SKZ Foundation

What are Fidya and Kaffarah?

Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory for every Muslim. However, there are some circumstances in which Muslims are exempt from fasting. In such cases, they can compensate by either paying a penalty known as Fidya or performing a prescribed act of expiation called Kaffarah.

Who is exempt from fasting?

There are some conditions and situations in which a person is exempted from fasting prescribed by the Holy Quran. According to the Quran:

“So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey, then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease, does not intend for you hardship, and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Al-Baqarah:185)

Following are the people who are exempt from fasting:

  • Travelers
  • young kids (until they reach puberty)
  • insane people
  • disbelievers
  • the sick
  • older people
  • menstruating women, postpartum bleeding women
What is Kaffarah?

Differences between Fidya and Kaffarah:

What is Fidya?

Fidya is the amount to be paid when someone is unable to fast during Ramadan and cannot make up for the missed days afterward. The Fidya for one day should be an amount sufficient to provide food for a hungry person for a day, including at least two meals.

Amount of Fidya per missed fast: $5 or PKR 1381

Amount of Fidya for all missed fasts: $150 or PKR 4144

To make up for the missing fasts of Ramadan, Allah (SWT) commands us:

“Fasting is for a fixed number of days, and if one of you is sick or if one of you is on a journey, you will fast the same number of other days later on. For those who are capable of fasting but still do not fast, there is a redemption: feeding a needy man for each day missed. Whoever voluntarily does more good than is required will find it better for him, and that you should fast is better for you, if you only know.” (Qur’an 2:184)

Here are some examples of where Fidya would be due:

  • The terminally ill
  • Elderly people who cannot bear their hunger.
  • Those in need of regular medication, if their health could be affected
  • Those with any form of mental illness

What is Kaffarah?

If you intentionally break or miss a fast without a valid reason, you must either fast consecutively for 60 days or pay a specific amount called Kaffarah. This amount should be equivalent to feeding 60 needy people for each missed fast.

Amount of Kaffarah paid for each missed fast: $5*60

Amount of Kaffarah paid for all missed fasts: $150*60

Here are some examples of situations where kaffarah would be due:

  • Intentionally consuming food or drink
  • Masturbation during fasting
  • Sexual intercourse during fasting
  • Breaking the fast by intentionally throwing up
  • Changing one’s mind with the intent of breaking the fast.
  • Deliberate or intentional poor characteristics such as lying, backbiting, foul language, deliberately hurting someone’s feelings, etc.
  • Deliberately causing harm to oneself or another living creature or being.

Who can receive Fidya and Kaffarah?

Fidya and Kaffarah can only be given to the poor and needy, not to everyone. It’s also another way to help our poor and needy brothers and sisters as the whole essence of Ramadan is “Giving”.

When should you pay Fidya and Kaffarah?

While it’s not obligatory to pay Fidya or Kaffarah during Ramadan, it’s advisable to do so as soon as possible. Ideally, try to settle it during Ramadan, but if that’s not feasible, ensure it’s paid before the next Ramadan begins.

Is paying Fitrana and Kaffarah compulsory?

Fasting during Ramadan is a mandatory duty for every Muslim, and failing to fast is considered a sin. Therefore, it is crucial to pay the penalty for this sin to avoid punishment on the Day of Judgment.