Optional fasting cannot be substituted for missed days of Ramadan
Fatwa No: 81734


A woman of 65 years asked about substituting days she didn't fast in Ramadan from many years ago, but she always fasted six days in Shawwal but not making up the missed days in Ramadan. She also fasted Mondays and Thursdays usually; she is trying now to substitute those days, which are many months. Can those days she fasted, without intending to substitute them for Ramadan be considered as days missed ? Or must she fast or give money for all the days missed before ? Thanks


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.


Since this woman has observed the fast while intending supererogatory fast, so considering those days as missed days of Ramadan is incorrect since it is confirmed that ‘Umar   may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Indeed, deeds are judged by intentions, and a person gets the reward of what he had intended.".[Al-Bukhari]

Since, she had observed optional fast, then it is not permissible to consider it as missed days of Ramadan. She must fast all the missed days of Ramadan. In addition to this, she has to feed a needy person for every day as expiation since she had delayed fasting before the next Ramadan came. However, if this delay was for a sound reason, then she has to make up the missed days only. We would like to inform this woman that whoever is able to fast has to fast and nothing can replace it.

Allah knows best.

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