Valid Make Up Fasts

Ustadh Farid Dingle clarifies the rulings on making up fasts, intentions and actions, and reward from Allah, according to the Shafi‘i madhhab.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I became Muslim during the month of Ramadan 2012. When I became Muslim I was not told to fast so out of ignorance I didn’t fast that Ramadan. As time went on and I began to learn more I realized I had to make these days up. At the time I decided to start making them up I was under the impression that I had to fast 2 consecutive months for each day missed. When I started to study (Shafi‘i) fiqh I found this to be incorrect. I had already fasted about a month consecutively before I found out the ruling and stopped, would this time I fasted count at all towards my make ups? Or is it invalid because the ruling wasn’t carried out correctly? Please advise.

Jazak Allah khayr



Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

In the Shafi‘i school, that wouldn’t count because the intention was to expiate and not to make-up the fast. This is because of the hadith, ‘Actions are only by intentions.’ [Bukhari and Muslim]

That said, you would get the reward for fasting a whole month regardless, even if it didn’t technically count as the obligatory fasts. Allah Most High says, ‘So He answered them saying, ‘Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female.’ [3:195]

So, just work out exactly how many days of Ramadan 2012 you have to make them up, and just make them up before this coming Ramadan, even if not consecutively. Try to get them done soon as the days are still short, which makes it much easier.

I pray this helps.



Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Can I Make up Fasts Even If My Parents Prevent Me From Doing So?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I want to make up my fasts from previous years however I am only allowed by my parents to do so once a week. It causes my mother mental and emotional distress every time it comes up. Should I push it? Is this shirk in any way?

Answer:Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in. May Allah reward you greatly for making up your missed fasts.

Making up obligatory acts of worship

The scholars state that worship missed for a valid excuse must be made up, but it is not obligatory to make them up immediately, though recommended. Worship missed without a valid excuse must be made up immediately. [Bushra al Karim]

‘Immediately’ means spending all one’s time and efforts to make them up, other than the necessary aspects of life such as eating, sleeping, working etc. In practical terms however, the most realistic way to make up worship is to estimate the amount that one can maintain and continue on it, increasing when possible.

Obeying parents

The general rule in regards to obeying parents is that one does not have to obey them when they forbid one from performing obligatory acts or confirmed sunnas, in the same way one does not listen to them if they order one to do something prohibited.

What is obligatory however, irrespective of what they are asking one to do or not do, is that one treats their parents with kindness and patience. You can find more information about obeying/disobeying parents here.

Wisdom and Practicalities

Given the above, the basic ruling is that you are not obliged to comply to your parents’ wishes that you only make up one fast a week. However, how you practically go about this must be coupled with wisdom, especially given your living conditions.

You’ve mentioned that there is no valid reason they are forbidding you to make up more fasts. However, there may be some fear there that they haven’t expressed, even if it is irrational.

Perhaps the best approach would be talk to them again (or get someone else to talk to them that they will listen to). Explain to them that it is of the utmost importance that you make these fasts up, and that as an adult you are obliged to make them up as soon as possible.

If they get very upset or distressed, or life at home becomes unbearable, then perhaps try to reach a mutual agreement that will be more comfortable with them, such as increasing 2 days each week for example. If they are worried about your health, then assure them that you’ll take a rest if you show any signs being unwell.

Do your best to stick to your intentions as much as is possible, while showing your parents good character and an easy nature. Inshallah, over time they will accept your firmness and determination.

As for shirk, no, this doesn’t enter into your case.

May Allah make things easy for you, and grant you tawfiq in fulfilling your obligations to Him and your parents.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Do I Need to Make up Fasts That My Parents Did Not Allow Me to Keep?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: During my first two Ramadans when I was 12 and 13 years old, my parents did not allow me to fast. They were worried about how it might affect my growth.

Am I required to make up those two months of fasting?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. MashaAllah, it is wonderful to see a young person so keen to please Allah. May Allah increase your love for Him and make you amongst the foremost of the righteous.


Yes, it is obligatory for you to pay back the days of fasting which you missed after you reached puberty.

