A person suffered an illness that prevented him from observing Sawm till his death

Question: My father (may Allaah be merciful to him) died about twenty years ago after suffering from a chronic disease. The illness became so severe culminating in his suffering from intense thirst. He used to drink water every now and then. No matter how much water he drank, it would not quench his thirst. We used to give him a cup of water about every five minutes. If we would give him more water, he would drink it due to extreme thirst.

His Eminence Chairman, the reason for the above mentioned explanation is to tell you that my father could not observe Sawm (Fast). During these years of illness, he witnessed Ramadaan and observed Sawm fourteen days with great hardship. At the time ofIftar (breaking the Fast), he used to be extremely hungry and thirsty. He could not complete Sawm of the remaining sixteen days of that month, and he continued to suffer from this illness until the next Ramadaan when he could not observe Sawm at all. He (may Allaah be merciful to him) lived for about three months after that Ramadaan, may Allaah admit him to Paradise, while having to make up for 46 days. I asked some scholars who told me that there is nothing upon him as long as he continued to suffer from illness until his death.

After hearing some scholars on Saudi radio with different opinions about what I was told, and out of my desire to discharge the obligation of my father and to act according to the rulings of Sharee`ah (Islaamic law), I would like to know Your Eminence’s opinion and ask you give me a written answer. May Allaah reward you with the best. May Allaah grant you success in the way of goodness and guiding Muslims. If there is a Kaffaarah (expiation) to be paid, please clarify it and its description. Is it permissible to send it to the deserving recipients through organizations like Snabil Al-Khayr?

If there is Sawm to be observed, is it permissible for his children, including me, to share out these days among ourselves, with eachobserving Sawm some days? Should we share out the Kaffaarah and Sawm if we have to do both of them? Is our father’s obligation discharged? Anyhow, I am waiting for the Sharee`ah ruling in a written answer by you. May Allaah reward you with the best. Al-Salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaah wa barakaatuh (May Allaah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you).

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned that your father was ill until he died and that he was not able to observe Sawm in Ramadaan during his illness until he died; then, there is nothing upon your father: neither making up for these days nor Kaffaarah (expiation)..read more here.

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