Should I Make up for Years of Skipped Fasting?

28 April, 2019
Q Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. If I have missed several years of fasting in Ramadan, do I have to fast that many to make up for missed days? Or would feeding/paying poor Muslims meals for every missed day be compensation? I skipped fasting Ramadan for 20 or 25 years. Jazakum Allahu khayran.

Answer

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- Fasting in Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam and an obligation upon every adult Muslim who is neither sick nor on a journey.

2- Breaking one’s fasting in the daytime of Ramadan without any excuse is a grave sin that cannot be expiated easily. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever broke even one fast of Ramadan without an excuse or sickness, even if he fasted the whole life after that, it will not compensate what he missed” (At-Tirmidhi)


Responding to the question, Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, Professor of jurisprudence and its principles at the International Islamic University, Malaysia, states:

As for the years of missed fasts of Ramadan, I advise you to repent to Allah and promise that you will never ever miss again any fasting in the rest of your life. You shall equally continue repenting and seeking His forgiveness and mercy.

However, it might not be possible or practical to make up for all these years since you are not sure about their exact number.

Therefore, you must feed as much as you can a considerable number of needy people. At the same time, you must try your best to fast as many days as you can in order to compensate for those missed fasts.

 Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.