Diabetes, driving and fasting during Ramadan: the interplay between secular and religious law

Nazim Ghouri, Sufyan Hussain, Ruzwan Mohammed, Salem Arifi Beshyah, Tahseen A Chowdhury, Naveed Sattar, Aziz Sheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A large proportion of the Muslim population fasts during Ramadan. The risk of hypoglycemia is increased with fasting during Ramadan in people with diabetes who are on insulin and insulin secretagogues. Therefore, the combination of fasting with diabetes and driving presents a challenging situation, with legal implications for such individuals and their healthcare professionals. This novel, narrative, non-systematic review discusses the importance of addressing hypoglycemia in fasting with reference to secular legal guidance on driving with diabetes. We discuss religious aspects relating to fasting and driving in Islam. While there is no clear guidance or legal position on diabetes and driving for individuals who are fasting, Islamic law provides a logical framework to address this. Healthcare professionals need to raise and facilitate discussions on this often-overlooked topic with people with diabetes who are planning on fasting to minimize the potential for public harm. For some individuals fasting perhaps should be avoided when driving and that this religiously compatible position would best be adopted when one is dependent on driving for livelihood. Ultimately further research on glycemic control and management when fasting and driving, as well as a formal legal guidance on this topic, is required to safeguard healthcare professionals and the public from the potential dangers of driving with diabetes and fasting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e000520
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2018


  • Journal Article
  • Review


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