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Traveling from East to West while fasting

Question:

Traveling from Europe to North America during Ramadan, there is an 8-10-hour difference. So, once we land in North America, it's usually afternoon, but the time at origin of travel is already past sunset. Do we open Fast according to the origin of travel, OR we now wait for the sunset in the Local time zone (North America). I always use to open Fast according to the Local time Zone (North America), it used to make my fast very long, but I took the safest approach.


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Answer:

When determining timings for fasting, one will consider one’s local time zone, i.e., you will break your fast when the sun sets and partake in the pre-dawn meal (suhoor) before true dawn (subh sadiq) according to wherever you are physically located. For example, if you witness the sunset in America, then you must break your fast in America regardless of the time in the origin of travel. Hence, what you did was correct.


It is better for a musafir to fast during his journey if he can bear it, and it would not cause him harm nor his travel companions. If the fast would be harmful to him or his travel companions, then it would be better to refrain from fasting during travel. If you were a musafir before true dawnwhen traveling from England, then it would not have been compulsory for you to make the intention of fasting. However, if you commenced the fast anyways, it would have been necessary to complete. In such a case, due to the long duration of fasting coupled with the strenuous journey, if one genuinely fears they would perish, fall ill, dehydrate, faint, etc., it would be permissible for him to break his fast and make it up another day.


Fatawa Hindiya: v. 1, p. 227-228 (DKI); Raddul Muhtar: v. 3, p. 402-405 (Maktaba Imdadia); Jadeed Fiqhi Masaail: v. 1, p. 121 (Zamzam)


Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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