x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Dubai grand mufti warns against idleness during Ramadan

People who fast should not use it as an excuse to do little work

DUBAI // Ramadan is a time to do more, not for laziness or inactivity, an Islamic scholar says.

"There is no basis for anyone claiming because they are fasting they need to relax or take more time off," said Dr Mohammed Al Qubaisi, the grand mufti at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai.

"You will not get much from Ramadan if you are inactive."

Dr Al Qubaisi said the holy month was not meant to impose hardship on those fasting and recounted the story of the Prophet Mohammed coming across a group sitting around a man and fanning him.

When the Prophet asked what was wrong, they said he was fasting and weak. The Prophet told them to let him break the fast and make up for it later.

"Anybody who is facing hardship throughout the day which endangers their health can break the fast and make up for it later," said Dr Al Qubaisi. "For labourers or those working outside, any time they feel pressure or difficulties they have to break their fast. They are not allowed to continue fasting if it endangers their life and health."

With the exception of people who have been advised not to fast by doctors, all Muslims should fast.

Pregnant and nursing woman should fast unless it endangers their or their babies' health. "The chronically ill and elderly do not have to make up for a fast but they should feed a poor person for each day missed," Dr Al Qubaisi said.