Is the view of one who says that it is obligatory for sick people and travellers to break the fast and that their fast is not valid correct?
A concession is granted to the sick person for whom it is difficult to fast, and for the traveller, to break the fast during the month of Ramadan, because Allah, may He be exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning): “and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days” [al-Baqarah 2:185].
But if they fast, then their fast is valid, because of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) according to which Hamzah ibn ‘Amr al-Aslami (may Allah be pleased with him) said to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): Can I fast whilst travelling? And he was a man who fasted a great deal. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If you wish, fast; and if you wish, do not fast.” Narrated by the group.
But if they fear for their lives if they fast, then it is obligatory to break the fast, because of the hadeeth of Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was on a journey and he saw a crowd of people and a man being shaded (from the sun). He said: “What is this?” They said: He is fasting. He said: “It is not part of piety to fast whilst travelling.”
The concession allowing the traveller not to fast is also general in application, because of the hadeeth of Hamzah ibn ‘Umar al-Aslami, in which he said: “O Messenger of Allah, I find that I have the strength to fast, is there anything wrong with that?” He said: “It is a concession from Allah, may He be exalted, so whoever avails himself of it has done well, and however wants to fast, there is nothing wrong with that.” Narrated by Muslim.
With regard to the verse in Soorat al-Baqarah, the confusion about its apparent meaning may be dispelled, in sha Allah, once you know that in this verse there is something which is implied, which is “break the fast” i.e., whoever among you is sick or on a journey and breaks the fast, then “the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days”. The scholars have explained this and there are many other similar examples in the Qur’aan and Sunnah and the Arabic language.
And Allah is the source of strength; may Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. End quote.
Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas