Kaffarh for Breaking Fast Due to Illness

9 Apr 2023

Humans are susceptible to various types of diseases and epidemics throughout their lives, and during illness, their bodies require food, water, and rest. Therefore, our Islamic religion permits concessions that take into account your needs and weakness in such situations; this includes the Kaffarah for breaking fast due to illness, which relieves you from the burden of fasting during sickness. However, that requires you to compensate for not fasting those days after Ramadan with a certain amount of money or food according to specific rulings. We will explain these rulings and the amount of Kaffarah in this article.


What Is Kaffarah for Breaking Fast? 


According to the Islamic jurisprudence dictionary, the Kaffarah for breaking fast, also known as (Fasting Ransom), refers to the monetary or concrete amount you must give if you break your fast during Ramadan for one day or more. Islamic scholars define the Kaffarah of fasting as: "what is offered to Allah as compensation for falling short in worship." In this case, Islam offers the Kaffarah as a penalty for the inability to fast with a valid excuse, such as traveling and sickness.


Why Does Islam Permit Breaking Fast Kaffarah?


A sick person is someone whose body has deviated from its normal state, becoming weak and unable to perform daily tasks. Islam, in its rulings, considers your various human needs and recognizes the suffering you may go through during your illness. Therefore, Allah legislated the Kaffarah of fasting due to illness in the following noble verse: "˹Fast a˺ prescribed number of days.1 But whoever of you is ill or on a journey, then ˹let them fast˺ an equal number of days ˹after Ramaḍân˺. For those who can only fast with extreme difficulty,2 compensation can be made by feeding a needy person ˹for every day not fasted˺. But whoever volunteers to give more, it is better for them. And to fast is better for you, if only you knew." (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 184).


To be obligated to pay the Kaffarah of breaking fast due to illness, you must fulfill the primary conditions for the obligation of fasting, which are being a Muslim and of sound mind. As for Muslim women, they must be pure from menstruation or postpartum bleeding. Then, if you break your fast in Ramadan due to illness, the Kaffarah of fasting is required. Moreover, Islam classifies the diseases that require Kaffarah of fasting according to their severity into two categories:


Chronic Illnesses That Cannot Be Cured


These illnesses cannot be cured according to medicine, and fasting may exacerbate their severity, delay their treatment, or cause you to suffer from daily symptoms and complications. Due to these illnesses, you may need to eat food and take medication during day time. Therefore, if you have one of these illnesses, you have permission to pay the Kaffarah of breaking fast due to illness for each day that you couldn't fast during Ramadan; this also applies to the elderly who cannot fast.


Illnesses That Can Be Cured


These are temporary illnesses with a cure, during which you may experience temporary symptoms and complications that will disappear after receiving treatment or over time. It is worth mentioning that using eye drops or receiving injections, whether they are intravenous, intramuscular, or otherwise, does not require breaking your fast. However, your urgent need for treatment with nasal drops and medications that require swallowing does break your fast. There are two opinions regarding the ruling on Kaffarah for breaking Ramadan fast in this case:


  • The first opinion is that you are not obligated to pay the Kaffarah, but it is sufficient to compensate for the days you missed fasting during Ramadan after the month ends and as soon as you can.
  • The second opinion is that you have the choice to decide whether you can fast during Ramadan. If you choose to break your fast, you must compensate for the missed days or pay the Kaffarah for them.


You can make up for the missed days of fasting when you can, and the intention is the same as fasting's intention, not pronounced but in your heart. You can make the intention during Suhoor or the night before.


Paying Kaffarah for Not Fasting: When And How Much?


Islamic law permits four forms of Kaffarah: fasting, feeding the poor, paying money, and sacrificing an animal. However, the Kaffarah for breaking the Ramadan fast is limited to feeding the poor only. You should give the food of the Kaffarah to eligible poor and people in need. It is feeding one poor person for each day missed, with 600 grams of wheat or rice or the equivalent amount of money.


When to Pay Kaffarah for Not Fasting?


Scholars have differed on this matter. According to the General Iftaa' Department of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, there are two opinions:


  • The first opinion is that older people or those with chronic illnesses who do not fast the entire month have permission to pay the Kaffarah at the beginning of Ramadan or at the end of it.
  • The second opinion is that you pay the Kaffarah for breaking fast due to illness for each day missed on the same day; before or after Suhoor, or you can pay the entire amount at the end of Ramadan for all days missed. However, you can't pay it ahead for future days at the beginning of the month.


Despite the scholars' differences on the paying time of Kaffarah for not fasting, the ruling of its obligation is established. As a Muslim, you should seek the truth and pay it to eligible people. We at Tkiyet Um Ali can help you deliver the Kaffarah for breaking fast due to illness to those who deserve it.