- Fasting Definition
1. Fasting in Islam is to refrain from eating, drinking, etc. — which will be discussed later in details — the whole day (from fajr until maghrib) in order to obey the Allah's order.
- Types of Fasting
2. There are four types of fasting:
- Obligatory fast, like during the month of Ramadan;
- Mustaḥabb fast, like during the months of Rajab and Sha'bān;
- Makrūh fast, like on the day of 'Āshūrā;
- Ḥarām fast, like on Eid ul-Fir (the first of Shawwāl) and Eid ul-Adha (the tenth of Dhi al-Hajjah).
3. Obligatory fasts are as follows:
- Fast during the month of Ramadan;
- Qaḍā’ fast;
- Kaffārah fast;
- Parents' qaḍā’ fast;
- Mustaḥabb fast which became obligatory due to nadhr, 'promise', or 'swear';
- Fast on the third day of i'tikāf
- Fast instead of slaughtering in tamattu' haj * .
* If a pilgrim is not able to slaughter and cannot borrow money, he should, instead, fast for ten days, of which three days is kept during haj and seven days in his waṭan.
Fast on the day of 'Āshūrā
4. Is it allowed to fast on the day of 'Āshūrā?
A: It is makrūh.
5. I heard that silence fast is ḥarām while some say it is ḥalāl in case of nadhr, is it true?
A: It is ḥarām.
Fast of One's spouse/child
6. Naming ḥarām fast, they include: fast of the wife in case it violates the right of the husband and fast of a child in case it hurts/annoys the parents. Do they apply in mustaḥabb fasts only, or they include obligatory fast without shortage of time?
A: It does not include obligatory fasts.
- Eid ul-Fitr Prayer
Eid ul-Fitr Prayer in the Time of Occultation of the 12th Imam (a.s.)
249. What kind of obligatory duties are the two Eid prayers and Friday prayer in your opinion?
A: The two Eid (Fitr and Adha prayers are not obligatory, rather they are mustaḥabb in the present time but the Friday prayer is an optional (takhyīrī) obligation.
Leading Eid Prayer by an Imam Who Is not Appointed by the Jurist Leader
250. In the present time — that the jurist leader has an authority — is leading Eid prayer only possible for the jurist leader and his authorized representatives or other imams of congregational prayer in masjids and other places can lead it?
A: There is no problem in leading Eid prayer by those who are not appointed by the jurist leader hoping being desired by shar` (with rajā' intention) and not for its being mentioned in the Islamic tradition. That said, although it is better not to be led by them.
Leading Eid Prayer by Imams of Congregational Prayer in Masjids
251. In the past, every imam of congregational prayers used to perform Eid ul-Fitr prayers in his masjid. Is it permissible for imams of the masjids in the current time to hold the two Eid prayers?
A: At the time being, it is permissible for the representatives of the Jurist Leader — who are permitted by him to hold Eid prayers — and also for the Friday prayer imams, who have been appointed by him, to hold Eid prayers in congregation. As for any other individual, it is based on caution to perform them individually. It is no problem if they perform the two prayers in congregation as something hopefully — not surely required — desired in Islamic law. If it is deemed necessary/beneficial that only one Eid prayer be held in a city, it is preferable not to be led by anyone other than the Imam of Friday prayer appointed by the Jurist Leader.
Saying Iqāmah before Eid Prayer
252. Does Eid ul-Fitr prayer have any iqāmah?
A: It does not have any iqāmah.
253. If an imam of congregational prayer recites iqāmah for Eid ul-Fitr prayer, what will be the rule of his prayers and that of others who are praying behind him?
A: It harms neither the Eid prayer of the imam nor those of the followers.
To Join Friday or Eid Prayer during the 2nd Rak`ah
254. If someone joins the prayer of Eid ul-Fitr/ Eid ul-Adha or Friday prayer during the 2nd rak`ah, what is their duty?
A: They should complete the remaining part of the prayer individually.
To Make more or less Qunūts in Eid Prayer
255. Does any increase or decrease in the qunūt of Eid prayers make them invalid?
A: Prayers are not invalidated by this if by increase or decrease it is meant to elongate or shorten the qunūt itself. While if it means increase or decrease in the number of the qunūts, one should offer the Eid prayer as it is mentioned within the books of jurisprudence.
To Doubt the Qunūt of Eid Prayer
256. If one doubts the number of qunūts in Eid ul-Fitr or Eid ul-Adha prayer, i.e. unsure whether he has done four or five qunūts, what shall he do?
