Finds it Difficult to Make Up for Missed Days in Ramadan
Fatwa No: 85464

  • Fatwa Date:21-1-2003 - Thul-Qi'dah 19, 1423
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Question

Tell me what a Muslim must do if he/she finds it hard to make up days missed of last Ramadan (with valid reason). Can money be paid in charity? Please advise.

Answer

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

A person who breaks fasting in Ramadan for some legal reason such as traveling, sickness, menstruation …, is required to make up the days which he did not fast.

Allah says: {… and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days…} [Quran 2:185]

‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “We were in menses and we were ordered to make up for the fasting but we were not ordered to make up for the prayers.” [Muslim]

Then, it is not sufficient to feed the poor instead of fasting, since feeding is only required in case of being a patient or old, without possible regaining of ability to fast.

Allah Says (what means): {And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day].} [Quran 2:184]

Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said ‘This verse is not abrogated; it is about the old people who cannot observe fasting. So, they are to feed a needy person for each day.’ [Abu Dawood]

It is not permitted to delay making up the fast of the month of Ramadan to the other Ramadan without an Islamically valid excuse. If one delays without having a sound reason, he becomes sinful and is required to make up the days in addition to expiating for missing them, i.e. feeding a poor person for each day.

Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said regarding the person who delays making up the missed days of Ramadan without any legal reason till the next Ramadan: ‘One has to fast this present Ramadan with people and has also to make up for the missed days and to feed a poor person for each day as well.’

[Ad-Daaraqutni with a good chain of narrators]

The saying of a companion is like a Marfoo’ Hadeeth (traceable in ascending order of Hadeeth to Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and this is the ruling according to Muslim scholars.

Thus, it becomes clear that a Muslim has to make up for the missed days (i.e. which he broke fasts) due to legal reasons, and it is not sufficient to expiate as long as he can fast. If it is difficult for him to fast, he can delay from summer to winter, for example. It is normal to face hardship when performing obligations.

Allah knows best.

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