How Should I Make Up for Negligence in Obligatory Fasts?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Can I give sixty meals to one underprivileged family as a kaffara (penalty) for breaking an obligatory fast intentionally?


In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

In the Shafi‘i School, the expiation is only for fasts broken by deliberate sexual intercourse. However, the Hanafi School holds that it is obligatory to vitiate the fast for other reasons as well. [Nawawi, Majmu’]

How the Fasting Expiation Works

In addition to making up the fast, an expiation is obligatory for fast days of Ramadan that are deliberately vitiated by sexual intercourse. The legal occasion of the offense is the particular day of fasting, so if it were committed on two separate days, two separate expiations would be necessary. However, if it were committed twice in one day, there would be only one expiation.

The expiation consists of freeing a sound enslaved Muslim, or if not possible, then fasting the days of two consecutive months. If this is impossible, the expiation is to feed sixty unfortunate (0.51 liters of food to each unfortunate). If one cannot do this, the expiation remains an unperformed obligation upon the person concerned.

Can One Give Sixty Meals to One Person?

In the Kaffara for Zihar and making love to one’s wife during the daytime of Ramadan, it is obligatory to feed sixty underprivileged persons. This is the view of the majority of scholars. Therefore, adherence to it should take precedence as the four schools of thought have agreed on it based on the apparent meaning of the Quranic verse, “Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will take you to task for the oaths which ye swear in earnest. The expiation thereof is the feeding of ten of the needy with the average of that wherewith ye feed your own folk or the clothing of them.” [Quran, 5:89]

please refer to the fatwa here:
Ruling on Giving the Value of Expiatory Gifts to one person

Al-Imam al-Muzani said, “It isn`t permissible that the person liable for the Kaffara feeds less than ten underprivileged persons. He (Al-Muzani) objected to the opinion that if he fed a hundred and twenty Muds (A standard measure of grain that equals 543 grams) to a single underprivileged person over sixty days, it avails him. Still, if they were less than sixty, it doesn`t. He (Al-Muzni) said, I see that you have made one underprivileged person equal to sixty, although Allah, the Almighty, said, “and call to witness two just men among you.” [Quran, 65:2] If one person delivered the same testimony over two days, is that considered equal to the testimony of two persons? If he said that it isn`t permissible because Allah has specified the number of witnesses, I would reply by saying that Allah has specified the number of underprivileged persons concerning the due Kaffara (expiation).” [Mukhtasar al-Muzani, 8/399]

I pray that this is of benefit

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.