A: Unless he passed its place, he should consider the lesser number.
To Delay Eid Prayer for Unity Purpose
257. Is it alright, for the purpose of maintaining unity and solidarity, to offer Eid prayer on the 2nd of Shawwāl especially with the presence of some hadiths which indicate the permissibility of offering Eid prayer on the 2nd or 3rd day of Shawwāl?
A: Whatever the case is, to offer Eid prayer on the 2nd day of the month of Shawwāl as something hopefully desired in Islam is no problem.
Making up for Eid Prayer in Qaḍā’
258. Is there any qaḍā’ for Eid ul-Fitr prayer?
A: It does not have any qaḍā’.
- Hired Fasts
To Perform Qaḍā’ Fasts on behalf of a Living Person
308. My father has some qaḍā’ prayers due but he cannot offer them and I am the family’s eldest son. Is it permissible — while he is still alive — that I perform his missed prayers or hire someone to perform them?
A: It is not correct to perform the missed prayers and fast on behalf of a living person.
To Pay from the Father's Estate for His Fasts
309. Someone dies while owning only a house where his children live and he has some missed prayers and fasts to perform. His oldest son cannot do so for him because of his daily occupations, is it obligatory to sell the house and have his missed prayers and fasts performed?
A: In the given case, it is not obligatory to sell the house. But the performance of the missed prayers and fasting, which were obligatory for the father, is the duty of his eldest son in all cases except if the deceased person ordered in his will that someone be hired by the one-third of his estate for that purpose and that amount is sufficient for all of the prayers and fasts that are obligatory for him. In this case, it will be obligatory to spend one third of the property left for this purpose.
Duty of the Eldest Son as to Willed Fasts
310. I am the eldest son of my father, hence I am responsible for performing any outstanding prayer and fast my father owed. However, my father has directed in his will that one-year of prayer and fast should be performed. How should I go about the fact that more than one year of prayer and fast is outstanding?
A:The instructions of the deceased to clear any outstanding prayer and fast should be catered for from his share of one-third of the estate if he has directed thus. Accordingly, it is within your right to hire a person to perform the outstanding prayer and fast. Should the outstanding duration be more than what he directed in his will, you have to perform it on his behalf, albeit by hiring a person to do it with money paid from your own pocket.
Estate's Insufficiency for Qaḍā’ Fasts
311. A person died while he had to perform the qaḍā’ of some fasts of Ramadan and some prayers. He has no son. However, he left behind a certain amount of wealth. If this wealth is spent for the performance of the qaḍā’ of his missed fasts, the qaḍā’ of his prayers will remain outstanding and vice versa. In this situation, which one of the two should be given priority over the other?
A: None of the fasts and the prayers has any priority. It is not obligatory for the heirs to spend his wealth for making qaḍā’ of his fasts and prayers unless he left a will that someone is hired, out of the one third of his wealth, to perform of his qaḍā’ prayers and fasts as much as 1/3 of his wealth can afford.
Elder Son's Hiring Someone for His Father's Qaḍā’ Fasts
312. If eldest son wants to hire someone to perform his father's qaḍā’ fasts, can he pay from his father's estate?
A: No, he should perform them himself or pay from his own pocket to hire someone else to fast. He has no right to use his father's estate unless the father had made a will (to this effect).
To Be Hired While Owing Kaffārah of Nadhr or Swear
313. A person owes some fasts due to kaffārah of nadhr or swear, can he accept the request to be hired to fast on behalf of another person?
A: There is no objection to it.
To Be Hired While Owing Kaffārah/ Qaḍā’ Fasts
314. A person owes kaffārah/qaḍā’ fasts, can he fast on behalf of others for free/for compensation?
A: It is no problem to be hired to do so while doing so for free is problematic.
Attorney's/Agent's Negligence in Performing Qaḍā’ Fasts/Prayers
315. Someone acted as an attorney in hiring other people to perform certain acts of worship, such as prayer and fasting, on behalf of the deceased. He betrayed the trust, i.e. he did not hire anybody and took the money for himself. Having shown remorse, he wants to pay back his dues. What should he do? Should he hire some people to do the job or return the money to the respective owners at the current rate? Or is he required to return only the amounts he originally received from the people who asked him to do the job? And what is the view if this person himself was hired to do the job, but died before getting it over and done with?
