How much is fidyah? And how much is kaffarah?
Fasting is an obligation for all Muslim believers, as ordained by Allah in Surat al-Baqarah:
أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
For a specified number of days. But whoever among you is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. For those who are able: a ransom of feeding a needy person. But whoever volunteers goodness, it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. (2:184)
What is fidyah?
Fidyah is payable when someone is unable to fast during Ramadan due to medical conditions, pregnancy or any other valid reasons such as a prolonged illness, and will not be able to make up the fast.
How much is fidyah?
Fidyah is feeding one meal to a needy person per missed fast. (It is one meal, not all the meals for one day.)
You can either feed them, or you can give the equivalent cash for someone needy to be given a meal where you live or abroad.
The amount is the average cost of a meal. Many charities show the cost of a meal as £5. This may be the cost of meal abroad, but the average cost of a meal in the UK is approximately £10. Therefore if you live in the UK, you should pay the cost of a meal in the UK regardless if you are paying for a meal abroad or in the UK, unless you cannot afford to, then you can pay the lesser amount for a meal abroad.
What if I cannot afford to pay fidyah?
If you cannot afford to pay cash, then you should feed a meal to the poor from your own food.
Can you pay fidyah instead of fasting if you are able to make up the fasts?
No. Fidyah is only payable when you cannot make up the fasts, for instance you have a chronic medical condition that means you should not fast. If you are able to make up the fasts, then you do not pay fidyah, you make up the missed fasts when you can.
What is kaffarah?
The difference between fidyah and kaffarah is that fidyah is compensation for not doing the prescribed act of worship, but kaffarah is punishment for disobedience.
Kaffarah is the amount that has to be paid to atone for fasts deliberately broken in Ramadan without a valid reason or for breaking a promise/oath. In other words, it was not for eating or drinking accidentally out of forgetfulness or because one began to feel too ill to carry on, rather it is for a fast that was deliberately broken by eating or drinking or having full sexual intercourse.
To atone for the intentionally broken fast, you must make up the fast and pay kaffarah which is to fast continuously for 60 days. However, if you are unable to do that, then you have make up the fast and feed a meal to 60 poor people.
To atone for breaking an oath, you must ask Allah for forgiveness, and pay the amount equivalent to feeding a meal to 10 people.
What is the difference between kaffarah and fidya?
If you deliberately break a fast without a valid reason, you must make up the fast and pay kaffarah. However, fidyah is only paid if you miss a fast but have a valid reason to do so and are unable to make up the fast at any other time in the future.
The amount paid for each missed fast is the equivalent of feeding 60 people. However, when paying fidyah, the payment for each missed fast is equivalent to feeding a meal to one person.
Abu Hurayrah narrated:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ هَلَكْتُ. قَالَ ” وَمَا شَأْنُكَ ”. قَالَ وَقَعْتُ عَلَى امْرَأَتِي فِي رَمَضَانَ. قَالَ ” هَلْ تَجِدُ مَا تُعْتِقُ رَقَبَةً ”. قَالَ لاَ. قَالَ ” فَهَلْ تَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ تَصُومَ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ ”. قَالَ لاَ. قَالَ ” فَهَلْ تَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ تُطْعِمَ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا ”. قَالَ لاَ أَجِدُ. فَأُتِيَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِعَرَقٍ فِيهِ تَمْرٌ فَقَالَ ” خُذْ هَذَا فَتَصَدَّقْ بِهِ ”. فَقَالَ أَعَلَى أَفْقَرَ مِنَّا مَا بَيْنَ لاَبَتَيْهَا أَفْقَرُ مِنَّا. ثُمَّ قَالَ ” خُذْهُ فَأَطْعِمْهُ أَهْلَكَ ”.البخاري.
A man came to the Prophets and said, “I am ruined!” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “What is the matter with you?” He said, “I have had sexual intercourse with my wife (while fasting) in Ramadan” The Prophet (ﷺ) said to him, “Can you afford to set free a slave?” He said, “No.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Can you fast for two successive months?” He said, “No.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Can you feed sixty poor persons?” He said, “I have nothing.” Later on an Irq (big basket) containing dates was given to the Prophet, and the Prophet (ﷺ) said (to him), “Take this basket and give it in charity.” The man said, “To poorer people than we? Indeed, there is nobody between its (i.e., Medina’s) two mountains who is poorer than we.” The Prophet then said, “Take it and feed your family with it.” (Bukhari)
There are two opinions among scholars whether you have to follow the sequence and try to fast 60 days before opting to feed 60 people or whether you can feed them without trying to fast.
Fidya – due for a missed fast for valid reason – feed one meal to a poor person
Kaffarah – due for intentionally broken fast without valid reason – make up the fast and then fast for 60 days continuously or feed 60 poor people
Kaffarah – due for intentionally broken oath – feed 10 poor people
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – 17 March 2022
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