Fatwa council
The Emirates Legal Fatwa Council met through video conferencing on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Image Credit: WAM

ABU DHABI: It is permissible for COVID-19 patients not to fast Ramadan, the UAE Fatwa Council announced on Sunday.

Healthy people must fast, declared the council following a virtual meeting chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, a few days prior to the start of the fasting month — expected to fall on Friday, April 24.

The permission for coronavirus patients is based on verses from the holy Quran: “Fasting for a limited number of days. So, whoever among you is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]-And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess - it is better for him - But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.” [Al Baqarah: 2:184].

The Majlis discussed developments that people need to know about the Islamic ruling, especially with the approach of the blessed month of Ramadan.

The council said that healthy people must thank Allah the Almighty for his countless blessings and take the advantage of the holy month to ask Allah the most merciful to bless the UAE, its leadership, which offered coronavirus tests for everyone, citizens and expatriates.

The fatwa was also based on evidences from the accredited Islamic doctrines, which all agree that it is permissible for sick people not to fast, while it is not permissible for healthy people to break his fast.”

The council reaffirmed the need to abide by the closure of mosques until further notice, issued by the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in coordination with the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Awqaf, as well as federal and local religious and health authorities in the country.

Adhere to precautionary measures

It urged everyone to adhere to health instructions and precautionary measures in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The exceptional circumstances that we are going through requires us to emphasise the lofty human meanings that our true religion urges us to demonstrate by promoting the values of compassion, and strengthening human relations based on the principle of solidarity, cooperation and unity of destiny,” the council said in its statement.

“We take this precious occasion to call on the whole world and every human being to lend a helping hand to the poor and needy people, help relieve the suffering and pain of the underprivileged and vulnerable people, regardless of their religious or ethnic backgrounds,” the council added.

Human solidarity

The council launded the initiatives launched by the UAE to foster human solidarity with various countries in the world to address and mitigate the effects of the crisis, which has set a practical and realistic example of what divine religions and noble morals call for.

The council sent a note of thanks and appreciation to healthcare professionals and medical teams who are on the frontlines of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic as well as UAE soldiers who work around the clock to safeguard the safety of citizens and expatriate residents.