A: If the contract of being attorney has already expired before hiring anybody to perform the prayer and fasting, he should be made to pay compensation equal to the amount of money he received for getting the job done. Otherwise, he has the choice between hiring someone to perform prayer and fasting with the money he received or canceling the contract and returning the money to the owners. In case, there was a change in money value, it is a caution that both parties reach reconciliation.
As for the hired person, if he was hired to do it himself, the contract is automatically cancelled with the death of the person. It would then be obligatory that the money he received be paid back from his estate. If he was hired either to do the job or to have it done, he would still be responsible for discharging the work itself. In this case, his inheritors have to hire someone to discharge the work with money set aside from his estate if he has such estate. Otherwise, they do not have to do anything.
Kaffārah of Breaking Fast by a Hired Person
316. A person was hired to perform qaḍā’ fasts of the month of Ramadan for somebody else, and he breaks the fast in the afternoon. Does he have to pay the kaffārah?
A: No kaffārah is required.
To Make a Will as to Qaḍā’ Fast by Someone Other than One's Heirs
317. A martyr had made a will asking his friend to perform the qaḍā’ of some fasts on his behalf as caution. However, the martyr’s heirs do not give significance to such issues and it is not possible to put the matter before them. Moreover, fasting would involve hardship for that friend. Is there any other solution?
A: If the martyr had made a will asking the very friend to fast on his behalf, the martyr’s heirs do not have any obligation in this regard. If it is too difficult for the friend to fast, he also does not have any obligation.
- Obligation of Kaffārah and Its Cases
318. Upon committing a fast invalidator on purpose and intentionally, one should observe kaffārah in addition to qaḍā’ fast.
319. If someone becomes junub in Ramadan at night and then — thinking he will wake up before fajr to make ghusl — sleeps but wakes up after fajr , he is not required to perform qaḍā’ fast.
320. If a person commits a fast invalidator thinking it does not make fast void — e.g. he does not know taking medicine like eating food invalidates fast, so takes some medicine, his fast is void and he is required to perform qaḍā’ fast without need to pay any kaffārah.
321. If it becomes permissible or obligatory for someone to break his fast — e.g., he is forced to do a fast invalidator, or jumps into water to save a drowning person, he is required to perform qaḍā’ fast without need to pay any kaffārah.
322. There are three kinds of kaffārah for a Ramadan fast:
a) To free a slave;
b) To fast for two months;
c) Or to feed sixty poor people.
Because at the time being, apparently there is no slave to be freed, one should do one of the two other options.
323. In order to feed sixty poor persons, there are two options: to give them so much as they eat to satisfaction or to give each person 750 gm. (one mudd) of wheat, flour, bread, rice or the like.
324. If one is not able to perform any of the three duties, he should feed as many poor persons as he can and — by caution — to ask Allah for forgiveness. If he can give food to nobody, he should say from the bottom of his heart: O', Allah, I ask you for forgiveness.
325. If a person, whose duty is to ask Allah for forgiveness — as he can neither fast nor feed the poor, becomes able to fast or to feed the poor, he does so by caution although it is not remote to say to ask Allah for forgiveness is sufficient.
326. To fast for two months as kaffārah of Ramadan fast, one should fast for one month and one day consecutively. However, there is no problem if there is any interruption among the rest of the fasts.
327. A woman who wants to fast two month as kaffārah, but menstruates or the like in between, continues her fast as soon as menstruation ends. So, it is not necessary to start the fasts from the beginning.
328.A person who breaks his/her fast eating/drinking ḥarām food/drink or having ḥarām sex, should — by caution — perform all three kinds of kaffārah. If he cannot do all the three, he should do the possible one/s. Anyhow, it is not remote that this caution is not obligatory.
329. If a fasting person commits one of the fast invalidators several times in a Ramadan day, he should observe only one kaffārah. Of course, if he masturbates or has sex several times, he should — by obligatory caution — observe kaffārah as much as he did so.
330. If something comes up from stomach to the oral cavity, a fasting person should not swallow it. If he swallows it intentionally, it is obligatory for him to perform both qaḍā’ and kaffārah.
331. If one makes nadhr to fast on a certain day but breaks his fast or does not fast on purpose, he should pay nadhr kaffārah which is the same as swear kaffārah, i.e. to feed ten poor persons to satisfaction or to give them clothes.
332. If a fasting person breaks his fast — relying on an untruthful person who says it is maghrib — and then comes to know it was not maghrib, it is obligatory for him to perform both qaḍā’ and kaffārah.
333. Someone who breaks his fast intentionally should observe kaffārah. Traveling after breaking fast does not remove obligation of kaffārah.
334. When kaffārah becomes obligatory, it is not necessary to observe it right away. Yet, one should not delay it too much so that it is considered as negligence in fulfilling one's duty.
335. Not observing obligatory kaffārah for several years does not add anything to it.
336. Someone who wants to give food to sixty poor person as kaffārah — we mentioned the details in previous issues — cannot give more than one mudd to one person if sixty poor persons are available; rather, it is necessary to give sixty people so that everybody receives one mudd of food. Of course, a poor person can receive food for his family in proportion to their number — e.g. three mudds for three children — to give it to them. When they are poor, it makes no difference whether they are men, women or children.
337. If a person, who fasts qaḍā’ of Ramadan, breaks his fast in the afternoon, should feed ten poor persons. If he cannot, he fasts for three days.
Difference between a Patient's Kaffārah and That of Intentional Breaking of Fast
338. Is there any difference between a patient's kaffārah and that of intentional breaking of fast?
A: Yes, there are two differences: a) in amount b) in receiver. For every intentional breaking of fast, one should fast for two months or feed to satisfaction sixty poor person or give them food (one mudd to each person) as Kaffārah. But a patient gives one mudd of food to a poor person for each fast if his illness continues to the next Ramadan.
In intentional breaking of fast, one cannot give more than one mudd of food to every poor person if sixty poor persons are available but in a patient's Kaffārah, there is no problem in that.
Kaffārah of Intentionally Breaking of Qaḍā’ Fast
339. A person was liable to perform the qaḍā’ of ten Ramadan fasts and he started them on the 20th of Sha‘bān. Can he break the fast intentionally before or after the noon? And, if he does, what is the kaffārah for breaking it before or after the noon?
A: In this case, it is not permissible — by caution — for him to break his fast intentionally. However, if he does break his fast intentionally before noon, he does not have to pay any kaffārah. But if he breaks it intentionally in the afternoon, his kaffārah is to feed ten needy persons. If he cannot afford to do so, he shall fast for three days.
Not to Fast in Ramadan Month
340. A person did not fast for 120 days. What must he do? Does he have to fast for 60 days for every missed fast, and does he have to pay kaffārah?
A: He has to perform qaḍā’ for the Ramadan fasts he missed. If he broke the fast intentionally and not for some shar‘ī reason, then he has, in addition to performing their qaḍā’ , to pay the kaffārah, which is fasting for sixty days or feeding 60 needy persons, or giving one mudd (750 grams) of food to each of the sixty.
To Break Fast at the Place of Ten-Day-Stay
341. Someone travels to a place and intends to stay there for ten days. Then he changes his decision in order to return to his hometown before Ramadan begins. Due to a problem in transportation he cannot return but breaks his fast there. What should he do?
A: It depends on whether or not he has offered a four-rak'ah prayer after intention of ten-day-stay and before the change in his decision. In case of offering the four-rak'ah prayer, he should fast and breaking his fast amounts to the kaffārah of fasting for sixty days or feeding 60 needy persons to become obligatory. However, if it happens before the intention of ten-day-stay is established by offering a four-rak'ah prayer, he has no duty.
To Invalidate Fast by a Ḥarām Act
342. A person breaks his fast by masturbation, ḥarām sexual intercourse, or taking ḥarām food/drink. What is the ruling?
A: In the given case, he should fast for sixty days or feed sixty poor persons. It is a mustaḥabb caution to do both.
343. Someone masturbated although he knew that masturbation would invalidate the fast. Does he have to offer the two-fold kaffārah?
A: The two-fold kaffārah is not obligatory for him even if he masturbated intentionally and ejaculated, although it is a recommended caution to pay the two-fold kaffārah.
To Repeat Fast Invalidators
344. Someone repeatedly breaks the fast on the same day. What should he do?
A: This only entails one kaffārah. However, if he breaks fasting by masturbation or sexual intercourse, it is an obligatory caution to pay as many kaffārah as he masturbated or had sexual intercourse.
To Vomit on Purpose
345. Does vomiting on purpose make kaffārah obligatory?
A: One should observe kaffārah upon vomiting on purpose.
- How to Observe Kaffārah
Kaffārah Is Not an Immediate Obligation
346. Should we observe kaffārah immediately or we can do it later?
A: To observe kaffārah — giving food or fasting — is not an immediate obligation. You may do it in the future but you should not neglect it.
Interruption in Kaffārah Fasts
347. It was obligatory for me to fast sixty days as obligatory kaffārah . The 29th of the first 31 coincided with Eid Al-Adha on which fasting is ḥarām. I did not fast any more. Can I consider the observed fast as the last fast of the sixty fasts and fast 31 days consecutively?
A: In the given case, the previous fasts are not valid. You should observe the order, i.e. to fast 31 days consecutively and then the rest.
Doubt about Consecutiveness of Kaffārah
348. In Ramadan month, my fast is invalidated and I should fast sixty days as kaffārah of which the first 31 fasts should be consecutively. I performed all of them. But I am not sure whether 30 days or 31 days were consecutively. What should I do now?
A: If you performed kaffārah fasts and at the time of fasting you have paid attention to the rule that 31 fasts should be consecutive, the current doubt has no effect.
No Order between Fast kaffārah/ Qaḍā’
349. Someone has to perform qaḍā’ and give kaffārah, must he observe their sequence?
A: It is not obligatory.
350. Should I perform qaḍā’ and give kaffārah of my fast consecutively?
A: As far as qaḍā’ fasts are concerned, there is no need to perform them consecutively. However, if one chooses to fast for kaffārah, he should fast one month and one day consecutively.
How to Calculate One Month in Kaffārah
351. How can we calculate one month for kaffārah?
A: If one starts his fast from the first day of a lunar month, two lunar months — although each month is less than thirty days — is enough. If he starts on the 7th day of a lunar month, it is enough to continue up to the 6th day of the third lunar month. Otherwise, he should fast for sixty days.
To Pay Kaffārah in Installments
352. It is several years that I owe kaffārah of fast. Can I pay it several times within a year?
A: It is no problem.
Delay in Observing Kaffārah
353. Someone delays fast Kaffārah for several years. Does it add anything to it?
A: No, it does not increase.
Being Unable to Pay Kaffārah
354. A person did not perform prayers or fast for about 10 years due to ignorance. Now he has repented, turning to Allah, the Exalted, and has decided to compensate for his past. But he cannot perform the qaḍā’ of all the days he did not fast, nor has he the means to pay for the kaffārah. Is it enough for him to ask for forgiveness alone?
A: He is not relieved from the duty of performing the qaḍā’ of the missed fasts by any means. As to the kaffārah for each day that he did not fast, if he is not able to fast for 60 days nor to feed 60 needy persons, he should feed as many poor persons as he can and — by caution —to ask Allah for forgiveness. If he can give food to nobody, he should say from the bottom of his heart: O', Allah, I ask you for forgiveness.
355. One is too weak and sick to fast sixty days as kaffārah of every fast he broke intentionally and does not earn independently to pay, what is his duty?
A: It is obligatory for him to perform qaḍā’ of the fasts. As far as kaffārah of intentionally broken fasts is concerned, it is mentioned in the previous answer.
To become Able to Pay Kaffārah after Asking Allah for Forgiveness
356. Due to lack of financial and physical power, I failed to perform obligatory kaffārah, i.e. to fast or to feed the poor. As a result, I asked Allah for forgiveness. Due to Allah’s grace, now I am able to fast and feed the poor. What should I do?
A: In the given case, it is not necessary to perform kaffārah, although it is a mustaḥabb caution.
- Fidyah and Kaffārah of Delay
Criterion for Feeding the Needy in Fidyah
357. 'Ulama say four groups should pay fidyah: an old man/woman, a sick whose thirsty is not removed by drinking water, a pregnant/breastfeeding woman. At the same time some 'ulama say: to feed a poor person to satisfaction is not enough and we should give him one mudd (750 gm.) of food as mentioned in the Holy Qur'an, in sura Baqarah: "fidyatun ta'āmu miskīn" not "it'āmu miskīn". What is your opinion?
A: Those who are allowed to break their fasts in Ramadan month but should give fidyah for each day cannot feed the poor person to satisfaction. Rather, they should give one mudd of food to a poor person for each day.
Fidyah and Kaffārah of Delay for a Pregnant/Breastfeeding Woman
358. Upon delivery, Allah Almighty blessed me with a son who is being breast-fed. The blessed month of Ramadan is approaching, and at present, I am capable of fasting. However, if I fast, my milk will dry up, as I have a weak constitution — and my baby wants milk every ten minutes. What should I do?
