the authenticity and weakness is like one who makes wudu and does not pray. So Takhreej is a means and knowing the authentic from the weak[narration] is the the goal. So what is the benefit of Takhreej if it is not associated with clarifying the grade [of the Hadith]? Likewise, what is the benefit of these sciences which they study if it is not for Allah, the Exalted? The concluding statement is: it is not allowed for a student of knowledge, even if it is Legislated knowledge, to break the fast in Ramadan except after having concern and observing what we mentioned. Otherwise, if the fast is heavy upon him and he fears for himself, then he breaks his fast. Otherwise, that is not allowed for him.
Questioner: Jazakallahu khairan O, Our Shaikh”.
[Silsilatul-Huda wan-Nur no. 43]
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan