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- A person who is terminally ill is exempted from fasting, but he or she must offer fidyah (compensation) for that.
2- Compensation for skipping a fast is feeding one poor person. Allah says: “For those who can do it (With extreme hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent.” (Al-Baqarah 2:184)
3- If he or she cannot pay fidyah, it is acceptable for a son or a daughter to pay it on her behalf.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto,Ontario, Canada, states:
It is absolutely fine and acceptable for you to pay the fidyah (compensation in lieu of fasting) that is due upon your mother.
We have been ordered in the Qur’an to excel in our kind treatment towards our parents. Therefore, your willingness to pay this fidyah on behalf of your mother, who is not financially able, is indeed an expression of such excellence. You can rest assured just as your mother will be absolved by your generosity, you will also be blessed by it tremendously. So never feel any hesitation in your action.
Now coming to the exact amount of fidyah, it all depends on where you live. The amount payable is the cost of a proper meal. Since the standard of living varies from country to country, the amount also may vary accordingly.
In Canada, it has been estimated to be a minimum of seven dollars per day of fast. But if you are in the States or anywhere in Europe you should go by the standard as determined by the Muslim scholars there. So act appropriately.
Finally, coming to du`aa’s for praying for the sick, let me list a few:
Allaahumma Rabba an-nas, adhhib al-ba’sa ishfi anta ash-shafi la shifaa’a illa shifaa’uka shifaa’an la yughadiru saqaman.
(O Allah, the Lord of mankind, I beseech you to send down cure [or healing] on him [or her], for You alone have the power to cure [or heal]; there is no cure [or healing] except Yours.)
Bismillah tahoorun in sha’ Allah.
(In the name of Allah, may it be a source of cleansing [or purification] for you with the permission of Allah.)
As’alu Allaha al-`Azeem Rabba al-`arshi al-`azheem an yasfiyaki
(I ask of Allah, the Tremendous, the Lord of the mighty throne to cure [or heal] you.)
You can also read Surat Al-Fatihah and blow on her, with the intention of seeking cure from Allah through it, for among the various names of Al-Fatihah is Ash-Shifaa’ (The Healing), for it is an excellent source of healing.
May Allah inspire us to turn to Him alone for succor and relief, and may He bless us all to do what is most pleasing to Him. Ameen.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.