Is it permissible for restaurants to remain open all day before iftar in the month of Ramadan and to serve those who do not fast?

Details of the Question

Is it permissible for restaurants to remain open all day before iftar in the month of Ramadan and to serve those who do not fast?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Ramadan is the holiest month of Muslims. It is necessary for all believers to show respect to this month. If a person is travelling or if a woman is in menstruation period, they should not eat in a place where other people see them. If a restaurant is open in Ramadan, it is possible that people who have no excuses will eat there along with travelers and women who are in menstruation and puerperium periods. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful.

However, it is permissible to keep a restaurant open in Ramadan during the day in order to serve food to children, travelers, the Muslims for whom fasting is not fard and non-Muslims or to prepare food for iftar. Therefore, it is permissible for places like restaurants and patisseries to sell and serve food to excused people like women, travelers and ill people in Ramadan. However, it is not permissible to sell and serve food to a person who has to fast but eats deliberately. For, it is a sin to help a sin to be committed.

If a person who runs a restaurant, patisserie, etc in a bus terminal, city center, etc, it is permissible for him to sell and serve food to the customers who are travelers or who do not have to fast or to non-Muslims. However, if the customer is a person that has to fast, he cannot sell or serve food to him.   

(see Halil GÜNENÇ, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar)

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