Who is fasting obligatory upon?

In the name of Allah (The One). I send peace and blessings upon His Messenger (Al-Mustafa) and upon His Messenger’s family, companions, and those who follow him in righteousness until the Day of Judgement (Yowm Al-Qiyaamah).

Questioner: Who is fasting not obligatory upon? Benefit us Jazaakm Allahu Khayr (may Allah reward you).

Shaykh Abdul-Aziz bin Baaz responded: Insane people, people without any intellect [ex: someone with down syndrome or Alzheimer’s, may allah protect us from that amen], and children — someone who has yet to reach puberty. As for the menstruating and postnatal bleeding woman, then it is obligatory upon them to fast, however it is not permissible for them to fast during Ramadan and other than it while in that state. It is upon them to make up the days that they didn’t fast during Ramadan.

As for the sick and travelers, they have the option to fast or not during Ramadan, and not fasting is better (for them). And it is upon them to make up those days that they didn’t fast in Ramadan as Allah (Subhaanahu — glory be to him) said,

“And whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days.” — Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 185

But, if there is no hope of being cured of the sickness from the testimony of trustworthy doctors, then it is not obligatory for them to fast nor make it up. Upon them is to feed a poor person for every day with half a Prophetic Saa’ (صاع — a measurement that equals four handfuls, therefore half would be two handfuls) of food of the land. A Saa’ is approximately equivalent to a kilogram and a half. Likewise the elderly men and women that are not capable of fasting Ramadan should feed people every day, with half a Saa’ of food of the land. They are not obligated to fast nor make it up.

It is also permissible to give the Kafaara (recompense) in one lump sum in the beginning, the end, or during the month to one poor person or multiple people.

Additionally, the case for the pregnant and breastfeeding woman, if fasting is difficult for them then they can eat and they must make up the fast like the sick person.

I send peace and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions.

To view this article it in it’s original Arabic form click here.


About Abdul-Malik Merchant
Muslim. Husband. Father. Associate Imam @ISBCC. UQU grad. Boston resident. DC native. Biker. Goofy. Straight up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: