A reminder on rulings regarding Qadha’ (make-up) fasts and offering Fidyah and Kaffarah (expiation for…
In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
A reminder on rulings regarding Qada (make-up) fasts and offering Fidyah and Kaffarah (expiation for missing fasts)
If one has missed any days of fasting during the month of Ramadan in the previous year, then it is a recommended precaution to make up those fasts before the next month of Ramadan.
If one has days of fast to make up, but intentionally does not make them up before the next month of Ramadan, the person is still held religiously liable (to make the days up at a later time) and must offer a Kaffarah for delaying the Qada for each day missed by feeding one poor person (as defined by the religious criteria).
Rulings on those Unable to Fast:
1- The elderly who are incapable of fasting are not required to perform Qada or pay Fidyah.
2- The elderly who are capable of fasting, but it causes them difficulty, must pay Fidyah and no Qada is required.
3- Pregnant women and nursing mothers who are unable to fast due to fear of harm on themselves or their unborn child must make up the fast and also pay Fidyah.
4- People temporarily unable to fast due to an illness or unbearable hardship, or due to traveling (residing less than ten days in the same location) must make up the fast and are not required to pay Fidyah.
5- For people permanently unable to fast due to a chronic disease, no Qada is required, but they must pay Fidyah.
Fidyah and the Kaffarah:
Fidyah: A compensation paid for not being able to fast. It is to feed one poor person for each day. The one who is incapable of fasting the entire month, thus, offers thirty (or twenty-nine depending on how many days were in the month in that year) meals to the poor.
The Kaffarah for delaying the Qada fasting: To feed a poor person for each day, in addition to being obligated to perform the Qada fast.
The Kaffarah for intentionally breaking one’s fast during the month of Ramadan: Either fasting for sixty days, or feeding sixty poor persons, for each day missed. This is in addition to being obligated to perform the Qada fast.
It is permissible to offer the entire Fidyah to a single poor person, but the Kaffarah of feeding sixty persons must be offered to distinct individuals.
When it comes to the Fidyah and the Kaffarah, nothing but “feeding” suffices. As for how much food, it is the average amount which we usually feed ourselves and our families. According to Islamic law, it must be the equivalent of at least 1.65 lbs. (750 grams) of wheat, rice or dates.
It is permissible to pay money with the condition of delegating to the appropriate entity, or trustworthy person, or the poor person him/herself, so long as one feels assured that the food will be bought and offered. It is not permissible to purchase anything but food with the money.
An Important Note:
Contrary to common belief, there are many poor and needy persons in the United States who are in need of food. For this reason, I.M.A.M., in collaboration with other charitable organizations in the United States, take on the responsibility of feeding the poor and needy in our country. You can send the required Fidyah and Kaffarah by clicking on the following links:
May God accept your fasts and good deeds, and may every year grant you the best of health and spirits.