Can I Do Non-Emergent Surgery in Ramadan?

25 May, 2019
Q As-salamu `alaykum. My question is about having non-emergency surgery in Ramadan. It results in not fasting for several days. Is that permissible? Please, note that delaying it until after Ramadan results in missing out on the surgery because the surgeon will be travelling, and because of my work circumstances.

Answer

Wa `alaykum as-Salamu waRahmatullahi waBarakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

You can do your surgery on the condition that you make up for these days after Ramadan. Moreover, we advise you to consult a trustworthy Muslim doctor.


Responding to your question, Dr. Muhammad Said, Professor of Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University, and a Visiting Professor at Tiba University, states,

Scholars have defined the diseases that allow a Muslim to break his fast during Ramadan as follows:

1- A disease which increases due to fasting.

2- A disease whose recovery may be delayed because of fasting.

3- A disease which causes a sever difficulty even though one does not have his disease increased or delayed (Ibn Qudamah, al-Mughni 3:156)

The case of having a surgery can be regarded a valid reason for breaking one’s fast since the delay of such a surgery will result in delaying one’s recovery.

In the case of our questioner, he can have his surgery, but he must make up for this day later.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

About Dr. Muhammad Said
Professor of Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University, and a Visiting Professor at Tiba University