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 Forum Index > Special Issues > Muslim Women Serving in the US Armed Forces
 Fasting while deployed, training, etc.
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By: Azrael (offline) on Friday, November 14 2008 @ 12:05 PM EST (Read 10071 times)  

Assalam Alaykum; I'm here today to see what people think about what those in the military should do when they're deployed and it is a prescribed time to fast? As being deployed, of course depending on one's MOS/rate matters, this can be an extremely stressful time both physically, mentally and emotionally, and what is the feeling toward fasting when you're deployed and can easily burn hundreds if not thousands of calories a day depending on your job. As i am one who wishes to become part of the spec ops community, I'm wondering what I should do should I be deployed or, as will be the case, training for one of the hardest jobs possible and burning thousands of calories a day? I'm sure it would be preferred to fast, but as one is constantly challenging themselves physically and mentally in the hardest ways possible in order to succeed, what is the preferred thing to do? I appreciate everyone's input on the matter, have a good day, Salaam.

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By: Robert Lamon (offline) on Sunday, November 16 2008 @ 10:28 PM EST  
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As salaam alaikum, I would recommend that you not fast, where you are deployed to a combat zone, if your job requires you to be extremely active and attentive to details in extreme levels of heat, and also because of the damage to internal organs, while being overly exertived.

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Director, Central Region

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By: Jessica A Armstrong (offline) on Wednesday, November 19 2008 @ 07:42 AM EST  
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Salaam Azrael, I must concurr with Brother Robert, If you are deployed in a combat zone, especially part of a unit that is constantly "outside the wire" or in harms way then for your own personal safety I would recommend to abstain of Fasting until you are back home and can make up the fast. Islam is about moderation where if your own personal safety is in danger and you cannot remove yourself easily from that danger then please take care of yourself and do not fast until you can safely do so. As I have noted in a different post, I was deployed this year wduring the first part of Ramadan and I was lucky that my chain of command let me change the mandatory PT hours for myself into the night instead of 0630, like everyone else. I still went to that PT too, but I handed out water and stayed on the sidelines. Again, your personal safety in a deployment zone is a top priority and yes, do try to keep up with your faith and all the requirements, but do not put yourself into bodily danger. (I do hope this helps, and please note that I am not a sholar and to get sholary advice you would have to contact one of them) Waleikum Salaam

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By: Keith R. Williams (offline) on Thursday, December 18 2008 @ 10:13 PM EST  
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Hi Brother Azrael, wa alaykum assalam. The brothers and sisters are correct. You should not put yourself in danger for the fast and you can make up for what you missed. [2:184] Specific days (are designated for FASTING); if one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted. Those who can fast, but with great difficulty, may substitute feeding one poor person for each day of breaking the fast. If one volunteers (more righteous works), it is better. But FASTING is the best for you, if you only knew. Here is one of the best hadith that I can find on the matter. Fasting Malik :: Book 18 : Hadith 18.7.22 Yahya related to me from Malik from Sumayy, the mawla of Abu Bakr ibn Abd ar-Rahman, from Abu Bakr ibn Abd ar-Rahman from one of the companions of the Messenger of Allah, that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ordered everyone to break the fast on the journey he made in the year of the conquest saying, "Be strong for your enemy," while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, kept on fasting. Abu Bakr said that the one who related this to him said, "I saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, pouring water over his head at al-Arj, either from thirst or from the heat. Then some one said to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 'Messenger of Allah, a group of people kept on fasting when you did.' Then when the Messenger of Allah was at al-Kadid, he asked for a drinking-bowl and drank, and everyone broke the fast." I had the same issue during my deployment in Iraq last year in Aug-Sept 2007. It was very hot. I had committed to myself that I would complete the fast but take each day and hour at a time knowing that if I felt bad that I was in no danger because I had water readily available just in case I felt weak or dizzy I could immediately break my fast if needed. Alhamduillah, I was able to complete each day with no problems. The secret is you have to wake up very early for breakfast before Fajr prayer about an hour and a half to get a good breakfast and plenty of fluids like a camel. Don't eat too much but just a normal breakfast and the key is get down about two bottles of water and a gatorade or two if you can. That got me thru the day and I still was not hungry or thirsty after maghrib prayer. Also, in the evening eat a good dinner and plenty of fluids. Again, do not over eat and don't eat an extra meal to make up for the lunch. I did my P.T. in the evenings also. I was able to workout very good and felt extra energy for my workouts every night. I worked out around 9p.m and sometimes I worked out just before maghrib prayers when I had a lot of energy but most times I worked out after dinner had digested around 9 or 10 pm. It is okay to make up your fast at another time brother. You only have to do what you can and are able to do. That is the beauty of Islam. Here are a couple more ahadith where the Prophet (PBUH) broke the fast during military campaigns before Mecca during Ramadan. Military Expeditions led by the Prophet (pbuh) (Al-Maghaazi) Bukhari :: Book 5 :: Volume 59 :: Hadith 574 Narrated Ibn Abbas : The Prophet left Medina (for Mecca) in the company of ten-thousand (Muslim warriors) in (the month of) Ramadan, and that was eight and a half years after his migration to Medina. He and the Muslims who were with him, proceeded on their way to Mecca. He was fasting and they were fasting, but when they reached a place called Al-Kadid which was a place of water between 'Usfan and Kudaid, he broke his fast and so did they. (Az-Zuhri said, "One should take the last action of Allah's Apostle and leave his early action (while taking a verdict.") Military Expeditions led by the Prophet (pbuh) (Al-Maghaazi) Bukhari :: Book 5 :: Volume 59 :: Hadith 575 Narrated Ibn Abbas: Allah's Apostle set out towards Hunain in the month of Ramadan and some of the people were fasting while some others were not fasting, and when the Prophet mounted his she-camel, he asked for a tumbler of milk or water and put it on the palm of his hand or on his she-camel and then the people looked at him; and those who were not fasting told those who were fasting, to break their fast (i.e. as the Prophet had done so). Ibn Abbas added, "The Prophet went (to Hunain) in the year of the Conquest (of Mecca)." wa alaykum assalam

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