When is it necessary to give fidyah (ransom) for fasting in Ramadan and to whom?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Fidyah (ransom) can be given to only one poor person or to more than poor person. It can be given in Ramadan, at the beginning or at the end of it.

Fidya is given to the people to whom zakah is given. Therefore, a person cannot give fidyah to his children or grandchildren.

What a person who is too weak or ill to perform fasting and who is not rich enough to give fidyah needs to do is to ask forgiveness from Allah. He does not have to give fidyah in that case.

If a person gives fidyah and then becomes well enough to fast, he has to fast those days as qada. In that case, if he dies before fasting them, he needs to tell his inheritors to give fidyah for him. If he dies before getting well, the fidyah he has given is enough; he does not have to tell his inheritors to give fidyah for him.

Fidyah related to fasting is definite based on a 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..." (al-Baqara, 2/184).

As it is understood from the verse, ill people and travelers can perform fasting later as qada. Those who cannot perform fasting later due to a reason like being very old or having a chronic disease can give fidyah. 

Fidyah means to give enough food or money to a poor person that is enough for him to eat for one day. If a Muslim did not perform fasting due to such excuses and did not give fidyah for the days he missed fasting and died, fidyah has to be given from his inheritance. This is called isqat as-sawm. (Ş.İ.A.)

You can give the fidyah of the fasting you skipped two or three years ago now.

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