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We have a lunch meeting and I am fasting. I am the only Muslim among the attendees. It becomes somewhat inappropriate that everyone eats while you avoid eating and target yourself. May be it is not the best manners also to isolate yourself from the group. What should I do, break the fast and make up for it or just keep fasting.

What was the prophet Sunnah in such a case.

  • Fasting is not a ritual exclusive to Muslims. It's not rude to fast while others don't. Just politely say that you're fasting and that you don't mind if they enjoy themselves. – banging Jul 19 '13 at 19:14
  • Tell them it is because of religious reasons, they hopefully will respect that. – user2350 Jul 19 '13 at 23:32
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Living and working in a non-Muslim country, I always tell my coworkers before Ramadan begins that the fasting month is starting. If I attend a meeting in which people are eating, I don't eat.

I am not completely aware of your situation. I've seen in the US that almost everyone knows about Ramadan and fasting, and once you tell your reason not participating in eating, they recognize that.

In my opinion, you cannot just break your fast for this. This is not a legitimate reason to break a fast.

  • I agree with your answer. But I need a reference from Sunnah to make it a proper answer. – muslim1 Jul 21 '13 at 13:56
  • Please let me know what reference you are looking for exactly and I will try to find it Insha-Allah. – Farhan Jul 22 '13 at 12:18
  • reference that the prophet never comprised in such a situation. But if not there, then this answer is ok. – muslim1 Jul 22 '13 at 22:45
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Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory upon us and social pressure is not among the reasons for which you are allowed not to fast.

As you can see excerpted from this answer.

Fasting in Ramadaan is one of the pillars on which Islam is built. Allaah tells us that He has prescribed it for the believers of this ummah [nation], as He prescribed it for those who came before them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious”

[al-Baqarah 2:183]

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

Al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god but Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing prayer; paying zakaah; Hajj; and fasting Ramadaan.”

Whoever does not fast has abandoned one of the pillars of Islam, and is committing a grave major sin. Indeed some of the salaf were of the view that he is a kaafir [disbeliever] and apostate – we seek refuge with Allaah from that.

Also excerpted from here.

Regarding sickness, most of the scholars – including the four imams – are of the view that the sick person is not allowed to break his fast in Ramadaan unless the sickness is severe.

What is meant by severe sickness is:

  1. The sickness will be made worse by fasting
  2. Recovery will be delayed by fasting
  3. Fasting will cause intense hardship, even if it does not make the sickness worse or delay recovery
  4. The scholars also included those who fear that they may become sick because of fasting.

Please see this for details on the above one.

So, as you can see, you will have to explain your situation to your coworkers and keep fasting. If they fail to understand, please keep silent and keep fasting.

May Allah Subhanatawala give us the best.

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