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When are we exempt from fasting?


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When are we exempt from fasting?




Due to the illness of diabetes, I missed many fasts. Do I have to make qadha now or a kaffara is necessary?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

It is a well-established principle of Shariah that, it is permissible not to fast or break an already kept fast due to reasons that are beyond one’s control, such as travelling, illness, pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc, although a traveller may not enter into a fast, but it will not be permissible for him to break an already kept fast. (See: Radd al-Muhtar, 2/421)


Allah Most High says:

“(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.” (al-Baqarah, 184)


Regarding illness, the great Hanafi jurist, Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states in the chapter of “excuses that permit not to fast” in his excellent work Durr al-Mukhtar:


“(It is permissible not to fast) for an individual who is ill and fears that his/her illness will increase, or a healthy person who fears that he will become ill due to fasting.” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 2/422)


Thus, there is no sin for not fasting or breaking a fast that was already kept due to illness such as diabetes in your case. The compensation will be (as mentioned in the verse of the Qur’an quoted earlier) making up for the fast on another day (qadha) when you are reasonably able to do so.


And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK

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Long-Term Illness that Prevents Fasting


Question: I was wondering if you could clarify the following matter regarding fasts. I am currently on medication, I have been taking it since I can remember. I take it twice a day and since it is very strong,I have to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Most probably I will always be eating it all my life, as I already have been doing so.


With regards to this problem, what do I do in compensating for my fasts, since I cannot fast? Please can you give me specific recommendations?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.


Please consult a reliable local scholar and physician to determine if there is any way to still fast despite your condition, such as by adjusting the medication dosage or times you have to take it, switching to another effective medication, seeking alternative modes of therapy, etc.


Also, see if you are able to make up the fasts when the days are shorter, and then still take your medication and requisite water before and after the fast.


If none of this is possible, then you would be considered someone with a chronic illness not expected to recover. The ruling for such a person is that if unable to fast, then for each missed day he must give fidya, i.e., roughly 2.2kg of wheat or its monetary equivalent to the poor. However, if at some point you get better and are able to fast, then you would have to make up all those days (even the days for which you paid the fidya). [ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]



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