The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Fasting and Education

1 Question: I am a student and have to attend my classes in the month of Ramadhan. I also have important exams in this month. If I have to fast, I will not be able to concentrate on my studies. Given the adverse effects of fasting on my exams, should I still fast?
Answer: Attending your classes and studying in the month of Ramadhan is not a valid excuse to escape fasting. Of course, if one is left with one of the two options i.e. he should attend his class or observe fast and that not attending his classes will put him into such difficulty that is not bearable normally, he should make niyyah of fasting at dawn and should abstain from eating and drinking until it becomes extremely difficult to fast in which case it is permissible to eat or drink at the time of extreme hunger and thirst sufficing to the necessary amount (of food or water). He should observe the qadha of that day after the month of Ramadhan and he will not be liable to any kaffara.
If a person has the means and can go out of the city with the intention to travel as far as 44 kilometers, he can go on a short journey and break his fast during the journey and come back to his hometown to attend his classes or exams.
One should travel 44 kilometers to break his fast. If the outward and return distances make 44 km, he should break his fast. Remember, the beginning of 8 farsakh (44 km) should be calculated from a point beyond which he will be deemed a traveler, and this point is represented by the last boundary of a city. In certain very big cities, it would be probably reckoned from the end of locality.
2 Question: I have to study and go to university in the month of Ramadhan, can I break my fast in order to better concentrate during the exams?
Answer: It is obligatory to observe fast and it is not permissible to break it for the said reason. However, it is permissible to go out of the city with the intention of traveling as far as 44 kilometers which is the required distance for a traveler to break his fast. He should observe the qadha of that day after the month of Ramadhan and there is no kaffara for breaking the fast.
One should travel 44 kilometers to break his fast. If the outward and return distances make 44 km, he should break his fast. Remember, the beginning of 8 farsakh (44 km) should be calculated from a point beyond which he will be deemed a traveler, and this point is represented by the last boundary of a city.
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