*How to compensate for missed fasts

By Ishola Balogun

As-Salamun alaykum waramotullahi wabarakatuh!

In the last two editions, we have been talking about those who may not fast during this month of Ramadan as a result of different conditions and circumstances. Today, we will conclude this topic with another group of people that fasting is not mandatory on. These are the aged and people with senility.


The aged are considered to have lost their strength and as a result of age, they are becoming weaker by the day. So, Allah has permitted that they should not fast if they cannot afford to but have to feed the poor. See Quran Q2 :184. These old men and women are only enjoined to feed the poor. An aged man will feed a poor person for every day of the month.

Again, those who have become insane are also exempted. Their families don’t have to do fidyah on their behalf because such people, by their condition will not be held responsible for their action, until they become sane. Although we have some people with periodic madness, they may fast when they are of sound mind. Again, it is important to note that feeding the poor as compensation for fasting is done by giving food to the poor and not by giving money. Fidyah is done with food. You can only give money to a caterer or somebody to prepare the food for the poor but not giving money to the poor. Fidyah is not zakaat.

I wish to also state that those with hidden reason like the menstruating women, must not eat in public places. Eating in the public by Muslims during Ramadan is discouraged, except when the reason for not fasting is obvious to those in the area.

Lastly, in response to a question a reader asked yesterday on whether it is right to do fidyah on behalf of a deceased parent. I want to restate that if a sick person recovered from illness during Ramadan and was unable to pay back the missed number of days of fast before he died, his children or close relative can do fidyah for him on the number of days that he was ill that he could not fast.

But such fidyah must be done with the deceased money. If he had no money, part of his property can be sold for that purpose. Again, his relative can fast on his behalf.

The Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Whoever dies owing some fasts, let his heir fast on his behalf.” May Allah accept this as act of Ibadan. Amin.



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