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This Thursday, Ramadan 8, 1439, I will be leaving for Jamaica from Miami, I am only 15 and it was my intention to fast my first full Ramadan this year, however the 9th of Ramadan is my Mother’s birthday (She is a Christian that was born in Jamaica). We will be traveling all of Friday via bus to get across the island, my mother is disappointed to hear I will be fasting as she thinks that traveling now for a vacation is the same type of traveling mentioned in the Quran.

I am too young to know the answer to this and that is why I seek guidance, my father who will also be traveling to Algeria during that time (he will be fasting as he is a Muslim), tells me to ask an Imam. I will not be traveling for more than 5 days, I will not be in any one city for more than four days, there may be AC but I am unsure, the only reason for this trip is vacation. I started fasting when I was twelve and my plan was to increase the duration of my fast by a week each year, this was supposed to be my first full ramadan. So far I have prayed every taraweeh prayer this month and intend to do so for as long as possible.

  • Should I fast? I think I should personally but I do not want to ruin the trip for my mother, but I know I am too young to decide.
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    Note that question starting with "Should I do X?" hardly fit in the SE model we look for focused and answerable questions, while this type of question is attracting opinion-based answers. – user23533 May 24 '18 at 12:33
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Nobody can decide for you maybe your (Muslim) parents should do so or you may know yourself and your ability to fast better and decide yourself, but don't except this from anonymous people on the internet.

Our main goal is to show you your options by hopefully giving good evidences.

Allah the Almighty says in (2:185):

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.

This is a clear permission not to fast given by Allah our lord which is also present in the sunnah:

'Allah, the mighty and sublime, has waived half of the prayer and fasting for the traveler, the pregnant woman and the sick."' (Sunan an-Nasai)

so basically a person who is on a journey has a clear permission not to fast. Nevertheless scholars discussed whether fasting is better than breaking the fast or not.

The majority of scholars (hanafi, maliki, shafi'i and one view among the hanbali school of fiqh) say it is better to fast if this won't mean a hardship for the traveling person. Among the evidences for that you may find:

We set out during the month of Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) in such an intense heat that one of us would place his hand over his head (in order to protect himself) against the excessive heat, and none among us was observing the fast, except the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and 'Abdullah b. Rawaha. (Sahih Muslim)

Which shows that the sahaba have broken their fast due to an intense heat which means a hardship.

The hanbalis and Sahaba such as ibn 'Abbas, ibn 'Omar, tabi'yn such as Sa'id ibn al-Mussayib, a-Sha'bi and scholars such al-Awza'i hold the opinion that not fasting is recommended based on ahadith such as:

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was on a journey and saw a crowd of people, and a man was being shaded (by them). He asked, "What is the matter?" They said, "He (the man) is fasting." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "It is not righteousness that you fast on a journey." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

The point is as follows you may chose to follow one of these two views. In case of hardship both agree as both would recommend you not to fast. Finally if you decide not to fast you'll need to make up an equal number of days.

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