Fasting and football – Qadha & Kaffarah

So, Number One Son has oodles of football practice before jetting off to play in some international tournament. Oooh, goodie, says you. Well, yes. But, 1. he is muslim, 2. he is considered mature although under the age of majority. And? you say.

Well, you remember that it is Ramadan, don’t you. So what? say you.

Fasting during this month is compulsory for him. Unless he was ill, or traveling (more than 48 miles although that criteria differs from my personal view, and away for less than 14 days). Football practice does not fall under either exempted head. I see, you say, slowly. I can see that you are a tad befuddled. Does that mean that he cannot practise? No, it means that his fast is his priority and all other things are secondary. Uh huh, you say.

Okay, to fast or not to fast is never a question. Unless ill, or traveling, or insane, or pregnant, or breastfeeding, or too old, or too young. Or your work is too hard.

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous [Qur’an 2:183]

[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. [Qur’an 2:184]

The question is really, how can you play football and fast. This question isn’t new. It came up in the last Olympics – visit fasting in olympics.

And lest we forget the sanctions – if you unintentionally break the fast, you must make it up after Ramadan (as in fast for a day). But if you break or miss the fast intentionally, then that ‘ransom’ is to fast for 60 consecutive days, or, feed a poor person per day for 60 days or feed 60 poor persons in a day.

He fasts. As he is commanded to.

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