fainting and fasting

Q: Asalaamu-Alaikum,

Since a few years ago I began to faint every so often. Due to a slightly increased occurence early this year I sought the Dr’s advice. After checks at the hospital I was diagnosed with Vasovagal Syncope.

The cause is low blood pressure. It is  not enough to make medication mandatory, but if something triggers a slight drop in blood pressure I can faint. The worst consequence is hurting myself when I pass out. The triggers are things like dehydration, anxiety, low salt or sugar levels in my  blood. I have been told to keep hydrated and add salt to my diet.

With regards to Ramzaan, I am not sure where this leaves me. Things like dehydration etc are a given during this month, but as I said it is not a very serious issue and occasionally occurs. I am worried that being aware of my weakness and hunger will increase my anxiety and altogether make it worse.

I will seek the Dr’s advice, but what is the religious viewpoint on this? Should I attempt to fast but stop if I feel faint, should I make it up Kadza in the winter months, or am I not to attempt it? I honestly don’t know which applies to me and feel that I am in a bit of a grey area. I would be grateful for any light you could shed on this. Many thanks, Salaam.
Time: Wednesday July 27, 2011 at 3:44 am

A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

Hoping this email reaches you in good spirits, Ameen.

Your second paragraph seems rather serious, thus I am to say the following: If you feel that fasting would aggravate your matters, then give your fidya and make up your fast when health conditions improve. In your case, keep a single fast at a time. Example, fast every Tuesday and Saturday, rather than single day, etc. Keep as many as you can in Ramadhan but do not adversely affect your health. Work in conjunction with a good Muslim doctor’s recommendation.

You seem like a good person, may Allah (SWT) make matter easy for you, Ameen.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

One response to “fainting and fasting

  1. Thank you SOOOOO much for this post. I was diagnosed with the exact same condition and was feeling terribly tortured by the thought of not fasting. Because I am a young adult, it was difficult for me to accept the fact that, although I am not an elderly person, I do have a condition that legitimately excuses me from the mandatory fast. Jazakallah Khair!