How Can He Make Up Missed Fasts? -- By Shaykh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
Praise be to
If he did not fast for a reason, such as sickness or
travelling, or menstruation in the case of women, then
he must make it up after Ramadaan, and he must make up
the number of days that he did not fast, because
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number
[of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must
be made up] from other days"
Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: That
(i.e., menstruation) would happen to us and we would
be told to make up the fasts, but we were not told to
make up the prayers. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (321) and
The time for making up the fasts lasts until the next
Ramadaan begins; he can make them up at any time
during this period, on consecutive days or separately.
It is not permissible for him to delay making them up
after the following Ramadaan, unless he has an excuse.
See the answer to question no. 26865.
But if he did not fast deliberately, with no excuse,
then one of two scenarios must apply:
1 He did not decide not to fast from the night
before, and he did not intend to fast. In this case
making up the fast is not valid, because fasting is an
act of worship that is linked to a specific time, and
if a person fails to do it, it is not valid after that
time, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever does an action that
is not in accordance with this matter of ours will
have it rejected. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2697) and
2 He did intend to fast from the night before, and
he started the day fasting, then he broke his fast
during the day with no excuse. He has to make up this
day, because he started to do it, which makes it like
a vow that he must fulfil. Hence the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded the one
who had intercourse during the day in Ramadaan to make
up that day, and he said to him: "Fast one day in its
place." Narrated by Ibn Majaah (1671), classed as
saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majaah.
In addition to that, if he broke the fast during the
day without any excuse by having intercourse, he must
make it up and also offer expiation. For information
on this expiation and the rulings thereon, please see
the answer to question no. 49614.
The one who breaks his fast with no excuse also has to
repent to Allaah, regret what he has done, resolve
never to do it again, and do a lot of righteous deeds
such as observing naafil fasts and so on. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
"And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents,
believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in
worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and
then remains constant in doing them (till his death)"
And Allaah knows best.