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Exams and Fasting

University students studying and writing exams may be wondering if they can be excused from fasting.

Most fatwa sites say that fasting is an obligation. Since taking exams is not listed as a reason for exemption in the classical sources , there’s a presumption that one still writes the exam while fasting. In addition, many students report that they can study for exams and fast at the same time.

However, that’s not the case for everyone. There are ways to make the fasting easier. For example, students can practice good habits, eating well and eating healthy foods before and after fasting. They can wake up early in the morning for suhoor. Perhaps they do not need to perform tasks that are nonessential to Ramadan, like the taraweeh prayers.

Some fatwas exercise more leniency on this matter. Shaikh Ahmad Kutty, one of the most well-known scholars in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), has a website to A student asked the following, “Students have these long hours of fasting and exams coming up. Can I forgo the fasting during that period?" He suggested that if this is a serious problem for students, they can delay fasting until later in the year, perhaps in the wintertime when the hours are shorter.

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