Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Issue of Fidyah Payments in Ramadan

1) al-Ustadz Sayyid Sabiq رحمه الله stated in “Fiqh as-Sunnah”

Making Up Missed Days of Ramadan:
“If one delays performing the missed days of fasting until the next Ramadan comes, he is to fast the present Ramadan and then make up the days from the previous Ramadan. There is no ransom payment (fidyah) to be made, regardless of whether the person delayed the fasting due to some acceptable excuse or not. This is the opinion of the Hanafiyyah and al-Hassan al-Basri رحمه الله. 
Imam Malik, ash-Shaf'i, Ahmad, and Ishaq (bin Rahaweih) رحمه الله agree that there is no ransom payment if the fasting was delayed due to some excuse, but they differ when the fasting was delayed without any acceptable excuse. In such a case, according to them, the person should fast the present Ramadan and then make up the days he missed from the previous Ramadan along with a ransom payment of a mudd [1] of food given in charity each day.
It should be noted that they have no acceptable evidence for that opinion. 
Apparently, the correct opinion is that of the Hanafiyyah, as there is no lawmaking without an authentic legal text to support it (that is, a Qur'anic verse or authentic hadith).” [2]

2) al-Imam Ibn Qudamah [3] رحمه الله said in “al-Mughnie”: 

If one delays performing the missed days of fasting until the next Ramadan comes… if it was delayed due to some excuse, then the obligation is only to make up the missed days of fasting. 
But if the fasting was delayed without any acceptable excuse, in addition to making up the missed days of fasting, one should give food to the poor for each delayed day. This is the opinion of (among the Companions) Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar, Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنهم, (among the Tabi‘ien) Mujahid, Sa ‘ied bin Jubayr رحمه الله, (and among the Atba‘ at-Tabi‘ien) Malik, ats-Tsauri, al-Auza‘ie, asy-Syafi‘ie dan Is-haq رحمه الله. 
While al-Hasan (al-Basriy), an-Nakha‘ie and Abu Haniefah رحمه الله : No ransom payment…
Topic: If one delayed (missed days of fasting) without excuse (accepted by Syara’) until after 2 Ramadans (2 consecutive years) or more, one is not penalised except for 1 ransom payment (no additions/compounds) in addition to the obligation of making up the missed days of fasting.” [4]

3) The explanation of al-Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله in “al-Majmu’”:

He said:
“The Atsar (narrations from the Companions) mentioned by this book’s author [5] from Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنهم about giving food (Fidyah) were recorded by ad-Daraqutniy رحمه الله and he said the Isnad (chain of narrators) from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه‎ : “The isnad is Sahih (authentic).” He also recorded a marfu' (attributed as the sayings of the Prophet) narration from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه‎ with a weak isnad (ضعيف جدا). The isnad from Isnad Ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنهم is also Sahih.  
The text of the narration is from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه‎: 
“If one becomes ill (in Ramadan and refrains from fasting), then recovers (after the passing of Ramadan) but does not make up the missed days until the next Ramadan, he (Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه) said : He fasts the new Ramadan that has commenced (even though he still owes some missed days), then he completes the missed days of the previous Ramadan and in addition, he gives food to 1 poor person for each day (that was delayed).”
With that explanation, we may conclude that there does not exist an authentic narration from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ to be used as evidence against one who delayed his fast until the emergence of the next Ramadan to be penalised with a ransom payment (fidyah) and such a penalty was solely based upon the opinions of Abu Hurairah and Ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنهم. Such is the conclusion that we may derive from the explanation of al-Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله.

He added:
“If one owed missed days of Ramadan… with valid excuse (accepted by Syara’),… it is admissible for him to delay making up the missed days as long as his excuse exists, even if it extends a few years, he is not required to make the ransom payment (fidyah)… he needs only to complete making up his missed days… 
However, if no valid excuse exists, it is not admissible to delay them until the next Ramadan of the subsequent year, without any difference of opinion… 
Our Ashab (scholars of asy-Syafi‘iyah) stated: … Delaying making up missed days of Ramadan until the emergence of the next Ramadan is delaying it to a period when its execution is no longer accepted and no longer valid… [6] 
… If one delays the making up until the next Ramadan without valid excuse… he must perform the Ramadan of that new year and he must complete making up the missed days of last Ramadan after that. He must also give a mudd of food to 1 poor person for each missed day within the Ramadan of that new year in addition to performing his missed days, according to the explanation of this book’s author (al-Imam asy-Syierazi رحمه الله ), for it to be acceptable based on the texts of al-Imam asy-Syafi‘ie رحمه الله himself, and it is a penalty which has been agreed in consensus by al-Ashab[7] except al-Muzaniy رحمه الله who declared: It is not obligatory to give ransom payment (fidyah to the poor).”