Please do this slowly, to avoid burnout. You can start by fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and adjust accordingly. Involve your family in this so they can be a source of support for you. See this as a beautiful opportunity to draw closer to Allah.

Forgive your parents, if you haven’t already. I encourage you to start completing the online courses on SeekersHub to help solidify your foundations. Start with a course on Islamic law (either Shafi’i or Hanafi), and work your way up. Encourage your family to participate too, so that they can be on the same spiritual page as you.

I pray that you and your family will increase in love and sincere concern for each other, for the sake of Allah Most High.

Please refer to the following link:
Brief Miscellaneous Q & A Relating to Fasting


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Azlan Mohamed

Can I Delay Making up Fasts After This Ramadan? [Shafi’i]

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.

Shuaib Ally

Photo: sriram bala

Can I Pay Money to Make Up for My Fasts?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I would like to know the amount per day to be paid for missed obligatory fasts that I have not made up.

If there is no stipulated amount is there a way to calculate this rate per fasts missed?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

If you have missed fasts in your dues, you need to make these up. There is no expiation for delaying them until the following Ramadan.

Please also see: The Complete Guide to Fasting

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Make Up 12 Years of Fasts Missed Due to an Illness?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: I am an epileptic. I could not fast for around 12 years or so because I could not stay without food and I could not get up in between my sleep. But for the past 4 years I have been fasting with lot of care. My family take a lot of care during this period. I am not yet cured and have no idea when I can fast like any other individual and also make night prayers.
How I should make up my fasts? Everyone advices against it, even my doctor, but I can’t accept it.
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Calculate the number of days you have missed, make a plan to make them up with consistency and with taking the best means, and then strive to complete them asking Allah at every moment for sincerity and acceptance.
However, you should take the doctor’s word into consideration, and proceed in a sustainable manner, verifying with local, reliable scholars if need be. The religion is mercy. Try your best, and be optimistic about what Allah has in store for you.
May Allah give you ever cure and well-being in this life and the next.
Please see: Making up Obligatory Fasts and Prayers and: When Does An Illness Allow One To Break The Fast? and: How Can I Benefit From Ramadan When I Can’t Fast Due to Being Ill?
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Dealing With a Terminal Illness and Impending Death

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I have a family member who is suffering from a terminal illness and does not have long to live. I would like to know what a person in this situation should focus on with regards to their Islamic worship during the last months of life e.g seek forgiveness, making up fasts???


Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,

As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Thank you for your question. I ask Allah Most High to make it easy for your loved one and the family.

A person with a terminal illness should prepare to meet Allah. This means rectifying themselves and their life by doing whatever Allah has enjoined on them that they had not been doing thus far, and refraining from what He has prohibited against that they haven’t yet left off. They should keep up what good they were doing with even more sincerity and focus as best they can.

They should take account of and fulfill any outstanding duties owed to Allah (such as making up missed prayers, compensating for missed fasts, zakat, Hajj, etc) and to people (debts, trusts, borrowed items, etc). If these cannot all be fulfilled, they should still intend to do so while striving their utmost, and seek forgiveness for what remains from Allah, and from the people they owed to.

Such a person should make tawbah (repentance) from all previous sins and resolve never to return to them. They should make peace with everyone around them, apologize to those they ever hurt, and completely forgive those who ever hurt them. Not a grain of negativity against any human or selfish desire from the world should remain in their heart.

They should prepare inwardly by increasing in remembrance (dhikr), gratitude and intimate discourse with Allah. They should work to free their hearts of any bitterness or complaint against what Allah had decreed for them in life, thinking only the best of Allah, and hope for the best from Him in what is to come. They should strive to understand the wisdom behind what they are going through, and approach Allah with serenity and peace of heart.

If possible, they should not leave off being productive in their daily lives: they should continue to pursue constructive endeavors with excellence, maintain a good appearance and diet, and enjoy Allah’s blessings. We are only on this earth for some time to please Allah in whatever we do.

Finally, we must remember that everyone’s life is terminal: the end is near for all of us. Allah Most High says, “Every soul shall taste death,” [Quran 3:185] and so this is a reminder for each of us. I ask Allah Most High to make things easy for your loved one, and your family, and keep everyone strong.

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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