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My Father Prohibited Me to Fast in Ramadan

29 April, 2022
Q Hello. I hope you're fine, dear counselor. The thing is there are multiple instances when I feel guilty and ashamed so much so that I couldn't bring myself to pray and ask for forgiveness though knowing Allah is the most Forgiving. For example, I am not allowed to fast this Ramadhan because my father (even though he is Muslim) forbade me to do so due to the exam period.

At first, I protested against this and said I want to fast not only because of all its benefits but also because I thought my duas made in this holy month would have more chances to be accepted.

Alhamdullilah, I was born Muslim and my whole family is. I couldn't manage to study and fast as I would get horrible headaches through overworking my brain which happens from hunger. Whenever I fast ( whether it's Ramadan or not) I always get headaches because of my metabolism that is fast consuming and my father being a doctor was talking in that sense. I told him that for the others years to come, that it would still be the same and that I was afraid Allah would punish me in some ways or I would feel bad myself because as I'm the only Muslim hijabi in my whole school who did not fast.

Despite all that reasoning, my father responded saying there's also father blessing and that disobeying him would be more of a sin than not fasting as he heard that Allah wouldn't accept the fast of a disobeying child. Now Ramadan is here and I don't know what to do or what to think of myself.


In this counseling answer:

• Get a physical exam from a doctor to determine if there is a medical reason why you cannot fast.

• While you must respect your parents, you must not break your responsibilities to Allah.

• Consult with your imam if you need assistance discussing this with your father. 

AsSalamu ’Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us with your most important concern. I am so sorry to hear what you went through. It must have been really difficult for you to want to please Allah (swt), yet be denied this right. 

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You stated that you feel so guilty and bad as a Muslim that you cannot even pray sometimes even though you know Allah (swt) is merciful and forgiving. You also stated that you feel this way because your father has forbidden you to fast, and you desire to fast to please Allah (swt) and to reap the blessings. Your father, as a doctor, informed you that you are unable to fast and was very concerned about your fasting and completion of exams. Your father is using the typical fasting symptoms which most people experience to deter and forbid you to fast so you can get good grades.

karim serageldin & naaila clay

I am not an Islamic scholar but I would kindly advise you to get a physical exam from a doctor to determine if there is a medical reason why you cannot fast. If there is not, which there should not be as you fasted before, inform your father that, with all due respect, you will be fasting next, year in sha’ Allah. Your father is denying your Islamic rights and duties to Allah (swt) by prohibiting your fast which is completely wrong. Explain to him that it is haram to put worldly gain (grades) over fasting and that in the future insha’Allah you will resume fasting.

He will be held accountable to Allah (swt) for preventing you from fasting if there is not a medical exemption. You are responsible to Allah (swt) to fast, not to your father. Your duties to Allah (swt) are higher than your duties to your parents. While you must respect your parents, you must not break your responsibilities to Allah (swt). As you are trying to please your father and Allah (swt) is most merciful, please do repent to Allah (swt) for not fasting. Make up the days as you can or feed others. (Please check this with a scholar which option is applicable to your case.) In sha’ Allah next year will be different.

Check out this audio counseling: 

Please, do not ever feel so ashamed that you cannot go to Allah (swt). Allah (swt) loves you very much and knows of the struggle, shame, and sadness you went through as your father forbid you from fasting. Your letter to us is most heartfelt as it is clearly evident you are remorseful, yet not sure what to do. It is very clear you love Allah (swt) and love your father. However, as much as we love our parents, sister, we cannot disobey Allah (swt) just because they want us to. 

Please, consult with your imam if you need assistance discussing this with your father. As he loves you too, in sha’ Allah, he will recognize his wrong, seek forgiveness and not try to put you through this again next year, in sha’ Allah.  However, sister, if he does try, it is your obligation to Allah (swt) to refuse it comply.

You are in our prayers. We wish you the best.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

How Does Fasting in Islam Compare to Other Religions?

Ramadan Fast vs. Making-Up a Ramadan Fast: Equal Reward?


About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.