Do I Need to Perform Expiation for My Broken Fast?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

Years ago, while fasting in Ramadan, I fainted in the middle of my classroom. Upon waking, someone gave me something to eat, and I just ate it. Do I need to fast 60 days consecutively as a kaffara (expiation)?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

No. You are not required to perform the 60-day expiatory fast for eating in this situation.

Scenarios That Do Not Require Expiation

The fact that you had just come to from having fainted indicates one of three scenarios. In each scenario the expiatory fast is not required:

  1. If at the moment of eating you forgot that you were fasting, the fast of that day is valid assuming you did not eat again after that before sunset. [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]
  2. If you were aware of your fast and were in a semi-conscious state, the fast is broken but no expiatory fast is due. [Ibid.]
  3. If you were aware of your fast and were completely conscious, one could determine from the situation that you were in such difficulty regarding your health that would permit the breaking of the fast anyway, in which case, only a make-up is due. [Ibid.]

Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.