A: If there is fear of harm to your baby due to a decrease in the quantity of milk or its drying up caused by fasting, it is permissible for you to break the fast. And for every day you miss the fast, you have to give one mudd [750 grams] of food to the poor, in addition to performing the qaḍā’ of the missed fasts, later.
359. A woman is breastfeeding and fasting is harmful for her. If she does not fast, should she observe kaffārah as well?
A: If she fears harm to her baby, she should give one mudd of food (approximately 750 gm. of bread, rice, wheat, or the like) to a poor person and perform the qaḍā’ of the missed fasts. If she fears harm to herself, the rules of a patient are applied.
360. A pregnant/breastfeeding woman breaks her fasts as she fears harm to her baby/herself and it continues to the next Ramadan. Should they pay two fidyahs for each fast or one fidyah is sufficient?
A: In case, her excuse continues to the next Ramadan, only one fidyah is obligatory for her.
361. A woman was pregnant during two consecutive Ramadans and could not fast during those two years. Now that she is able to fast, what is her duty? Does she only have to perform the qaḍā’ for the two months, or does she have to carry out the twofold kaffārah as well? What is the rule concerning her delaying the fasting?
A: If she did not fast during the month of Ramadan due to a shar‘ī excuse, she is only liable for their qaḍā’. However, if she did not fast because she feared it might harm the fetus or the baby, she has to give fidyah, i.e. one mudd (750 grams) of food for each day, in addition to making their qaḍā’. And if she delayed the qaḍā’ beyond the following Ramadan without a shar‘ī excuse, another fidyah is obligatory for her as well, i.e. she should give one mudd [750 grams] of food to a poor person for each day.
If her excuse was fearing of harm for herself, rules of other cases of fearing of harm apply, i.e. if the fear continues to the next Ramadan, she is not to perform qaḍā’ and she is only required to pay one mudd (750 gm.) of food as fidyah.
362. A woman could not fast due to pregnancy and the approaching delivery. She knew that after delivery she must, before the next Ramadan, perform qaḍā’ for the days she did not fast. However, she did not fast after delivery, intentionally or otherwise, for several years. Does she have to pay only the kaffārah for that year or for all the years she delayed the fasting?
A: Although performing the qaḍā’ fasts has been delayed for several years, it is obligatory to pay only one fidyah i.e. one mudd (750 grams) of food for each day. Fidyah is required only if the qaḍā’ is delayed until the next Ramadan due to negligence and without any shar‘ī excuse. If one has an excuse for the delay preventing them from performing valid fasts, no fidyah is required.
Excuse of Traveling Continues to the Next Ramadan
363. Some people could not fast due to their journey for religious missions during the month of Ramadan and now want to make up for it after years of delay; do they have to pay any kaffārah?
A: If delaying the qaḍā’ of Ramadan fasts until the next Ramadan was due to a continuing legitimate excuse, then they should perform only the qaḍā’ of the missed fasts and no fidyah, i.e. one mudd of food for each day, is required, although caution lies in giving fidyah as well. But, if the delay was out of negligence and without any excuse, then they are liable to their qaḍā’ as well as fidyah.
A Patient's Kaffārah of Fast
364. I could neither fast nor perform its qaḍā’ for three years due to illness and taking tablets. I did not pay fidyah either. However, this year I am very well and able to pay fidyah as well. What should I do for the last three years? (It is worth mentioning that my father was paying my expenses and I am employed just now).
A: For the fasts of Ramadan you missed due to illness and it continued till next Ramadan, you should pay one mudd (about 750 gm.) of food to a poor person for each fast as fidyah. You are not to perform their qaḍā’ except for the missed fast of the last Ramadan provided that you were very well and could fast before the next Ramadan. In this case, if you did not perform their qaḍā’ before the next Ramadan, you should perform their qaḍā’ in addition to giving one mudd of food for each fast.
365. My mother was ill for a period of almost 13 years and could not fast. I know for certain that what prevented her from this duty was her need to take medicine. Please tell us if it is obligatory for her to perform the qaḍā’ for these missed fasts.
A: If she was not able to fast due to her illness, she does not have to perform the qaḍā’ for those days.
366. A person was ill and could neither fast nor perform their qaḍā’ for several years. What is his duty?
A: When he recovers, if he has enough time and able to perform qaḍā’ of the missed fasts of the last Ramadan, he should perform them. However, he is not obligated to perform qaḍā’ of previous years' fasts. It suffices to pay one mudd of food to a poor person for every fast.
