I will be traveling in Ramadan and I want to know if I need to fast?
There are multiple scenarios for fasting while traveling. We’ll take them one at a time.
Scenario 1: Person starts traveling after maghrib and before fajr.
In this case it is permissible to not fast on that day because the day begins while the person is in a state of traveling.
Scenario 2: Person starts traveling after sunrise.
This is the more common scenario. Someone has a trip that starts in the morning or afternoon and they do not know if they should fast or not. There is a scholarly difference on this question.
Opinion 1: They must not break their fast. This is because they started fasting and then traveled afterwards. This is the opinion of the Hanafi, Maliki, and Shafi’i schools.
Opinion 2: They can break their fast. This is an opinion in the Hanbali school.
- Those who held this opinion differed as to when they break their fast. The Hanbali school holds that it must be only after they have started their journey and left the jurisdiction of their city. Some other early scholars, such as Hasan al-Basri, held that they may break their fast while still at home.
As a general principle when there is valid scholarly difference one can choose the opinion that is most reasonable for their situation as long as they are not trying to play with the deen.
If the person does decide to break their fast then they must make up that day after Ramadan.