Construction workers toil away despite the scorching heat in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

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.