Qadha, Kaffarah, Fidyah (Making up Missed Fasts and Compensation)

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[From Beheshti Zewar]

QADHA

1. The fasts that have been missed for some reason or the other have to be kept after Ramadaan as soon as possible. One should not delay in keeping these missed fasts. It is a sin to delay in keeping these missed fasts without any reason.

2. When keeping the qada fasts, it is not necessary to specify the date by saying: “I am keeping a qada fast for so-and-so day”. Instead, one should merely keep the fasts that have been missed. However, if one has missed a few fasts of two Ramadaans and has to keep the qada for both the years, it will be necessary to specify the year for which he is keeping the qada. That is, he should make the intention in the following way: “I am keeping this qada fast for so-and-so year”.

3. When keeping a qada fast, it is necessary to make the intention at night (i.e. before subah saadiq). If the intention is made in the morning (i.e. after subah saadiq), the qada fast will not be valid and it will be regarded as a nafl fast. The person will have to keep the qada fast again.

4. The same rule applies to the kaffarah fasts, i.e. the intention has to be made at night. If the intention is made the following morning, the kaffarah fast will not be valid.

5. When keeping the qada fasts, one has the choice of either keeping them consecutively or at random. Both options are permissible.

6. If a person has not kept the qada fasts of Ramadaan and the following Ramadaan commences without his having made the qada, he should keep the fasts of the present Ramadaan and keep the qada fasts of the previous Ramadaan after Eid. However, it is an evil practice to delay in this manner.

7. In the month of Ramadaan a person became unconscious during the day. This unconsciousness continued for more than a day. Apart from the day on which he fell unconscious, he will have to keep qada of all the other days in which he remained unconscious. Qada of the first day on which he fell unconscious is not wajib because due to his intention of fasting, that fast has become valid. However, if the person was not fasting on that day, or, if he took some medication on that day and this medication went down his throat, qada of this first day will also be wajib on him.

8. If the person fell unconscious at night, it is not wajib on him to make qada of the fast of the following day as well. However, he will have to make qada of the remainder of the days in which he remained unconscious. But if he did not make the intention of fasting on that night for the following day, or if he took some medication the following morning, then he will also have to make qada of that first day.

9. If a person remains unconscious for the entire month of Ramadaan, even then he should make qada of these fasts. He should not think that he is absolved from keeping all these fasts. However, if he became a lunatic, and this lunacy remained for the entire month, he does not have to keep qada for any of the days of this Ramadaan. If his lunacy disappears on any day in the month of Ramadaan and he comes back to his senses, he should commence fasting and keep qada of the days in which he experienced this lunacy.

KAFFARAH

1. The kaffarah for breaking the fast of Ramadaan is that the person must fast for two consecutive months. It is not permissible to keep a few fasts, stop fasting for a few days, and recommence fasting. If for some reason or the other, one or two fasts in-between are missed out, then the fast for two months will have to be restarted. However, the fasts that a woman misses due to her monthly haid, are forgiven. By not fasting on these days, no harm is caused to the kaffarah. However, once she is purified from her haid, she should immediately recommence with the fasting and complete the sixty days.

2. If a few fasts are missed because of nifaas, and the full sixty days could not be kept consecutively, the kaffarah will still not be correct. The fasts will have to be started all over again.

3. If a few fasts of kaffarah are missed due to some problem or sickness, even then the fasts will have to be re-started once the person is cured from that sickness.

4. If the month of Ramadaan comes in-between the kaffarah fasts, the kaffarah will not be valid.

5. If a person does not have the strength to keep the fasts, he should feed sixty poor persons twice a day with a full meal. They must be allowed to eat as much as possible.

6. If there are a few children included among these poor persons, this will not be permissible. One will have to feed additional poor persons in place of these children.

7. If there is bread made of wheat, it is permissible to feed it to them even if it is dry. If the bread is made of barley, millet, corn, etc. they should also be given some gravy with which they could eat the bread.

8. If the person does not feed them with any food, but instead he gives grain to sixty poor persons, this will also be permissible. He should give each poor person grain equal to the value of sadaqatul fitr (which is approximately one and a half to two kilos of wheat). Rules concerning sadaqatul fitr will Insha Allah be discussed in the chapter on zakaat.

9. It is also permissible to give money equal to the value of the grain.

10. If a person asks someone else to fulfil this kaffarah on his behalf by feeding sixty poor persons and the person fulfils his request or he gives the grain, the kaffarah will be fulfilled. But if the person gives the kaffarah without being asked to do so, it will not be valid.

11. If a person feeds one poor person for sixty days every morning and evening, or continues giving him grain for the next sixty days, or gives him money that equals the value of that grain, the kaffarah will be valid.

