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Do I Need to Make up My Missed Obligatory Fasts or Is an Expiatory Payment a Valid Option?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalaamu-alaykum wa rahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,

Due to personal circumstances I have been finding it difficult to make up my missed obligatory fasts from Ramadhan. Will expiatory payments (fidya) be a valid option for me?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

May Allah Most High grant you strength and facilitation.

The upshot is that you need to make up (qada’) these fasts, and making expiatory payments (fidya) will not suffice to lift the duty.

My advice would be to use some of the blessed days of the year to fast, intending therein to seek Allah Most High by (1) fulfilling what is due from you, (2) benefiting from the blessings of those days, and (3) increasing in gratitude for the blessing of being able to fast. Such days include the tenth Muharram, the day of `Ashura, the six days of Shawwal, the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijjah, notwithstanding recurring blessings such as, the white days, Mondays and Thursdays and a number of other occasions.

Pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah) [see: How Does One Perform the Prayer of Need (salat al haja)], and ask for facilitation and success. And remember that the shorter days of Winter are fast approaching, and you could do worse than benefiting from them.

Please also see: Fasting Six Days of Shawwal- Ruling Whether Consecutive Combining Intentions, Wisdoms and What if Unable to Fast-Faraz Rabbani and: The Complete Guide to Fasting and: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Dua

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Sickness and Expiation (Fidya) for Missed Prayers

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I didn’t know fidya includes missed fard prayers too. Can you please give some insight regarding this? My dad passed away two years ago and he has never missed his fard prayers or fasts to my knowledge until he got sick. He had a stroke and was affected by the sickness for 9 years. He was not able to talk, walk or comprehend hence he was totally depended on us. Does this rule of fidya apply to him for his missed prayers as he didn’t deliberately miss the prayers but due to his sickness.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

If your father was sick such that he was unable to pray even by head movements, and he died in that state (without recovery), then no compensation (fidya) would be due.

However, if he was able to pray with head movements and he did not, compensation (fidya) would need to be paid as per his bequest (wasiyya) and the money he left behind.

The Compensation (fidya)

The compensation (fidya) is the monetary equivalent of approximately 2kg of wheat for each prayer (which is six per day as the witr prayer is operationally obligatory).

When the money is insufficient or there was no bequest, and the family, for instance, would like to pay on behalf of the deceased, it would be permitted to fulfill this by giving a portion of the money (such as one day’s worth of prayers– approximately 12kg of wheat) to a poor person, and having them gift the money back to you. Then, one would give the money to them again (which would pay for the second day of missed prayers), and again they would gift the money back to you. One would repeat this until all missed prayers have been compensated for.

If you cannot remember the exact number of prayers missed, you would make a reasonable, safe judgment, and then pay that amount.

[`Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

See also: Prayer Rulings for the Sick, Injured, and Hospitalized
and: How To Make Expiatory Payments (Fidya) To Compensate For the Missed Fasts and Prayers of a Deceased?

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Too Sick to Fast in Ramadan, Too Poor to Pay the Expiatory Payment (Fidya)

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I was recently asked this question: if an individual cannot fast during Ramadan due to health issues but is too poor to donate the requisite amount to the needy, are they exempt from both fasting and the charity? What should they do?

 

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I pray you are well.

In the Hanafi school, the expiatory payment (fidya) for missed fasts during Ramadan only applies to someone who has a sickness that prevents him from fasting and he does not have any hope of recovering from such a sickness. [Ibn `Abidin, Hashiya]

In determining the above, one should consult a reliable, Muslim physician as well as local scholars aware of the legal details pertaining to this issue.

Chronic Illness, Fasting, & Fidya

If such a chronic illness from which recovery is not expected is established, one is obliged to pay expiatory payments (fidya) for every missed Ramadan fast.

The expiatory payment is the monetary equivalent of 2.2 kg of wheat per fast. Again, one should consult a reliable local scholar to determine how much the monetary value of this would be.

