"If a person has some missed fasting that he has not performed from the previous Ramadan and reaches Ramadan, his fasting in Ramadan will not be accepted." According to this hadith, can those who have some missed fasting that they have not performed from

The Details of the Question

"If a person has some missed fasting that he has not performed from the previous Ramadan and reaches Ramadan, his fasting in Ramadan will not be accepted." According to this hadith, can those who have some missed fasting that they have not performed from the previous Ramadan not perform fasting in Ramadan?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Yes, the hadith you mention exists in Ibn Hanbal. The full text of the hadith is as follows:

“If a person has some missed fasting that he has not performed from the previous Ramadan and reaches Ramadan, his fasting in Ramadan will not be accepted. If a person has some missed Ramadan fasting, his nafilah fasting will not be accepted - unless he finishes performing his missed fasting." (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad 2/352)

Haysami said this hadith was hasan. (see Majmauz-Zawaid, 3/179)

Haysami  said, “Tabarani reported this hadith briefly in al-Awsat” (ibid), but we could not find a hadith like that in Tabarani. The nearest hadith in meaning there is the following hadith: “If a person reaches the month of Ramadan and does not perform fasting, he will face unhappiness/trouble.” However, it has nothing to do with our topic.

According to the majority of the scholars except Hanafis, a person who has some missed fasting that he has not performed from the previous Ramadan reaches Ramadan, needs to perform fasting in Ramadan; after that, he performs the fasting he missed last year and pays kaffarah/fidyah since he delayed it to the next Ramadan. According to Hanafis, he does not pay kaffarah/fidyah whether he delayed them with or without an excuse. (see al-Badai’-Shamila-, 4/281; W. Zuhayli, 2/680)

According to Shafiis, a person needs to pay separate kaffarah/fidyah for each year that he delayed for the fasting he missed in Ramadan along with performing missed fasting. (Nawawi, al-Majmu, 6/364; al-Minhaj/as-Sirajul-Wahhaj, 144-145; Zuhayli, ibid)

According to Shafiis, it is makruh for a person who has missed fard fasting to perform nafilah/sunnah fasting. (ibid) According to Hanafis, it is not makruh. (al-Badai’-Shamila -, 4/281) This view of Hanafis and Shafiis, are in compliance with their view about prayer.

These explanations show that Islamic scholars evaluated hadiths like these differently. We did not see this hadith being used as evidence in relevant fiqh resources.

It is appropriate to view the relevant hadith as condemning those who miss fasting without any excuse and encouraging those who have missed fasting to perform them as soon as possible. Besides, it is possible to interpret it as follows: Such people will gain fewer rewards than those who have no missed fasting even if they perform the same fasting in Ramadan because of having missed fasting from the previous year.  

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