Must I Perform Expiation for a Fast I Broke Due to Perceived Necessity?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

I suffer from anxiety and depersonalization. I go to a therapist and have a hard time doing everyday activities. Three years ago, while fasting during Ramadan, I got a panic attack and thought that if I didn’t drink water, I would die or something would happen to me. I took a sip of water, and the anxiety subsided. I am still unsure if I have to perform kaffara, pay fidya, or make up for the missed fast.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

No. You are not required to perform the expiation for breaking your fast due to a perceived need caused by a mental health problem. Just like any sickness that requires one to break one’s fast, mental health issues would also fall under this ruling. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

You are only required to make up the fast for that day. [Ibid.]

Please see:  Fasting: A Comprehensive SeekersGuidance Reader

Hope this helps

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.