UAE | Employment

Workers can break their fast if necessary, say Islamic authorities

The workers can compensate for missed days later, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (Awqaf) explained.

  • By Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 18:07 August 8, 2010

15 best: Construction workers
  • Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
  • Workers must begin the fast at the break of dawn but are allowed to end it if they find it very difficult to continue till dusk, Islamic scholars say.
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Abu Dhabi: Workers who find fasting beyond their physical capacity in the summer heat may end their fast during the day, the Islamic authorities have said.

The workers can compensate for missed days later, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (Awqaf) explained.

"People who find it impossible to continue fasting while working in the heat may end their fasts and make up for these missed days after Ramadan, because Almighty Allah burdens not a person beyond his capacity," said the Awqaf ruling.

The ruling also added that this does not mean workers must not start fasting at dawn. Instead, they must begin the fast at the break of dawn, as usual, but are allowed to end it if they find it very difficult to continue till dusk.

The Awqaf was responding to a question from an oil-rig worker who was worried about possible dehydration and fainting spells caused by fasting in the heat. The worker said this was especially risky while working on an oil rig.

As one of the five pillars of Islam, fasting in the month of Ramadan is mandatory for all able-bodied, healthy adults, who must abstain from eating and drinking. Depending on the sighting of the moon, which signals the start of the Islamic month, Ramadan is expected to begin on August 11 or 12 this year.

Comments (13)

  1. Added 16:06 August 9, 2010

    This is very helpful especially for the company like ours which is not giving shorter working hours. We are forced to work the normal working hours by the managment. It will be helpful if authorities can publish some phone numbers in which people can complain about this kind of illegal activities.

    Shahid, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:49 August 9, 2010

    It is a fine declaration for whoever is not able to fasting under sun, but on the other hand if Islamic affair is not giving strict conditions, people will go away from their responsibilities. How it will happen? Satan will take advantage of people's inability, he will insist the person who break the fast before dusk such as say, "dont worry Allah know your inability, or keep fasting next year". Like those ideas will be given and pushed him to go away from Islam until his death. So, every one think before you break fasting during Ramadan. Ramadan comes once in a year, it is a gift from Almighty Allah.

    Ameenudeen, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:44 August 9, 2010

    Hats off to the authorities for this decision which shows respect and compassion towards 'Allas' own creation. No one can and should be burdened beyond thier physical capabilities.

    Poonam Dabur, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:34 August 9, 2010

    This is not a news first of all, secondly I think the authorities should find out some better solution instead of breaking the fast during midday then what is the point of fasting. Alternative solution can be like workers can work during night after Iftar. Ramadan comes only once in a year. Every Muslim has a right to fast.....

    Rooheena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 14:26 August 9, 2010

    The notification from the authority concerning the workers who are to sweat and work harder in sunny weather is of great relief and such an approach certainly shows Islam's role of no-force-in-religious-matters. Moreover, it's upto one's both physical and mental capacity which have a say whether the person is eleigible to fast or not. The news may be heard fairly by hundreds of sweating-community whose arms the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) most liked for the reason they toil and support family. Still, there are workers whose close faith makes them sacrifice for the sake of the Almighty and such hearts may find it easier to go through for their faith has deep-roots and stronger experience.

    Mohammad Shamsheer Abdulla, Calicut, India

  6. Added 14:24 August 9, 2010

    It's a very good action from the authorities towards the workers. Highly appreciative. Like Mr Jawad Hasan said, the circumstances also should go to the favour of the workers. Thanks to the authorities, they just proved once again that Dubai is again the best.

    Viknesh, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 13:43 August 9, 2010

    I feel that allowing workers to have the discretion of breaking their fast early to cope with dehydration and fatigue may result in people using it as an excuse for breaking fasts early and then they may not compensate for it later, as required in the fatwa. I second Mr. Jawd Hassan's comments that the authorities should rather regulate orders to the employers for ensuring that Muslim workers are not stretched beyond their capacities and are allowed to work for only defined working hours. This will create an environment whereby people would be encouraged to observe their fasts and be facilitated in terms of lesser work burden and reduced working hours which is the spirit of Ramadan.

    Noaman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 12:41 August 9, 2010

    Actually other Islamic countries like China, UK, Japan and most of the countries they close down all factories and business for the summer season, but we are in the Islamic country and very very important to make fasting in Ramadan month. Awqaf should order all construction companies give free time from 10.30 to 3.30 off every day and use them later hours is better for all if they don't make fasting in the Ramadan month then they will not keep fasting in the other month its very difficult. Ramadan is the gift for all Muslims, don't separate people from Ramadan.

    Ashfaq, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 12:22 August 9, 2010

    Personally, I feel it's not right, because you can not ignore the creator's order. Why not stop working and rest during fasting and continue working after iftar.

    Sinan Al Alawy, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 12:06 August 9, 2010

    Ramadan is not only for useless, sleepy or jobless persons but also for those who work in the feild for which they will get reward from Allah.

    Ameen, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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