1. The person who is extremely old and does not have the strength of fasting, and the person who is extremely ill and does not have any hope of recovering nor the strength to fast will have to give grain to a poor person equivalent to the amount stipulated for sadaqatul fitr in place of every fast that such people miss. Alternatively, they could feed one poor person with two complete meals for each fast that they miss. In the Shariah this is known as fidyah. It is also permissible for such persons to give the value of the grain in cash.
2. It is also permissible to distribute this grain of fidyah among several poor persons.
3. If the old person happens to regain some of his strength, or the sick person recovers from his illness, they will have to keep qada for all the fasts which they had missed. As for the fidyah which they had paid, they will be rewarded separately for that.
4. A person had to keep qada of several fasts. At the time of death he made a bequest that fidyah be paid in place of all his missed fasts. This fidyah will have to be paid by his inheritors from his wealth. After paying for the deceased person’s funeral arrangements, his debts, etc. if one third of his left over wealth will be sufficient to pay the fidyah, then it will be wajib to pay this fidyah.
5. If the person did not make a bequest but his inheritors paid the fidyah out of their own wealth, even then one should have the hope that this act will be accepted by Allah Ta’ala and that He will not make one accountable for the missed fasts. It should be borne in mind that it is not permissible for the inheritors to pay the fidyah from the deceased person’s wealth if the latter did not make a bequest in that respect. Similarly, if the fidyah is more than one third of his wealth, then despite his making a bequest in this regard, it will not be permissible to utilise the balance of his money without the permission and consent of all the inheritors. If all the inheritors express their consent and happiness, it will be permissible to pay the fidyah in both cases. However, it should be remembered that the consent of immature inheritors is not considered in the Shariah. If the mature inheritors separate their inheritance and pay the fidyah from their share, it will be permissible to do so.
6. The same rules will apply if a person had several salaats which he had to make qada of and made a bequest that fidyah be paid for the salaats that he missed.
7. The fidyah that will have to be paid for each missed salaat will be the same as that paid for each missed fast. Fidyah will have to be paid for the five fard salaats plus the witr salaat; totalling six salaats a day. According to this calculation, approximately 12 kilos of grain will have to be paid.
8. A person had not paid his zakaat. By his making a bequest, the paying of this zakaat will become wajib on his inheritors. If the person did not make a bequest but his inheritors paid the zakaat on his behalf out of their own good will and happiness, even then the zakaat will not be fulfilled.
9. It is not permissible for the inheritors to offer qada salaats or keep qada fasts on behalf of the deceased. If they do so, the deceased will not be absolved of his accountability to Allah Ta’ala.
10. It is not permissible to miss out the fasts of Ramadaan without any valid reason. To do so is a major sin. A person should not be under the misconception that he will keep qada of the missed fast at a later date. It is mentioned in a Hadith that if a person misses a single fast of Ramadaan and thereafter fasts the entire year as a compensation for that one missed fast, he will not receive the reward that he would have received for that one fast of Ramadaan.
11. If a person does not fast on a particular day, he should not eat or drink in the presence of others. Nor should he inform anyone that he is not fasting on that day. This is because to commit a sin and thereafter to expose it is also a sin. The person will get a double sin if he informs others that he is not fasting – one sin for not fasting and another for informing others. It is wrong to think that when we cannot conceal anything from Allah Ta’ala, why should we conceal it from others? In fact, even the person who does not fast due to some valid excuse, should not inform others, nor should he eat or drink in their presence.
12. When a young boy or girl becomes capable of fasting, they should also be commanded to fast. When they reach the age of ten, they should be beaten and made to fast. If they cannot keep all the fasts, they should be made to keep as many as possible.
13. When an immature girl or boy keeps a fast and thereafter break it, they should not be made to keep qada of it. However, if they commence offering a salaat and thereafter break it, they should be made to repeat that salaat.