An Ophthalmologist Interdicts Fasting
367. I wear medical glasses and at the present, my eyes are too weak. The doctors tell me that if I do not strengthen my physique, my eyesight will get weaker. If I am unable to perform the Ramadan fasts, what is my duty?
A: If fasting is harmful for your eyes, you are not obligated to fast; in fact, it is obligatory that you refrain from fasting. And if your illness continues until the next Ramadan, then your duty is to give one mudd [750 grams] of food to the needy for every day that you did not fast.
Delay in Paying Fidyah
368. If one does not pay fidyah for several years, What is his duty? Does it increase?
A: Nothing is added to it. By the way, it is not obligatory to pay it right away.
Who to Pay the Fidyah of an Ill Wife
369. A women could not fast due to illness. She could not perform the qaḍā’ before the next Ramadan either. Does she or her husband have to pay kaffārah?
A: If she did not fast nor performed its qaḍā’ before next Ramadan, both due to illness, she should pay fidyah, i.e. one mudd (750 grams) of food for each day. Her husband has no duty.
- How to Spend kaffārah
Giving Kaffārah to a Person Whose Maintenance Is to Be Paid by Us
370. Can I give Kaffārah of fast to a person whose maintenance is to be paid by me?
A: You cannot pay Kaffārah of fast to them. However, you may give it to your poor relatives.
Giving Kaffārah to a Sayyid
371. Can a non-sayyid give Kaffārah of fast to a sayyid?
A: Yes, it is no problem. However, it is better not to give it to a sayyid.
To Spend Kaffārah on Cultural Affairs
372. Can we spend kaffārah of fast on cultural affairs, like marriage ceremonies?
A: No, it is impermissible to do so. One should use it on feeding the poor persons.
How to Feed the Poor as Kaffārah
373. To observe kaffārah [of an intentionally broken fast], can we feed one poor person sixty times instead of feeding sixty poor persons? Can we give money equivalent to its value to a poor person to buy food for himself?
A: One cannot feed one poor person to satisfaction more than once or to give him more than one mudd of food.
374. Is it sufficient to give a needy person the money to buy one mudd (750 grams) of food instead of giving them the food itself?
A: If you are sure that the needy person who receives the money will buy the food on your behalf and then take it as kaffārah, there is no problem in it.
To Give Macaroni Instead of Bread
375. Can we give poor people macaroni instead of bread — which are almost of the same material — as kaffārah?
A: It is no problem.
To Pay the Cook Who Prepares the Kaffārah Food
376. A person was appointed attorney to feed a group of needy persons. Can he take his wages for the work and cooking he does from the kaffārah money with which he was entrusted?
A: He can demand the wages for his work and for the cooking. But he cannot take it from the kaffārah.
Qaḍā’ of Missed Prayer/Fast and Its Kaffārah
377. Unfortunately, due to negligence I failed to perform qaḍā’ prayers and fasts I missed during previous years. Now how can I perform them?
A: As to the fasts you were excused to break, you should perform their qaḍā’. In addition to their qaḍā’, you should — in this case that you did not perform their qaḍā’ before the next Ramadan — give one mudd of food (750 gm. wheat, barely, flour, or the like) to a poor person for each fast. For the fasts which were broken intentionally, fast sixty days or feed sixty poor persons — in addition to their qaḍā’ — as Kaffārah. If sixty poor persons are not available in your city, it is obligatory to send it to another city. In case, it is not possible either, you wait until you find them in your city in the future. If they are less than sixty, you may give them food repeatedly to complete the sixty. It is caution that repetition occurs in different days. As to prayer, you should perform their qaḍā’ and there is no kaffārah.
Kaffārah of a Child
378. It became obligatory for me to observe kaffārah as a child living in my father's house. Who should give kaffārah?
A: Kaffārah is not obligatory for a person before reaching puberty. If it becomes obligatory for one after puberty, it is his duty but it is not necessary to pay it right away.
A Late Father's Kaffārah of Fast
379. Who should give the kaffārah for missed fasts of a person after he dies? Is it obligatory for the sons and daughters of the deceased person to give the kaffārah or could somebody else give it as well?
A: With respect to the kaffārah of missed fasts that was due on the father, if he could have the choice between fasting or feeding, the kaffārah should be taken out of the wealth he has left if possible; otherwise, the fasting — by caution — rests with the eldest son.