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  7. How to Make Up Missed Fasts?

How to Make Up Missed Fasts?

Make Up Missed Fasts
Narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA): Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “If somebody eats or drinks forgetfully then he should complete his fast, for what he has eaten or drunk has been given to him by Allah.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1933)

In Islam, the principle of making up missed obligatory (fard) acts for valid reasons is deeply rooted in our sense of responsibility and accountability before Allah (swt). When, as Muslims, we are unable to fulfill a mandatory act due to legitimate excuses such as illness, travel, or other unavoidable circumstances, it becomes our duty to make up for these missed acts later.


Fasting during Ramadan is a fundamental obligation for all adult Muslims who are physically capable. If missed with a valid reason, it is considered an obligation to make up for missed fasts because each day of fasting has significance.


If you want more information about Ramadan, you can visit this blog: What is Ramadan, and why is it Important for Muslims?


Kaffara for Missed Fasts

Kaffara is only paid if you break a fast without a valid Shariah reason. When paying Kaffara, the payment is equivalent to:

  • Freeing a Muslim from slavery, OR
  • Feeding 60 poor people, OR
  • Fasting for 60 days

Fidya for Missed Fasts

Fidya is paid for intentionally missing a fast with a valid reason. You are eligible to pay fidya if you have missed or are exempt from fasting due to illness, old age or any other reason which prevents you from making the fasts up later. The amount paid in fidya for each missed fast is equivalent to feeding 1 person.


Missing Fast due to Periods

There are circumstances where women may miss fasts, such as during periods. This period is recognized as a time when women are exempt from the obligation of fasting. This exemption is not due to impurity, but rather a concession granted out of consideration for the physical and physiological state during menstruation, which can be a period of discomfort and pain for many. Therefore, women are given the flexibility to postpone their fasts and fulfill them later when they are physically capable. By making up missed fasts after menstruation, women can observe their spiritual practices without compromising their well-being.


Understanding Missed Fasts

Fasting during Ramadan is a vital aspect of the Islamic faith. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. However, if you cannot fast during Ramadan for a valid reason, like illness or travel, you can make up for the missed fasts later. This is known as “Qada” and is considered a religious obligation for us who cannot fast during Ramadan.


The Quranic verse (2:185) regarding fasting during Ramadan and the allowance for those who are ill or traveling to make up missed days later.


Surah Baqarah verse 185 about the Missed Fasts

The month of Ramaḍan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the crescent of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allāh for that [to] which He has guided you, and perhaps you will be grateful. (Surah Baqarah verse 185)


This verse highlights the flexibility of Islamic teachings to meet various circumstances while still fulfilling religious obligations.


If you’re looking for more information about Ramadan Ibadah or Ramadan in general, visiting the following blog list can be a great idea.

Making Up the Missed Fasts

It is essential to make up missed fasts to fulfill religious obligations promptly. Although the Quran and Hadith do not specify a particular time frame, making up for the missed fasts is recommended as soon as possible, preferably before the next Ramadan. Here is a guide on how to make up missed fasts.


Intention (Niyyah)

When making up for missed fasts, having the same intention (Niyyah) as during Ramadan is important. The intention should be focused on fulfilling the religious obligation of fasting. It is an act of worship and obedience to Allah (swt). It should be sincere and solely aimed at fulfilling the duty that was previously missed.


Read More about: Importance of Making Sincere Intention

Determining the Number of Missed Days

Determining the number of missed fasting days during Ramadan depends on various valid reasons and individual circumstances. For instance, if someone missed fasting due to an illness, menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, traveling, or any other valid reason. They need to count the exact number of days missed and note the reason for the absence.


Choosing Suitable Days

You can choose any day of the year to make up for missed fasts, except for Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, when fasting is not allowed.


Seek Forgiveness

In addition to making up missed fasts, it’s essential to seek forgiveness from Allah (swt) for any negligence in fulfilling the obligation. It’s also important to resolve to be more diligent in the future.


The process should be undertaken with a sense of responsibility and devotion to fulfilling our religious duties. If there are doubts or uncertainties, consulting with a knowledgeable Islamic scholar or religious authority can provide guidance. Such guidance is tailored to individual circumstances.


Incorporating Shawwal into Makeup Fasts

The month of Shawwal, which immediately follows Ramadan, presents a unique chance to complete the makeup fasts. It offers an opportunity to fulfill missed obligatory fasts while reaping additional spiritual rewards.


A hadith states that fasting for six days of Shawwal after Ramadan carries the reward of fasting the entire year.

It was narrated from Abu Ayyub that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah 1716)

Therefore, incorporating makeup fasts into Shawwal allows us to multiply our spiritual rewards and draw closer to Allah (swt).


For more information about Fasting for six days in Shawwal, you can visit this blog: Fasting for Six Days in Shawwal.


Conclusion

Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and is essential for every Muslim. However, there might be instances when someone cannot fast due to certain circumstances like illness, pregnancy, or travel. In such cases, making up for the missed fasts is imperative, a significant obligation in Islam. Making up for the missed fasts provides an opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitment to our faith. It’s a chance to seek Allah’s (swt) mercy and forgiveness. It is a chance to reflect on our actions and seek repentance for any shortcomings.


Additionally, it is a way to demonstrate our devotion. It’s a gesture of gratitude to Allah (swt) for the countless blessings He has bestowed upon us. It is recommended that we make up for missed fasts before the next Ramadan arrives. However, if we cannot do so, we can make up for the missed fasts at any other time of the year.


Let us strive earnestly to fulfill our missed fasts, seeking Allah’s (swt) forgiveness and mercy in all my endeavors. May Allah (swt) guide us and grant us strength and perseverance on this journey. Ameen.

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