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:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous. (2:183)
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)
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is not optional
Ramadan is a month which is sanctified. It is a major sin to break the sanctity of this month by not fasting without a valid reason. Fasting in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, and therefore not fasting In Ramadan is punishable.
School exams and school trips, business trips, sports fixatures are not valid reasons to abstain from fasting. Many parents think that GCSEs and A Levels are sufficient reason to abstain from fasting, however that is not the case. Instead they should give their children the motivation to fast and rely on Allah as His command is weightier than their exams.
Valid reasons for not fasting are chronic medical conditions. It is very important to teach this to children once they pass puberty and not to dismiss fasts lightly, or to think that they can be skipped during Ramadan and made up later when it is more convenient.
In a weak narration, but one where the overall message is in line with the Sunnah it says that missing a fast without a valid reason is not acceptable to the extent that fasting continuously for a missed fast will not absolve one of the sin. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
If anyone breaks his fast one day in Ramadan without a concession granted to him by Allah, a perpetual fast will not atone for it. [Abu Dawoud]
Understanding the difference between fidyah and kaffarah
We have some confusion in people’s minds with the terminology of fidyah and kafarah – they are not interchangeable terms. Fidyah is paying for a fast missed for a valid reason (such as sickness or pregnancy) and kafarah is a punishment for not fasting when one should have fasted or breaking the fast without a valid reason.
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 fidyah?
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 (may Allah be pleased with him) 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.
Women who missed a lot of fasts due to pregnancy
When women have a lot of fasts to make up, as long as they have the health to make up the fasts they do not pay fidyah, but should make a record of the missed fasts, make the intention to fast and set up a plan to make them up over time. There is consensus among scholars the you do not pay fidyah if you have the ability to fast.
If you missed multiple fasts without a valid reason do you have pay kaffarah multiple times?
There is one opinion that if you missed more than one fast without a valid reason, you pay the kaffarah in one go. You would not have pay the kaffarah multiple times.
Making up for the fasts of a deceased person
One of way of repaying the fasts of a deceased person is to fast on their behalf. Ibn Buraidah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that his father said:
“A woman came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, my mother has died and she owed a fast. Should I fast on her behalf?’ He said: ‘Yes.’” [Ibn Majah]
Otherwise if someone passes away there are two opinions on how to deal with the shortfall in their fasts. The Hanafi opinion is that you pay kaffarah. The other schools say you estimate how many fasts they missed and pay fidyah for that number of missing fasts.
Zakat al Fitr (Fitrana)
In addition, we have been commanded to pay Zakat al Fitr before praying Eid salah, and it must be paid before the time. Zakat al Fitr is obligatory on all Muslims, young and old.
As Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
Allah’s Messenger (peace be on him) enjoined the payment of one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley as Zakat-ul Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the EId prayer. [One Sa’ = 3 Kilograms approx.] (Bukhari)
Paying Zakat ul Fitr in cash or kind
There is a discussion among scholars on what medium to spend in, but whatever is beneficial for the needy is acceptable. Cash is a good option because it gives the needy person the ability to spend his most acute needs. At that time, people gave barley and dates because they were a means of exchange.
In another hadith, the Prophet (peace be on him) said:
Spare them from begging on this day. (Daraqutni and Bayhaqi)
Cash does this. It is around £10 pounds in the UK, for each member of your family who relies on you financially.
Zakat ul Fitr covers any shortcomings in your fasting during Ramadan
Abdullah ibn Abbas narrated May Allah be pleased with him said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) prescribed the sadaqah of fitr (alms relating to the breaking of the fast) as a purification of the fasting from useless and obscene talk and as food for the poor. If anyone pays it before the prayer (of ‘Id), it will be accepted as zakat. If anyone pays it after the prayer, that will be a sadaqah like other sadaqahs (alms). (Abu Dawoud)
Fidyah – 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
Zakat al Fitr – payable by all Muslims before the Eid salah.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – 17 March 2022
- The last bastion of Islam will be Shaam
- Palestine: The Holy Land
- All oppression has an expiry date
- 70 acts of kindness
- Palestine: we feel your pain
September 08, 2023
July 14, 2023