Among the valid excuses as stated by al-Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله himself are:

If the delay of making up missed fasts was due to excuses such as menstruation, post-natal bleeding, illness, loss of consciousness / coma, journey of musafir, forgetting to perform niyyah (intention of the heart), eating intentionally in the day while thinking it was night or breastfeeding mothers and those in pregnancy, hence the delay of making up missed days are permissible without any difference of opinion (among the asy-Syafi‘iyah Madzhab), as long as it does extend until the Ramadan of the new year. Nevertheless, it is strongly encouraged to hasten making up of missed days. [8]

In Conclusion:

1. There is no strong proof to penalise a person with missed days who delays making them up until the start of the Ramadan of the following year to give ransom payment (fidyah), as long as there exists a valid excuse (such as illness, pregnancy, breastfeeding, post-natal bleeding, etc)

*However, with regard to pregnant and breastfeeding women, there exist authentic narrations from a few Companions, such as Ibn 'Abbaas and Ibn 'Umar رضي الله عنهم , who considered that the ransom payment (without any annual compoundments) without fasting and without needing to make up the missed days would suffice for them (pregnant and breastfeeding women).

2. Even when there is no valid excuse for delaying them, one is also not penalised to give ransom payment (fidyah) and needs only to make up the missed days based on the original commandment, except for those who consider the fatwa of a few Companions and of some scholars who require the ransom payment (fidyah) of 1 mudd to be given to the poor.

3. Heirs who are recompensing for the missed days of fasting owed by the deceased with ransom payment [9], need to take into account the number of missed days only, without needing to calculate the compound increase according to the number of years that has since passed. It matters not whether the deceased missed his days of fasting with valid excuses or not.

4. These are all based upon the original commandments as stated in al-Quran and as-Sunnah as well as the opinions of many scholars. [10]


[1] 1 mudd: 543 grams of flour/rice or etc based upon al-Jumhur (majority of the scholars). Based on the Hanafi Madzhab: 815.39 grams.

[2] Fiqh as-Sunnah: 1/536-537

[3] Al-Imam Muwaffaq ad-Dien, Abu Muhammad ‘AbdulLah bin Ahmad bin Qudamah al-Maqdisiy ad-Dimasyqiy al-Hambali (541-620H).

[4] Al-Mughnie: 4/400-401

[5] Meaning: the author of the book “al-Muhadzdzab”, al-Imam asy-Syierazi (393-476H), Abu Is-haq Ibrahiem bin ‘Aliy bin Yusuf al-Fairuz Abadi asy-Syierazi. al-Muhadzdzab was commented by al-Imam an-Nawawi and he called his commentary “al-Majmu‘”.

[6] This is based upon the opinion of some scholars, among them are the scholars of the asy-Syafi‘iyah Madzhab – most of them applied Qiyas and relied on a hadith narration which has been proven weak (regarding the invalidity of supergotary fasts while obligatory fasts were still owed)

[7] The students of the Madzhab scholars who studied directly and became faitful companions of al-Imam asy-Syafi‘ie – writer.

[8] Al-Majmu‘ syarh al-Muhadzdzab: 6/387.

[9] According to the stronger opinion, only the fasts of nadzar (vow) may be recompensed by their heirs by fasting. For the fasts of Ramadan however, the missed days of the deceased is not recompensed by by fasting but by merely giving the ransom payment (fidyah).

[10] Similar to the scholars from among the Tabi‘ien (those who received knowledge directly from the Companions of the Prophet) al-Hasan, Tawus and an-Nakha‘ie and also renowned scholars such as al-Muzaniy who was recognized by dii’tiraf al-Imam asy-Syafi‘ie himself as the defender of his Madzhab and also al-Imam al-Mawardee plus almost all the scholars of the Hanafi Madzhab.
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