Fatwā concerning the legality, based on their interpretation of Islamic law, of fasting in the month of Ramadan, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The answer provided by Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on 19 April 2020 is that individuals must fast during Ramadan, unless an individual has a reason to believe that fasting will 1) cause an illness, 2) intensify an illness, 3) prolong an illness, or delay one’s recuperation.
Grand Ayatollah Khamenei's office for answering questions on religious verdicts has published the ruling concerning fasting in the month of Ramadan during the Coronavirus pandemic. What follows is the full text of the question and answer.
Now that Coronavirus has become widespreadspread rapidly, what are the rules for fasting during the month of Ramadan?
Fasting, which is a religious obligation, is in fact God’s special blessing upon His servants and is a foundation for perfection and spiritual upliftment for humanity. It was obligatory for previous nations as well.
Some of the effects of fasting include gaining a state of spirituality and inner purity, increasing individual and social piety, and the strengthening of one’s willpower and resistance when faced with hardships. The role it plays in people’s health is evident, and God has placed a great reward for those who fast.
Fasting is a religious obligation and a pillar in Islamic Law. Therefore, not fasting during the auspicious month of Ramadan is not allowable unless an individual has a reason to believe that fasting will:
1. Cause an illness
2. Intensify an illness
3. Prolong an illness, or delay one’s recuperation.
In such cases, one should not fast, but it will be necessary to make up for the missed fasts at a later time.
Obviously, it is enough if this conviction is obtained based on the opinion of a religious physician.
Therefore, if a person has a reasonable fear of being subject to any of the above-mentioned difficulties, they should not fast, but it will be necessary to make up for these missed fasts at a later time.