Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaikum
My family has invited guests over on the day of Arafat and so my parents have told me that none of us can fast as it will make the guests feel uncomfortable. However I feel guilty and was wondering whether it would still be better to fast as it is such an emphasised fast.
What should I do?
Answer:Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
In general, yes, if you have a sincere intention in the case of a valid excuse, then you will get the reward of the fast even if you do not actually keep it. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The intention of a believer is greater than his action.” [Tabarani]
As for breaking the fast for a guest, this would only be permitted if it occurs before midday, namely, the halfway point between Fajr and Maghrib. After that point, breaking it would be permitted for your parents until `Asr.
Note that all of this is in the case that the guest or host would be hurt or uncomfortable eating alone, and you are reasonably confident of making the fast up (qada’).
[`Ala’ al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya (174)]
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.