"What is Fidya – Who can pay and who should fast

"What is Fidya – Who can pay and who should fast


Islam is a practical code that governs the life of a Muslim from birth to death. The laws of Islam are divine and contain great benefit for Muslims. At times a certain law or command may not be apparently understood by us, but based on our belief and faith in Islam we accept the laws as divine and central to our salvation.

The laws of fasting are applicable to all Muslim adults. Among the laws of fasting is the aspect of Fidyah which is misunderstood by some – hence we intend to provide clarity on this important ruling.

Fidyah is the Arabic term for compensation that is to be discharged when one is unable to fast in Ramadan due to permanent ill health. Only that person who has no hope of fasting again, like the very old and chronically or terminally ill, will pay Fidyah for missed fasts.

Persons who may have been excused from fasting due to temporary illness or travel must make Qadha i.e. keep the missed fasts. Such a person will not be allowed to pay Fidyah for the missed fasts.

Allah Ta’ala states in the Noble Qur’an: “Those amongst you who are ill (temporarily) or on a journey, then the same number (should be made up) from other days.” (Al Baqarah)

It is clear from this verse that merely the paying Fidyah will not suffice for missed fasts.

A breastfeeding or pregnant woman who fears loss of her life or the life of her child due to fasting is exempted from fasting until she regains her health.

Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)) has said in a tradition: “Verily Allah Ta’ala has excused the travelling one from fasting and has shortened his Salaah to half and has excused the pregnant and breastfeeding ones from fasting.”  (Tirmizi, Ahmad) 

The breastfeeding woman and pregnant woman will fall under the purview of part of the Ayat as mentioned above regarding the  temporarily sick and traveler i.e. “ Those amongst you who are ill (temporarily) or on a journey , then the same number (should be made up) from other days.” Thus, a pregnant or breastfeeding women must keep her missed fasts in full once strength and good health is regained.

The notion of paying for missed fasts in place of actual fasting is incorrect. No compensation is allowed for one who is able to fast. It is however advisable to make a bequest that if these Qadhas are not made-up in one’s lifetime, then Fidyah should be given on one’s behalf.

NB: One who has missed fasts in Ramadan due to illness (any temporary illness) or due to a journey then he should endeavour not to delay in making up for the missed fasts as there is no guarantee of life. In the instance of a person who rightly paid Fidyah due to genuine illness and then regained good health, he shall be required to keep the missed fasts.

Darul Ihsan Centre – Fatwa Department – Whatsapp  084 786 2224

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