Could you give information about the qada (compensation) of missed fasts and paying ransom (fidyah) for those fasts?

Details of the Question
Could you give information about the qada (compensation) of missed fasts and paying ransom (fidyah) for those fasts? I have 250 missed fasts which I did not perform although I was not sick. Can I pay ransom for them? Or do I have to fast all of them? If I can pay ransom, how is the amount of it calculated today?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

One who is healthy enough to fast cannot compensate for his/her missed fasts by paying ransom. He/she has to perform them all as qada. A Muslim who is too unhealthy to fast can pay ransom for each of the missed fasts. That ransom substitutes the fast. Fitrah (alms given in Ramadan) and ransom are equal in amount.

Ransom about fasting which is one of the worships is determined by the following verse: “(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.” (al-Baqarah, 2/184)

As it is understood from the clear expression of the verse, ransom for fasting is paid when one does not have an opportunity to perform it as qada because of illness or old age. If one pays ransom and then recovers from his/her illness, the ransom paid before will not be enough and he/she has to perform the missed fasts as qada. In this sense, if one dies before he/she performs the missed fasts as qada, he/she needs to tell his/her inheritors to pay the ransom on his/her behalf. If one dies before he/she recovers, the ransom paid before will be enough and he/she does not need to tell his/her inheritors about it.

Therefore, one must perform each of the missed fasts as qada. Moreover, one should repent for not having performed a fard worship in time without an excuse.

If one cannot perform the missed fasts as qada because of illness or old age, he/she has to pay ransom for each of them. The amount of a ransom is equal to the amount of fitrah determined for that year.

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