Fiqh of Fasting: Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness

6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to valid reasons

Whoever is unable to fast because of age or chronic/terminal illness can choose not to fast and feed one needy person for each day. In the beginning when fasting was prescribed, the people had the option of not fasting and instead they could feed a needy person for each day that they didn’t fast. So the rich had a way out in the beginning. Ibn Qudaamah (d. 620 AH) (Rahimullah) said, “The scholars are agreed that it is permissible for the sick person not to fast in general. The basis of that is the aayah in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

“For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent.” [Surat al Baqarah (2) V. 184]

 

It was narrated that Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ (Radi Allahu Anhu) (d. 74 AH) said: “When this aayah was revealed –

…وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ…

“And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day)” [Surat al-Baqarah (2) V. 184]

those who wanted not to fast could do that, and pay the fidyah (i.e., feed one poor person for each day). That remained the case until the following aayah was revealed, i.e., the verse:

…فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ…

“So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later.” [Surat al-Baqarah (2) V. 185 – interpretation of the meaning]

so it abrogated it.”

Commenting on the abrogation or modification Ibn Abbas (Radi Allahu Anhu) (d. 68 AH) said “The first one is not completely abrogated, it applies to the old and those that cannot fast due to illness”

Related Posts:
Prologue
Introduction
Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan

1. A pillar of Islam
2. Obligation of Fasting
3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan
4. One reliable witness’ presence is sufficient
5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual
6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness
7. Requirements of a valid fast
8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting
9. Recommended acts of fasting

Chapter 2: Conditions in which breaking fast is Permissible, Impermissible, or Recommended
Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast
Chapter 4: Repayment of Missed or Broken Fasts
Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting

(Chapter 4 & 5 – Insha’Allah comming soon around Eid al Fitr)

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Fiqh As Sawm

Islamic Rulings Surrounding Ramadhan and Fasting. Based on “Manar As Sabeel Fi Sharh Ad Daleel” Of Shaykh Ibraheem ibn Duwaiyan (d. 1353 AH) as explained by Br. Salim Morgan. Transcribed and Edited By Ibn Al Hyderabadee

Prologue Introduction

Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan
1. A pillar of Islam 2. Obligation of Fasting 3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan 4. One reliable witness' presence is sufficient 5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual 6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness 7. Requirements of a valid fast 8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting 9. Recommended acts of fasting

Chapter 2: Permissions and Prohibitions

1. Impermissible to break fast during Ramadhan 2. Prohibited to fast for a woman in her menstrual or post-partum bleedin 3. Obligatory to break it when it is required to save a person’s life 4. Recommended to break fast for one who is ill and fears harm from fasting. 5. Recommended to break fast when one is traveling 6. Permissible for one to break fast who begins a journey while fasting 7. Permissible for a pregnant or nursing (breast feeding) woman 8. Change of condition of a person doesn’t obligate one to refrain from eating and drinking the rest of the day. 9. Prohibited to fast a voluntary fast instead of an obligatory one.

Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast

1. Intentional Intake of anything into the abdomen 2. Intention to break fast 3. Fluctuating Intention to fast 4. Vomiting intentionally 5. Menstruation or Post Partum Bleeding 6. Masturbation 7. Marital Relations 8. Cupping for both parties 9. Death 10. Apostasy 11. Above are Exempted in some cases

Chapter 4: Repayment
1. Missing a day of fast in Ramadhan
2. When does one make up a missed fast
3. If missed fast are not made up until few dats before next Ramadhan
4. Missed fasts first or voluntary?

Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting
1. Recommended Every Other Day Sawn Dawood
2. The three white days of every Islamic month
3. Six days of Shawwaal
4. Month of Muharram and the 10th
5. Ten days of Dhil Hijja and that of Arafat
6. Disliking of the month of Rajab
7. Disliking of the day of Friday
8. Disliking of the 30th of Shabaan
9. Impermissibility of fasting on the two Eids
10. Completing of a voluntary fast is not Wajib

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