12. If the person did not feed the poor person for sixty consecutive days, but missed out a few days in between, there is no harm in this. This is also permissible (as long as he completes the sixty days).

13. If a person gives the poor person grain that will last him for sixty days at one time, the kaffarah will not be valid. Similarly, if he gives one poor person sixty times in one day, it will still be regarded as giving for one day only. He will then have to give to 59 additional poor persons. The same rule applies when giving money. That is, it is not permissible to give money to one poor person in one day as a compensation for more than one fast.

14. If he gives a poor person kaffarah that is less than the sadaqatul fitr, the kaffarah will not be valid.

15. If a person breaks a few fasts in the same Ramadaan, only one kaffarah will be wajib. But if two fasts are for the Ramadaans of two different years, he will have to give kaffarah for each fast.

FIDYAH

1. The person who is extremely old and does not have the strength of fasting, and the person who is extremely ill and does not have any hope of recovering nor the strength to fast will have to give grain to a poor person equivalent to the amount stipulated for sadaqatul fitr in place of every fast that such people miss. Alternatively, they could feed one poor person with two complete meals for each fast that they miss. In the Shariah this is known as fidyah. It is also permissible for such persons to give the value of the grain in cash.

2. It is also permissible to distribute this grain of fidyah among several poor persons.

3. If the old person happens to regain some of his strength, or the sick person recovers from his illness, they will have to keep qada for all the fasts which they had missed. As for the fidyah which they had paid, they will be rewarded separately for that.

4. A person had to keep qada of several fasts. At the time of death he made a bequest that fidyah be paid in place of all his missed fasts. This fidyah will have to be paid by his inheritors from his wealth. After paying for the deceased person’s funeral arrangements, his debts, etc. if one third of his left over wealth will be sufficient to pay the fidyah, then it will be wajib to pay this fidyah.

5. If the person did not make a bequest but his inheritors paid the fidyah out of their own wealth, even then one should have the hope that this act will be accepted by Allah Ta’ala and that He will not make one accountable for the missed fasts. It should be borne in mind that it is not permissible for the inheritors to pay the fidyah from the deceased person’s wealth if the latter did not make a bequest in that respect. Similarly, if the fidyah is more than one third of his wealth, then despite his making a bequest in this regard, it will not be permissible to utilise the balance of his money without the permission and consent of all the inheritors. If all the inheritors express their consent and happiness, it will be permissible to pay the fidyah in both cases. However, it should be remembered that the consent of immature inheritors is not considered in the Shariah. If the mature inheritors separate their inheritance and pay the fidyah from their share, it will be permissible to do so.

6. The same rules will apply if a person had several salaats which he had to make qada of and made a bequest that fidyah be paid for the salaats that he missed.

7. The fidyah that will have to be paid for each missed salaat will be the same as that paid for each missed fast. Fidyah will have to be paid for the five fard salaats plus the witr salaat; totalling six salaats a day. According to this calculation, approximately 12 kilos of grain will have to be paid.

8. A person had not paid his zakaat. By his making a bequest, the paying of this zakaat will become wajib on his inheritors. If the person did not make a bequest but his inheritors paid the zakaat on his behalf out of their own good will and happiness, even then the zakaat will not be fulfilled.

9. It is not permissible for the inheritors to offer qada salaats or keep qada fasts on behalf of the deceased. If they do so, the deceased will not be absolved of his accountability to Allah Ta’ala.

10. It is not permissible to miss out the fasts of Ramadaan without any valid reason. To do so is a major sin. A person should not be under the misconception that he will keep qada of the missed fast at a later date. It is mentioned in a Hadith that if a person misses a single fast of Ramadaan and thereafter fasts the entire year as a compensation for that one missed fast, he will not receive the reward that he would have received for that one fast of Ramadaan.

11. If a person does not fast on a particular day, he should not eat or drink in the presence of others. Nor should he inform anyone that he is not fasting on that day. This is because to commit a sin and thereafter to expose it is also a sin. The person will get a double sin if he informs others that he is not fasting – one sin for not fasting and another for informing others. It is wrong to think that when we cannot conceal anything from Allah Ta’ala, why should we conceal it from others? In fact, even the person who does not fast due to some valid excuse, should not inform others, nor should he eat or drink in their presence.

12. When a young boy or girl becomes capable of fasting, they should also be commanded to fast. When they reach the age of ten, they should be beaten and made to fast. If they cannot keep all the fasts, they should be made to keep as many as possible.

13. When an immature girl or boy keeps a fast and thereafter break it, they should not be made to keep qada of it. However, if they commence offering a salaat and thereafter break it, they should be made to repeat that salaat.

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