Sawm for the patient suffering an incurable disease

Question: My wife is seventeen years old and suffers from anemia. A doctor warned her not to perform Sawm (Fast), and she has not performed Sawm in Ramadaan for three years except for a few days. In addition, she is not able to make up for the missed days of Sawm, because whenever she performs Sawm for two or three days, she is taken to the hospital, and the doctor warns her against this. As her body is weak, I hope you will give us your legal opinion concerning the action she should take. May Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, your wife is not obliged to perform Sawm. However, she should feed a Miskeen (needy) for each day she missed Sawm an amount of 1.5 kg of staple food. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: 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). This means that the people who are unable to perform Sawm due to a chronic disease or old age can feed a Miskeen for each day, as explained by Ibn `Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) and a group of Salaf (righteous predecessors). If she recovers from her illness and becomes able to perform Sawm, she should perform it… read more here.


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