Workers in strenuous jobs not exempt from fast
Manual laborers who work under the scorching Gulf sun are not exempt from work during the month of fasting; however breaking of the fast mid-way is acceptable depending on level of 'hardship'.
Dubai People engaged in work that is of a strenuous and demanding nature do not fall under the category of those exempt from fasting, according to the latest of the Ramadan series of fatwas issued by the Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD).
The fatwa goes on to say, however, that it is permissible for such a person to break their fast during the day if forced by the tough nature of their job — provided the missing day of fast is compensated for later.
It added that if people working in a hard and demanding environment or job do feel compelled to break their fasts, they should do so with just enough food and water to tide over the need of the moment, and refrain from eating and drinking for the rest of the day until Iftar.
If there is no such necessity then it is obligatory to complete the fast.
This is what is indicated by the Sharia evidence from the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, the IACAD said, and it is what is indicated by the words of the scholars of all madhhabs.
The fatwa also declared that breaking or keeping the fast depends on the level of hardship.
If a person deems it to be beyond his power, he may end his fast, provided he makes up for the missed days after Ramadan.
The fatwa went on to suggest that those in positions of authority over people performing demanding work, should try to work out a different schedule during Ramadan.
This would be a step to reduce the burden on those workers and decrease the possibility of them being forced to end their fast.