“Fasting is for a fixed number of days, and if one of you be sick, or if one of you be on a journey, you will fast the same number of other days later on. For those who are capable of fasting (but still do not fast) there is a redemption: feeding a needy man for each day missed. Whoever voluntarily does more good than is required, will find it better for him; and that you should fast is better for you, if you only know.”
– (Qur’an 2:184)
Not all Muslims are able to fast during the month of Ramadan, and for those who can’t, there is the option to pay Fidiya as stated in the verse above.
Fidya is a religious donation to the poor and the needy which must be made when a fast is missed through necessity (such as when one is ill, on a journey, pregnant, or of extreme age, young or old) and it cannot be made up after Ramadan.
In the Hanafi-school, the expiatory payment for Ramadan is only paid by “a person who is not able to fast at all.” This entails that the expiatory payment only applies for people whom, due to health considerations:
- Cannot fast in Ramadan and
- Cannot make up for the missed fasts at any other time of the year and
- Are not expected to ever regain the ability to make up for the missed fasts
For every day of missed fasting, one has to pay the value of approximately 2 kg of wheat.