A condition for this is that one possess sufficient wealth to actually pay these expiatory payments. If one is considered poor and unable to pay the expiatory payment then he should seek Allah’s forgiveness and have remorse for the non-fulfillment of such an obligation. [Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar; Ibn `Abidin, Hashiya]

However, it should be noted here that the expiatory payment is a very meager sum. One should take all means to try and pay it or some of it, even if it means spreading out such payments or attempting to save some wealth over a duration of time. Resorting to the ruling mentioned previously should only be done as a last resort when one is certain that one simply does not have the means to fulfill such payments or if such payments would lead to hardship in one’s life.

For further details regarding the expiatory payment, please see:

Long Term Illness That Prevents Fasting

Brief Overview of Expiatory Payments (Fidya)

Wassalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Brief Overview of Expiatory Payments (fidya)

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: Can you explain the rules of expiatory payments (fidya) and who it applies to?

Answer: Asslamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

The expiatory payment is a special form of charity given to a poor person where one has to pay for each day of missed fasts during Ramadan.

For every day of missed fasting one has to pay the value of approximately 2 kg of wheat. Please consult a local scholar on what the amount exactly is in your area.

In the Hanafi-school, the expiatory payment for Ramadan is only paid by “a person who is not able to fast at all.” This entails that fthe expiatory payment only applies for people whom, due to health considerations:

1.       Cannot fast in Ramadan and

2.       Cannot make up for the missed fasts at any other time of the year and

3.       Are not expected to ever regain the ability to make up for the missed fasts

All three conditions must be fulfilled. Otherwise one does not pay expiatory payments but has to perform the missing fasts.

This entails that:

  • Someone who misses out on a few days of fasting due to a temporary illness does not pay any expiatory payment.
  • Someone who accidentally or deliberately broke the fast does not pay any expiatory payment.
  • Someone who is unable to fast this year due to surgery or the like, but is expected to be able to fast next year does not pay any expiatory payment.
  • Someone who is unable to fast during the summer-months (long days), but can perform the make-up fasts in the winter moths (shorter days) does not pay any expiatory payment

If expiatory payment is given then it is a condition that the inability to fast remains until death. If someone was to regain his ability to fast after having paid then the expiatory payment will be rendered charity and one will have to perform make-up fasts instead.

Thus, in the Hanafi-school there is no expiatory payment for a pregnant or nursing woman who does not fast during Ramadan. She only has to perform make-up fasts. Similarly there is no expiatory payment if one was to delay making-up missed fasts for the current Ramadan until the next Ramadan entered.

As for your specific questions

– If one pays fidyah are they still supposed to make up the fast that was missed?

No. The expiatory payment is only paid when one is not able to fast at all.

– Is the expiatory payment for the old and the young alike?

Yes. If a young person due to health considerations is neither able to fast nor expected to regain the ability to fast, then he can pay the expiatory payment. The amount is the same as for an old person.

– If someone misses a day of the fasting and intends to make it up for sure are they exempt from paying the expiatory payment since they will be making up the missed days of fasting?

The expiatory payment is only due when one is not able to fast at all. Since one has the ability to perform a make-up fast then there is no expiatory payment.

– What is the amount to be paid for fidyah and does this amount differ depending on the madhab?

There is some difference of opinion on some of the details relating to the expiatory payment within different schools of though.

And Allah knows best,

[ref: Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Shaykhi Zadah, Majma al-Anhur; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; Tahtawi, Hashiyat Maraqi; Zailai, Tabyeen al-Haqa’iq]

Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Can My Sister Pay Expiatory Payments (fidya) For Missed Fasts Due To Her Diabetes?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: My sister-in-law has been diagnosed with diabetes and advised by her doctor not to fast. Does she have to fast? How much expiation does she have to pay if she cannot?

Answer: I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

1. It is not an “automatic” that every diabetic person is unable to fast. If you’re able to, encourage your sister-in-law to discuss her specific situation with a discerning scholar. Many doctors (fearing medical liability) err on the side of excessive caution in such matters.

2. If it is established that she is presently unable to fast, then there is no expiatory payment (fidya) for her to give, unless she is both elderly and the condition is not likely to ever improve.

[ref: Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

(Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Ramadan Course Forum)