She Cannot Fast Unless She Takes Medicine
The Awqaf -
What is the ruling on one who can only fast by
taking medicine, otherwise she will get a severe
migraine which sometimes leads to nausea. For fear of
this and from an early age she has not made up the
days that she did not fast. Please note that she has
not improved because she has allergies? Can she pay
the fidyah for the days that she did not fast by
giving charity to the poor?.
Praise be to Allaah.
If fasting is too difficult for her then it is
permissible for her not to fast, and she does not have
to take medicine in order to be able to fast.
If a trustworthy doctor has told her that there is the
hope of recovery from her sickness, then she must make
up the days that she did not fast, and feeding the
poor will not be acceptable if she is able to make up
But if the doctor told her that there is no hope that
her situation will change, and that fasting will
always lead to severe migraines for her, then she may
not fast and she should pay the fidyah for the days
when she did not fast.
She has to try to work out the number of days that she
did not fast since she reached puberty, and pay the
fidyah for them.
The evidence regarding it being permissible for a sick
person not to fast is the verse in which Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
"So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first
night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his
home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month, 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. Allaah intends for you ease,
and He does not want to make things difficult for you"
This verse applies to the sick person who is able to
make up the fasts later on.
But if there is no hope of recovery from the sickness
– according to the doctors – then he may not fast and
he should feed one poor person for each day, giving
half a saa' of rice and the like (i.e., approximately
one and a half kilos). In this case he is like an
elderly man who is not able to fast, concerning whom
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "And as
for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old
man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a
Miskeen (poor person) (for every day)" [al-Baqarah
Al-Bukhaari (4505) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may
Allaah be pleased with him) said: This applies to the
old man and old woman who cannot fast; they should
feed one poor person for each day.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
al-Shaafa'i and his companions said: The old man for
whom fasting is too difficult, and the sick person for
whom there is no hope of recovery, are not required to
fast, and there is no difference of scholarly opinion
concerning that. We shall see below that Ibn
al-Mundhir narrated that there was consensus on this
point. But they have to pay the fidyah according to
the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. End
quote from al-Majmoo' (6/261).
We ask Allaah to heal her and make her well.
And Allaah knows best.