Kaffarah For Broken Fasts

Question

A person deliberately broke his compulsory fast. This happened many times during his teens. He is not sure of the exact number but a guess was about 8 Ramadaan fasts were broken mischievously. He has kept about 28 Nafl fasts thus far to cover the mistakes .He has asked for forgiveness and is aware that Kaffarrah has to be paid since his health and advance age makes it difficult for him . Due to unaffordability wants to know :

1 – Can kaffarrah be paid over a period of time ?

2 – How would the calculation be done – is it based on some current food costs? If so what would the average amount today be?

3 – Any such similar advice you could give for the benefit of others.

Answer

Firstly, it should be borne in mind that although observing optional fasts is rewarding, it will not be sufficient in making up for missed or broken fasts. For a Qadha or Kaffarah fast to be correct, it is vital that the intention of either Qadha or Kaffarah be made for each fast.

When a person breaks a fast of Ramadaan intentionally, it becomes compulsory on him to keep 60 consecutive fasts. He also has to keep the fast that he has missed. This is separate to the 60. This is the original compulsion. If he is unable to do so due to ill health or old age then he should give the kaffarah. If he is able to fast, it will not be permissible to give kaffarah.

1. Yes, Kaffarah can be paid over a period of time.

N.B: The Sadaqat-ul-Fitr amount that we have provided you with, (i.e. R22), is the amount that was calculated during the month of Ramadhaan 1437, therefore, if the person who is paying off his Kaffarah makes any payment after Ramadhaan 1438, he will have to find out the Sadaqat-ul-Fitr amount again on that date. 

2. Yes, the calculation of the Kaffarah for one day will be based on the current cost of 1.635’876kg of wheat or 3.271’752kg of barley on the day of payment and the price of barley and wheat of the area in which the person resides will be taken into account. This amount is the same as the Sadaqat-ul-Fitr amount and was calculated in South Africa, during Ramadhaan 1437 and amounted to approximately R22. Since the price of wheat and barley fluctuates and it is necessary to take into account the current price when discharging the Kaffarah, a few rands should be added on to this amount as a precautionary measure.

3. It is important to note that if a fast of Ramadhaan is intentionally broken without any valid excuse, then together with keeping sixty fasts in a row as Kaffarah which will suffice for all the broken fasts of the past and not of the future. A Qadha fast will have to be kept as well for each broken fast.

If a person has outstanding Qadha fasts but is unable to keep it, due to illness, then he will have to discharge Fidyah for each of his missed fasts. The amount of Fidyah will be the same as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr as well, i.e. R22 per fast (as at Ramadhaan 1437). 

Keeping these points in mind, if a person had mischievously broken eight Ramadhaan fasts and is now unable to fast, then he will have to pay an amount of R200 as Fidyah, (i.e. R25 per fast as a precautionary measure). He will also have to pay R1500 as Kaffarah.

It is very important to know that the entire amount of Fidyah can be given to one poor Muslim at one time, however the same rule doesn’t apply to Kaffarah. The correct manner of discharging the Kaffarah is that the Kaffarah for each day, i.e. R25, should be given to sixty different poor Muslims if the entire amount is discharged in a single day or to one poor
Muslim, but on alternate days and not on the same day.

If the entire amount is given to one person in a single day, then only the Kaffarah for one day will be discharged and R1475 will still have to be discharged for the remaining fifty-nine days.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

(يجب) وظاهر الآية أنه فرض نهر ج ٦ ٥

رد المحتار على الدر المختار (سعيد) ج٢ ص ٣٨٠

رد المحتار على الدر المختار (سعيد) ج٣ ص ٧٢ ٤

رد المحتار على الدر المختار (سعيد) ج٢ ص ١٣ ٤ 

الفتاوى الهندية (مكتبة ماجدية) ج١ ص ٢٠٩

حاشية الطحطاوي (قديمي) ص٦٨٨

حاشية الطحطاوي (قديمي) ص ٦٧٠

ِAhsnaul Fataawa  4/440

Fataawa Mahmoodiyya 9/623

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