66822: She could not find a poor person to feed instead of fasting in Ramadaan – should she give the money in charity?


I am a sick woman suffering from a chronic illness. My doctor advised me not to fast and I cannot find any poor person to feed. How much money may I give instead?.

Praise be to Allaah.

We ask Allaah to bless you with healing and to make this sickness an expiation for your sins and to raise you in status in the Hereafter. 

The person who is chronically sick and unable to fast or make up the missed fasts is not obliged to fast, but he must feed one poor person for each day, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day).”

[al-Baqarah 2:184] 

‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: This has not been abrogated. It refers to an old man or an old woman who are unable to fast; they should feed one poor person for each day. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4505.

The sick person for whom there is no hope of recovery comes under the same ruling as an old man. 

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The sick person who has no hope of recovery may break the fast, and he should feed one poor person for each day, because he is like an old man. End quote. 

Al-Mughni, 4/396 

The Muslim lands are full of poor and needy people who cannot find enough to feed them and their families. There is no state that is without its poor, even if they are hard to find in some countries. No country is without its charitable committees who take on the task of making sure that zakaah and charity reach those who are entitled to them. 

Even if you cannot find a poor person to give food to, what are you going to do with the money that is equal to the value of the food? To whom will you give this money? This means that the problem is still there. It is not permissible to give this money – even if it were permissible to give it in the form of money – to anyone but the poor and needy who are entitled to it. 

Whatever the case, you must try hard to look for poor and needy people in your country. Even if you do not know them, you can delegate someone whose religious commitment you trust to give this food to someone who is entitled to it. It makes no difference whether it is an individual or a charitable organization. 

Remember that it is not permissible for you to give money – no matter how much – instead of giving the fidyah that has been enjoined upon you, because Allaah has enjoined upon you “to feed a Miskeen (poor person)”, and He has not enjoined you to give money. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day).”

[al-Baqarah 2:184] 

We have explained that in the answer to question no. 39234

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Create Comments