Making up Missed Days of Fasting for Ramadan-Shaykh Abdullah Ali

Did you intentionally break your fast? Were you engaged in some work or school and decided that it would be too difficult for a particular day? If this is the case what should you do? Shaykh Abdullah Ali responds to a question and explains how we should make up days of Fastings. May Allah reward and bless the Muslims with the baraka of Ramadan!

Question: Please advise in what manner one may compensate his missed fasting days in the month of Ramadan. I gather that fasting the exact number of days that you have missed compensates the number of days in Ramadan that you have missed (“Qaza”). Apart from this, is there any other type of compensation to be made, e.g., giving sadqa or feeding the poor for each day missed? Is there any way the person can absolve himself from fasting “Qaza” if he can pay “Sadqa” or feed the poor according to each fasting day missed?

I would appreciate your answer in relation to the following:

i. People who are sick and can’t fast
ii. Working people who miss fasting because of harsh working
iii. Students who miss fasting because of exams/projects/workload
etc. (I would appreciate an answer on this one particularly, because
I unfortunately missed out on some Ramadan days while in college)
iv. People who miss fasting voluntarily

Shaykh Abdullah response:

People who have a legitimate excuse not to fast are the following:
1. Travelers (as long as he departed from his town before fajr and the journey is at least 48 miles from his home town as
long as it is a journey for halal; or even if one doesn’t leave before fajr but remains in the town traveled to for a period of 4
days or fewer. In other words, the person has the option not to fast while in the visiting town, despite not being allowed to break one’s
fast if he leaves after fajr.)
2. Sick people who are harmed by fasting and fear that it will harm their health or threaten their lives
3. Pregnant Women
4. Nursing Women
5. Menstruating Women
6. Women still bleeding after giving birth
7. Elderly people who can no longer withstand the pains of fasting
8. Non-elderly people who cannot bear the pains of fasting due to a
medical condition

If any of the aforementioned chooses not to fast, all are required to make up the days at a later date except for the elderly and others who cannot bear the pains and hardship of fasting. It is merely recommended that they feed an indigent for each day missed.

As for women who are nursing children, in addition to having to make up the days, they must also feed an indigent person for each day missed. Pregnant women merely have to make up the days for fasting.

If a person intentionally breaks his fast without a valid excuse, one must not only make up the day of fasting. One must also do an expiation/atonement in the form of one of 3 things: 1. free a slave, 2. fast 2 months consecutively, or 3. feed 60 indigent people. Each day one intentionally breaks the fast, one must add another atonement.

Harsh work conditions are only considered a legitimate reason to break fast if the conditions weaken someone to the point that he fears for his health or life. In this case, he would only be required to make up the day at a later date.

Exams, projects, and a heavy workload are not legitimate reasons to not fast. If a person has intentionally broken his/her fast or not fasted due to these reasons, one is obliged to do an atonement for each day missed in addition to making up the days.

And Allah knows best.


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