How to Expiate for Fasts I Have Broken over the Years?
Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
I have broken the fasts of Ramadhan for probably seven years without any valid reason, but I do not remember the exact number of days and years. I have broken, for example, 1 day in the first year, 20 days in another year, 15 days in the next, and so on.
Now I regret and have made Tawba, but I do not know how to make them up. Do I need to make a fast of 60 consecutive days for every single day I have broken? Or should I make it for every month of Ramadan or every 30 days?
Besides making up fasts, do I have to pay Kaffara? If yes, how?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Breaking one’s fast by eating, drinking, or sexual intercourse intentionally in the month of Ramadan, if one already intended from the night to fast that day, necessitates qada (make-up fasts) and kaffara (60 days of expiatory fasts). [Tahtawi, Hashiya al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah]
The makeup fasts should be performed first, and it is recommended to follow them up with the expiatory fasts immediately. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Sixty expiatory fasts must be done in succession. Therefore one should time them so that no days prohibited from fasting – such as the days of ‘Eid -come within that period. The only exception is the days of a woman’s menstruation or post-natal bleeding, as it is unlikely for a woman to go sixty days without menstruation.
One Set of Expiatory Fasts Suffices for Multiple Ramadans
Suppose one has repetitively broken their fast in Ramadan and has not performed the expiatory fasts for the first of those breakings. In that case, one set of expiatory fasts is sufficient, even if the prior breakings were from more than one Ramadan. This is according to Imam Muhammad (Allah have mercy on him), and this opinion is the relied-upon position. [Tahtawi, Hashiya al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah citing Bazzaziyya, Mujtaba and others.]
Due to your multiple breaking fasts of multiple Ramadans, you must calculate, with reasonable surety, the number of days you did not fast and make them up. After that, you must fast for sixty consecutive days, timing it so that no prohibited days fall within that time. This will suffice you in your obligation to rectify your situation. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
Hope this helps
And 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.
في رد المحتار لابن عابدين:
قَضَى) فِي الصُّوَرِ كُلِّهَا (وَكَفَّرَ
وَإِنَّمَا قَدَّمَ الْقَضَاءَ إشْعَارًا بِأَنَّهُ يَنْبَغِي أَنْ يُقَدِّمَهُ عَلَى الْكَفَّارَةِ وَيُسْتَحَبُّ التَّتَابُعُ كَمَا فِي الْهِدَايَةِ قُهُسْتَانِيٌّ.
في البحر الرائق لابن نجيم
وَعَلَّلَهُ فِي التَّجْنِيسِ بِأَنَّ الْغَالِبَ أَنَّ الَّذِي يَصُومُ الْقَضَاءَ وَالْكَفَّارَةَ يَبْدَأُ بِالْقَضَاءِ، وَفِيهِ إشْكَالٌ لِلْمُحَقِّقِ مَذْكُورٌ فِي فَتْحِ الْقَدِيرِ
في حاشية الطحطاوي علي مراقي الفلاح
ولو تكرر فطره ولم يكفر للأول تكفيه واحدة ولو في رمضانين عند محمد وعليه الاعتماد بزازية ومجتبى وغيرهما