The General Regulations of Acting upon Licenses (Rukhas)
I want the sheikh to talk even briefly about licenses and their regulations. We see on the internet strange kinds of licenses. Some people allow performing the Prayer before its due time and some people go with the time of Mecca with regard to breaking fasting. We need guidelines for these people even if some of them have excuses.
For example, in some districts here in France `Isha Prayer comes late at some months and hence some people give fatwa that only one hour should be observed [after Maghrib] and then one may perform it. But I wonder how could we observe the original timing in other Prayers and disregard it with regard to `Isha Prayer? Moreover, some people allow following the timing of Mecca with regard to breaking the fast on days of long daytime as in Norway and the like countries. We need a brief word about the general regulations of acting upon licenses. We studied this issue, but we need the sheikh to shed more light.
I would like to say that license stands for a ruling changed to another easier one due to some excuse in spite of the existence of the original effective cause. We have to take all these details into consideration. If the original effective cause is no longer existent, this cannot be called license. Accordingly, breaking one’s fasting while traveling is a license because the original effective ruling, which is the obligation of fasting, is still existent and therefore if he fasts, his fasting will be valid. This is license which is regulated by a set of regulations. None can leave out the original ruling unless the reasons of the license are ascertained. The original ruling is the basic universal principle as al-Shatibit said. This universal principle cannot be broken if one is in doubt about the license. Only if the reason of the license is ascertained, one can move to the license.
With regard to the issues the questioner asked about, those who break their fasting according to the timing of Mecca actually do not have license to do that. They have to observe fasting during their daytime and break it when the sun sets. He also mentioned the issue of the long day which causes big problem these days. As long as there is day and night, there is no text from the lawgiver that indicates the validity of not observing fasting in this case. But if one finds during the day that he suffers hardship, he may break his fasting in that day to make it up later just as the case with the hardship of traveling and of sickness; this is the opinion of the Hanifites who said that severe hunger and hardship allow breaking fasting. The Malikites also a similar fatwa to shepards and to those who dig wells.
Thus the ruling of this case should be ascertained. I hope that they understand this. The sign is the day and the night. They have to fast during daytime; but if someone finds hardship, such as workers in factories and trains and the like cases, such a person can break his fast during the day if he suffers hardship that makes him too weak to work. Thus breaking the fast in this case is based on this hardship not on the difference of timings or the length of the day, for fasting is obligatory during daytime.