Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally
Question: I have been trying to make up fasts for some years now. I wanted to make all of them up this year, but I feel this is becoming difficult as I have to also dedicate myself to my family and my job. Is it okay to do what I can and make up the remaining days and pay the fidya after this Ramadan?
Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum,
I pray that you are well. May Allah reward you for attempting to make up your missed fasts, and may He facilitate this for you.
When can one Make Up Missed Fasts?
In terms of permissibility, one can delay the fasts they must make up, but must be performed at any time before the next Ramadan.
As a practical matter, one should strive to make them up as soon as possible, such that they do not run out of time or end up struggling to complete them.
Not doing so before the following Ramadan
If one does not do so before the next Ramadan, barring a reason that would have prevented the fast in the first place, one must pay an expiation (fidya) for each day of missed fast. This fidya would recur every Ramadan that the fast is delayed beyond.
By default, one is sinful for not making up the fasts if one is able to do so. However, whether or not God considers a specific person’s actions blameworthy is something left up to His grace, as He is in a better position to assess a given person’s life circumstances.
God knows best.