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Fidya in Islam is a form of compensation or redemption for Muslims who are unable to observe the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadan due to legitimate reasons. These reasons include conditions such as pregnancy, old age, chronic illnesses, or other situations where fasting is not possible, and individuals are unable to make up for the missed days afterward.

The concept of Fidya involves a monetary donation to assist those in need, specifically providing enough food to sustain one person for an entire day.

According to Islamic tradition, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) established the rate of Fidya as a half sa’ (two double handfuls) of foodstuff per missed day of fasting. In contemporary terms, this is roughly equivalent to 1 kg or 2.5 lbs of food, with an estimated cost of around $10 per day.

Muslims who cannot fast and are unable to make up for the missed days are required to calculate their Fidya payment using the formula:

One-Half Sa’ (or $10) × Days Missed

The Fidya payment is then made to fulfill the religious obligation and is directed towards helping those in need. It reflects the compassionate and merciful nature of Islam, allowing flexibility for individuals facing circumstances that prevent them from fulfilling certain religious practices, while promoting the spirit of charity and support for those less fortunate.

What is the difference between Fidya and Kaffarah?

The key difference between Fidya and Kaffarah lies in the reasons for the donations and the nature of the missed fasting. Fidya is a compensation made by Muslims who cannot observe obligatory fasting during Ramadan due to legitimate reasons such as illness, pregnancy, or old age. It involves a monetary donation to assist those in need, providing enough food to sustain one person for a day per missed fasting day.

On the other hand, Kaffarah is a form of wealth payment made as penance for deliberately breaking a fasting day in Ramadan without a valid reason, like eating or drinking. It requires specific acts of penance, such as freeing a slave, feeding a specified number of poor individuals, or fasting for a set period.

Kaffarah is distinct as it addresses intentionally missed fasting days and involves acts of reparation beyond a simple monetary donation.

Fidyah Importance in Islam

Fidyah verses in the Quran

There are many verses in the Holy Qur’an that teach us about the Islamic roles regarding Fasting during Ramadan. It clearly explains that Muslims who are unable to fast are not obliged to fast because they are incapable of doing so. Therefore, they should feed one poor person each day. 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope”

[al-Baqarah 2:286]

“and [Allaah] has not laid upon you in religion any hardship”

[al-Hajj 22:78] 

“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 2:184]

“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).

184. [Observing Sawm (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. 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). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast is better for you if only you know”

Fidyah hadith in the Sunnah

In addition to the verses in the Holy Qur’an, the Fidya is also mentioned clearly in Sunnah. 

al-Bukhaari (4505) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: 

This has not been abrogated. It refers to old men and old women who are not able to fast, so they should feed a poor person each day. 

Ibn Qudamah said in al-Mughni (4/396): 

If fasting is too difficult for an old man or an old woman and will cause them intense hardship, then they are allowed not to fast, and they should feed one poor person each day. If they are also unable to feed a poor person, then they do not have to do anything, for “Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope” [al-Baqarah 2:286]. If a sick person has no hope of recovery, he is allowed not to fast, and he should feed one poor person each day because he comes under the same rule as an old man. 

Giving Cash as a Fidyah

Muslims have the choice of whether to pay their Fidya as cash or as meals. Now, for those who prefer to donate their Fidya as cash, they can calculate for every day of missed fasting. How much does it cost one meal for an adult, or how much is the value of 2kg of wheat, or one and a half kilograms of rice, multiply this value by the number of missed fasting days, then donate this amount to the poor and needy.

With Bonyan, your fidya becomes a direct lifeline for refugees and the poor, making sure they have a meal to sustain them every day. This initiative extends its support to countries in the Middle East and Africa, ensuring that your generosity reaches those facing challenges in these regions.

Join us in this simple yet impactful act of kindness, turning your fidya into a source of daily sustenance for someone who truly needs it. Together, we can make every meal count and brighten the days of refugees and the less fortunate.

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Can I give Fidya instead of fasting?

Yes, Fidya can be given instead of fasting under certain circumstances. For example, If a person is unable to fast due to illness and has no hope of recovery, they are allowed to give Fidya. Fidya involves feeding one poor person for each day of missed fasting.

Can Fidya be given in cash?

Yes, Fidya can be given in cash. The amount typically covers the cost of feeding a person two meals for each day missed during Ramadan. The donation can be made in cash or any other acceptable form, and the purpose is to provide for the needs of those in need. It is important to note that individuals should ensure that the amount is not less than the determined minimum.

Who is eligible for fidya?

Eligibility for fidya is generally determined in circumstances where a person has no hope of being able to make up the missed fasts. This may include individuals of old age, those reliant on medication, or those with permanent physical or health conditions.

When should the fidya be paid?

It should be paid after Ramadan, or paying it every day after the start of the night, and preferably after the break of dawn. As for paying the fidya one day before the start of the night, it is not permissible.

Who Can You Give Fidya To?

Fidya can be given to individuals who are eligible to receive zakat, and it is generally intended for the impoverished and the needy.