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Rulings regarding Qadha’ Fasts & Offering Fidyah, Kaffarah

Before the coming of holy month of Ramdan, here are some ruling regarding Qadha’ (make-up) fasts and offering Fidyah and Kaffarah (expiation for missing fasts).

   

Qadha’ Fasting: 

If one has missed any days of fasting during the month of Ramadhan in the previous year, then it is a religious recommendation to make up those fasts before the next Ramadhan.

If one has days of fast to make up, but intentionally does not make them up before the next Ramadhan, the person is still held religiously liable (to make the days up at a later time) and must offer a Fidyah for each day missed by feeding one poor person (as defined by the religious criteria).

Those Unable to Fast: 

Those incapable of fasting, such as the elderly, those who cannot fast due to illness, and those who go through desperate situations temporarily preventing them from fasting, such as some pregnant women and some nursing mothers, must offer the Fidyah.

The Fidyah is feeding one poor person for each day in which fasting was missed during the month of Ramadhan.

Fidyah and the Kaffarah: 

Fidyah: A compensation paid for not being able to fast. It is to feed one poor person for each day. The one who is incapable of fasting, thus, offers thirty meals to the poor.

The Kaffarah for delaying the Qadha’ fasting: To feed a poor person for each day, in addition to being obligated to perform the Qadha’ fast.

The Kaffarah for intentionally breaking one’s fast during the month of Ramadhan: Either fasting for sixty days, or feeding sixty poor persons, for each day missed.

It is permissible to offer the entire Fidyah to a single poor person, but the Kaffarah of feeding sixty persons must be offered to distinct individuals.

When it comes to the Fidyah and the Kaffarah, nothing but “feeding” suffices. As for how much food, it is the average amount which we usually feed ourselves and our families. According to Islamic law, it must be the equivalent of at least 750 grams (1.65 lbs.) of wheat, rice or dates.

The following are some Questions regarding Kaffara which answered by Grand Ayatollah Sistani:

Question: What is the Kaffara for breaking one’s fast intentionally?

Answer: One who has broken his fast intentionally he must, in addition to making up the qadha of that day, must fast for two months the first thirty one days in a row. Or he must feed 60 poor Momins to their fill or he must give 750 grams of wheat to each one of them. If none of these is possible for him, he is free to either fast for eighteen days or feed as many poor people as he can. If he cannot do this also, he must ask Allah for forgiveness even if he has to say “Astaghferullah” once. And it is an obligatory precaution that if he is able later, he must give the kaffarah. Of course, the kaffarah is obligatory in the case that his ignorance was not due to his own negligence in learning the rulings. However, if he has grown up in a place that without his own choice, he was unaware of the rulings, then it is obligatory that he must make up that day only.

 

Question: What is Kaffarah of delaying the qaza of fast.

Answer: If a person does not give the qaza of his fast until the next Ramadhan, he should give 750 grams of food (wheat or bread or rice) to the poor for each missed day.

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