Long-Term Illness that Prevents Fasting

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I was wondering if you could clarify the following matter regarding fasts. I am currently on medication, I have been taking it since I can remember. I take it twice a day and since it is very strong,I have to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Most probably I will always be eating it all my life, as I already have been doing so.

With regards to this problem, what do I do in compensating for my fasts, since I cannot fast? Please can you give me specific recommendations?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Please consult a reliable local scholar and physician to determine if there is any way to still fast despite your condition, such as by adjusting the medication dosage or times you have to take it, switching to another effective medication, seeking alternative modes of therapy, etc.

Also, see if you are able to make up the fasts when the days are shorter, and then still take your medication and requisite water before and after the fast.

If none of this is possible, then you would be considered someone with a chronic illness not expected to recover. The ruling for such a person is that if unable to fast, then for each missed day he must give fidya, i.e., roughly 2.2kg of wheat or its monetary equivalent to the poor. However, if at some point you get better and are able to fast, then you would have to make up all those days (even the days for which you paid the fidya). [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

In terms of general advice on how to make the most of Ramadan despite not being able to fast, please see the following:

How Can I Benefit From Ramadan When I Can’t Fast Due to Being Ill?

And Allah knows best.

Related Answer:

The Complete Guide to Fasting