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Fasting during Ramadan is a religious duty that all eligible Muslims must carry out as per Allah’s (SWT) instructions and the five pillars of Islam.

 Missing a fast is very serious and is to be avoided at all costs. If you do miss a fast, there are compensations that need to be made in order to repent for it, but these differ depending on why the fast has been missed. 

Missing a Fast Accidentally 

Many facets of Islam boil down to intent, and breaking or missing a fast during Ramadan is no different. If you genuinely forget that it is Ramadan and you take a sip of water or nibble on a piece of food, only to later remember it’s Ramadan, your fast won’t necessarily be broken or missed. This is because there was no direct intent to miss the fast. 

It is believed that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

“Whoever forgets that he is fasting and eats or drinks, let him complete his fast, for the One Who fed him and gave him to drink was Allah.” – Abu Hurayrah 

This cements the fact that genuine errors are accepted and Allah (SWT) won’t punish you for them, though every effort must be made to abide by the Ramadan rules.

Missing a Fast on Purpose 

Missing a fast on purpose may be considered a sin depending on the reasoning for it and the intent behind it. When this is the case, there are two distinct categories that you may fall into. The first is those who are exempt and cannot do the fast. Most people will know that they will be unable to do the fast, but provided they have a valid reason to do so, it may not be considered a sin.

The Qur’an permits a number of reasons you can break your fast without it being considered a sin. They are as follows: 

  • Not being of age (children who have yet to reach puberty)
  • Not being in good health (long-term health conditions that require medication)
  • Being elderly or frail as a result of age

If you fall into any of these categories, it is permissible for you to miss the fast and pay compensation through Fidya. Sometimes, issues arise during Ramadan which mean you may not be able to continue with the rest of your fast. Provided they are one of the issues below, you will also not be committing a sin and will be liable to pay Fidya:

  • Travelling
  • Being pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Starting your menstruation cycle

In comparison, if you intend to miss a fast and do so willingly without having a valid reason, this is considered a sin in the eyes of Allah (SWT). Sawm (fasting) is an integral part of Islam and is one of the core principles the religion is founded on, so to willingly disregard it is akin to willingly disregarding the wishes and commands of Allah (SWT). For this, there is a harsh compensation that must be paid that is known as Kaffarah. 

How to Make up for a Broken Fast 

As mentioned above, there are two ways you can make up for a missed fast depending on the reason why it was missed. If you missed your fast for a permissible reason, you must make up for it through Fidya. This is equivalent to paying for one needy person to eat every day you are unable to fast for, or fasting one day per missed day of fasting later in the year. 

If you missed your fast on purpose and without a valid reason, you must make up for it through Kaffarah. This is equivalent to paying for 60 needy people to eat every day or fasting 60 consecutive days. 

Whether you are liable to pay Fidya or Kaffarah, it is always preferable that you fast rather than pay money where possible. 

This is because fasting teaches us valuable lessons about self-control and restraint.

It also allows us to cleanse our minds and bodies so that we can channel all our energy into building a stronger bond with Allah (SWT). 

How Much do You Pay for Missed Fasts? 

There are different rates of compensation that are owed depending on whether you must pay Fidya or Kaffarah. For Fidya, the rates are as follows: 

  • One day of fasting for every fast that is missed
  • A donation equivalent to feeding one hungry person for every fast that is missed (typically £5 per day)

For Kaffarah, the rates are as follows:

  • 60 days of fasting.
  • A donation equivalent to feeding 60 hungry people (typically £300)

The monetary rate for Fidya varies year on year in line with the price of staple foods like wheat and grains.

Fasting After Ramadan 

If you will be fasting as compensation, you can do it any time of the year, except on Eid as fasting is prohibited at this time. This means when the new moon signaling Shawwal (and therefore the start of Eid ul-Fitr) is spotted, you cannot fast until the celebrations have passed. You also cannot fast during Eid ul-Adha celebrations, but outside of these two periods, you may make up your missed fasts at any time. 

Paying Fidya and Kaffarah 

Those who are unable to fast to pay their Fidya or Kaffarah must make a monetary donation, and this may be paid through ILM. We will use your compensation to feed those who are unable to feed themselves, ensuring your sins are repaid in the eyes of Allah (SWT) and the Ramadan rules. 

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