The categories of people (according to their defective circumstances) in fasting

Section Five – The categories of people (according to their defective circumstances) in fasting

In this section read about:
1. The fast of a young child who has not yet attained puberty
2. Not having to fast whilst travelling

1. The fast of a young child who has not yet attained puberty

Question: What is the ruling of the fast of a young (child) who has not yet attained puberty?

Response: The fasting of a young (child), as has preceded us, is not obligatory upon him. However, it is upon one who is in charge of his affairs to command him to (fast) and thereby prepare him (for it). And the fast of such a young (child) is (regarded) as a sunnah, in that there is a reward for him fasting, however, there is no sin upon him should he stop.Shaykh Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 237/Fatwa No.182) also, (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, Volume 1/Pages 493)

2. Not having to fast whilst travelling

Question: For which type of journey is not having to fast permissible?

Response: The journey for which it is permissible to shorten the prayer and not fast is approximately 83 kilometres. There are some amongst the scholars who do not specify a distance for the journey, rather, all that is commonly understood as a journey amongst the people constitutes a journey. The Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa-sallaam) used to shorten the prayer if he travelled 3 faraasikh (plural of farsakh, i.e. 3 miles – which is equal to 9 miles). And for the impermissible journey, it is not acceptable to shorten the prayer or not to fast because a journey (undertaken) for (any) evil acts is not appropriate for (such a) permissibility. However, some of the people of knowledge do not differentiate between a journey (undertaken) for (any) evil acts or a journey in obedience (to Allaah) for the generality of the evidence (available). And (ultimately) the (complete) knowledge is with Allaah.

Shaykh Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 306/Fatwa no.249), also (al-Fataawa libni ‘Uthaymeen, Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1/Pages 179-180)