Q. Is it permissible to participate in the current Hunger Strikes coordinated in support and solidarity for the basic human rights of Palestinian prisoners imprisoned unjustly in Palestine?
A. A hunger strike is a method of non-violent resistance or pressure in which participants ‘fast’ as an act of political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt in others, usually with the objective to achieve a specific goal, such as a policy change.
Accordingly, a hunger strike is a political method implemented to achieve a specific goal. In terms of the current Hunger Strikes taking place across South Africa, it has been coordinated with the goal and objective to defend and demand the basic human rights of Palestinians held in prisons in Palestine.
In terms of Shariah, there is no prohibition in coordinating and participating in such hunger strikes. It will simply be permissible (Mubaah), if there is no fear of putting one’s life in danger or leading to suicide. (Fataawa Fareediyyah 1/554, Fataawa Haqqaaniyyah 2/358, Kifaayatul Mufti 3/491, Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah 4/614, Shaami 6/338)
Note: A hunger strike does not constitute a Shari’ fast. Hence, all the laws of Shari’ fasts will not apply in this regard.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa