The rulings pertaining to making up the missed days, expiation and feeding the needy

Section Seven – The rulings pertaining to making up the missed days, expiation and feeding the needy

In this section read about:
1. Did not make up the days from previous Ramadan
2. Delaying making up the fasts until arrival of following Ramadan
3. Ruling regarding one who had not fasted for many years
4. Ignorant about obligation of fasting
5. Did not make up days missed in Ramadan throughout her menstrual years
6. Pregnant wife unable to make up days remaining from Ramadan
7. Unable to fast for four years due to illness
8. Had sexual intercourse with my wife not knowing it was first day of Ramadan
9. Died whilst still having days to make up from Ramadan

1. Did not make up the days from previous Ramadan

Question: Concerning the one who had days to make up from the previous Ramadan and had not done so when the following Ramadan arrived, is he a sinner and does he have to make an expiation or not?

Response: Anyone who has days to make up from the (previous) Ramadan then he has to make them up before (the arrival of) the next Ramadan. It is permissible for him to delay his fast until Sha’baan (the 8th month, just before Ramadan). However, if the following Ramadan arrives and he still has not made up the (missed) days without (a valid) reason, then he has committed a sin. So now he has to make up those days along with feeding a poor person for every day (he has to make up) as this is what the group of companions of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) had ruled with. The amount of food required would be half a saa’a for every day from that which is the norm in the country and is to be given to a number of people or, even, just one person. As for he who had a valid excuse for delaying in making up the fasts, because of illness or travel then he has to make up the days missed only and he does not have to feed any poor people, for the general statement of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala): {and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not fast must be made up) from other days} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185]. And Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is the Provider of Success.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 555/ Fatwa No. 537), also (al-Fataawa libni-Baaz, Kitaab ad-Da’waah, Volume 2/Page 158-159)

2. Delaying making up the fasts until arrival of following Ramadan

Question: What is required from the one who delays making up the fasts of one Ramadan until the arrival of the following Ramadan?

Response: If this was done for a valid reason, for example, he was ill in bed for eleven months and was unable to fast that which was required of him, then all he has to do is (once again) make up the days missed. However, if he was negligent and was able to fast (but didn’t) then he has to feed a number of poor people for every day that he didn’t make up as expiation for his negligence.Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 555/Fatwa No.538), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 60)

3. Ruling regarding one who had not fasted for many years

Question: What is the ruling regarding a Muslim who had not fasted (during the month of Ramadan) for many years, despite carrying out the other obligatory acts of worship upon him? Knowing he had nothing hindering him from fasting, does he have to make up that which he has missed if he makes repentance?

Response: That which is correct is that he doesn’t have to make up that which he has missed if he makes repentance. This is because all acts of worship are enjoined upon the believers at stated times. So, if someone intentionally delays any of them, such that the time passes without a (valid) reason, Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) will not accept this act from him. So based upon this, there is no point in making up that which he missed. However, he should make repentance to Allaah (‘azza wa-jall) and increase in doing good actions and one who seeks forgiveness, Allaah forgives him (inshaa’Allaah).Shaykh Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 556/Fatwa No. 539), also (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, Volume 1/Page 536)

4. Ignorant about obligation of fasting

Question: Ten years ago, I reached adolescence as a result of the passing of it’s known signs. So in my first year of puberty I let Ramadan pass without fasting and this was without a valid, Islaamic reason but, rather, out of ignorance about it’s obligation at that time. Do I have to make up those days I missed and do I have to do anything other than make up those days such as expiation?

Response: You have to make up the days you missed for that particular month which you did not fast, in addition to making repentance and seeking forgiveness. Also, you have to feed a poor person for every day missed and it’s amount is half a saa’a of the food of the land such as dates, rice or other than these, if you are able to do that. If you are poor and unable to do so, then nothing is required of you except (fasting) the days you missed.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 559/Fatwa No. 542), also (al-Fataawa libni Baaz – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 2/Page 158)

5. Did not make up days missed in Ramadan throughout her menstrual years

Question: An old lady of sixty years of age was ignorant concerning the rulings of menstruation for many years. Throughout her menstrual years, she did not make up the days missed in Ramadan thinking they did not have to be made up. This was according to what she had heard from the sayings of the people in general.

Response: She has to seek repentance from Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) for that (which has passed) because she had not asked the people of knowledge. Also, she has to make up all the missed days and make expiation for each day missed by feeding a poor person half a measure of barley, dates, rice or that which is similar to this from the food of people. This is if she is able to do so. If she is unable to feed the poor, then this is (no longer) required and it will suffice that she make up the days missed only. And with Allaah is the success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 583/Fatwa No.567), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.1790)

6. Pregnant wife unable to make up days remaining from Ramadan

Question: In the year 1409h (1988), my wife did not fast for fourteen days due to her menses. Afterwards, she was able to fast for seven days and she had seven days left (to make up). Now, she is six months pregnant. I seek your assistance, is it enough to make an expiation for the remaining days (she needs to make up)? What should I do? May Allaah reward you.

Response: It is obligatory that your wife make up the days left from the Ramadan in which she did not fast due to her menses. If she delayed making these days up until the arrival of the next Ramadan without a valid, Islaamic reason, then she has to make those days up together with making expiation for each of the days left. The expiation will take the form of feeding a poor person for each day (left to make up), half a measure of dates or barley or that which is similar to this from the food of the people or else, a number of poor people according to the days left to make up. However, if the delay was due to pregnancy or an illness, then there is nothing more required of her except making up the days (missed or left). And with Allaah is the success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah bin Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 583/Fatwa No.568), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.13545)

7. Unable to fast for four years due to illness

Question: A man was struck by a chronic illness, so the doctors advised him not to fast. He was cured of this illness after a period of four years. What should he do now that Allaah has cured him? Should he make up that which has passed?

Response: Anyone who does not fast because of an illness then, after the illness has passed and he is able, it is obligatory for him to make those days up which he was unable to fast. This was mentioned by Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala): {(Fasting) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 184]. For he who had not fasted for four consecutive Ramadans and has now been cured, then it is obligatory upon him to make up the days missed (in order). However, he should distance the days from each other according to his ability to (make up the) fast, until he makes up all that he needs to so that he relieves himself of the responsibility. It is not obligatory for him to make up the days all at once, as that which is mentioned by Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala): {So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can; listen and obey; and spend in charity, that is better for yourselves. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, then they are the successful ones} [Soorah at-Taghaabun, Aayah 16]. This is the case since the time for making up the fasts is plenty. Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 592/Fatwa No. 577), also (al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa ash-Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan, Volume 3/Page 139)

8. Had sexual intercourse with my wife not knowing it was first day of Ramadan

Question: I had sexual intercourse with my wife during the day in Ramadan. I was not aware that it was the first day of Ramadan and nor did many other people until after the ‘Asr prayer so do I (now) have to make an expiation?

Response: There is nothing required of you except to make up the fast that you missed and there is no expiation to make. This is because you did not know that it was the first day of Ramadan so you did not violate the sanctity of the day of Ramadan intentionally.
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 612/Fatwa No.608), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 69)

9. Died whilst still having days to make up from Ramadan

Question: What is the ruling of one who has died whilst still having had days to make up from Ramadan?

Response: If he has died whilst still having days to make up from Ramadan, then the one who is in charge of his affairs from amongst his close relatives or inheritors should fast on his behalf. That which is mentioned in the hadeeth by ‘Aa.ishah is that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((One who has died whilst having days to make up from Ramadan, then the one who is in charge of his affairs must fast on his behalf)). If the one who is in charge of his affairs does not fast on his behalf then he must feed a poor person for every day (to be made up). Shaykh Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 626/Fatwa No. 626), also (Fiqh al-‘Ibaadaat libni ‘Uthaymeen, Page 202-203)