Sawm of a patient with a serious disease

Question: I suffered from a serious disease in the last ten days of Ramadaan, 1395 A.H. I broke the Sawm (Fast) for four days in this blessed month because of my sickness. I hoped that I could make up for these days when I would restore my health. I am still ill up to now and the coming Ramadan is about to start. I am unable to make up for these days and to fast the next Ramadaan. Additionally, I am not sure that I will restore my health in the future. Would you please tell me in writing what I should do and the present cash value of feeding? If there are a few poor people in our village, can I pay them this value more than once?

Answer: If the case is as you have mentioned, you have to be patient until Allaah cures you of your illness... read more here.

Sawm of a woman suffering from uterine bleeding

Question: My wife could not fast in the Ramadaan of 1401 A.H., because of a disease that caused her to bleed from the genital organs. Consequently, she could not fast the missed month of Ramadaan before the next Ramadaan of 1402 A.H. which she was able to fast. Indeed, she submitted to treatment during that period until the bleeding stopped. Now, should she make up for the missed days by fasting or by offering Fidyah (ransom)?

Answer: It is obligatory for her to make up for all the days she missed in the Ramadaan of 1401 A.H. In which she broke her Sawm and could not make up for it until the next Ramadaan of 1402 A.H. Allaah (Exalted be He) says... read more here.

Paying Fidyah for breaking Sawm in Ramadaan due to illness and then recovering

Question: A pious young woman who is twenty eight years old has entrusted me to request a Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim Scholar) regarding the following: Her doctors prohibited her from offering Sawm (Fast) due to a cureless heart disease from which she suffers, so she does not fast in Ramadaan but was committed to paying the expiation for every day that she missed. The Divine will decreed that medicine improved and she underwent Heart Valve Surgery, and successfully recovered from it, Praise be to Allaah, but she was kept under observation and treatment for a period of time.

Now after she has recovered and Allah has provided her the strength to fast the previous months of Ramadaan, she is asking about making up for the days that she did not fast, these are 180 days which are equal to six consecutive months of Ramadaan, should she fast them? Or was it enough for her to pay the expiation of these days; based on Allaah’s Saying (Exalted be He): 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). ? Advise us in this regard, May Allaah reward you the with best of all on behalf of the inquirer and all Muslims.

Answer: What she has paid as an expiation for every day she did not fast is sufficient for her and she is not to make up for these days, for she was excused, and has fulfilled her duty in this regard at that time... read more here.

Sawm of a liver patient

Question: A person suffers from hepatitis and the doctor ordered him to refrain from Sawm (Fast) in order to take the medicine and because of his inability to observe Sawm. He says that he can walk to the Masjid (mosque) and the hospital. Is it permissible for him to break Sawm under these conditions?

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned that you were unable to fast due to suffering severe ill health and that you still can not fast as per the doctor’s instructions, there will be no blame on you... read more here.

Sawm of a colon patient

Question: If the state is as you have described, that you have been suffering from this disease for so long and are unable to fast, then it is permissible for you to feed a poor person for each missed day during these years with half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg. Approx.) of wheat, dates, rice, corn, or the like from the average kind of food you feed your family with.

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned that you were unable to fast due to suffering severe ill health and that you still can not fast as per the doctor’s instructions, there will be no blame on you... read more here.

Sawm of a hemorrhoid (piles) patient

Question: A Muslim person suffered from severe hemorrhoids, which bled due to sharp swellings. Bleeding happened during the blessed month of Ramadaan. A doctor prescribed the medicine necessary to, by Allaah’s Will, stop the bleeding and cure the disease. The doctor permitted him not to observe Sawm (Fast) in order to take the medicine during the period of bleeding until it would stop. However, bleeding did not stop even during the time the medicine was taken. Please be informed that the person concerned could not stand or walk except with the help of others due to the severe swellings and bleeding.

May a patient with such a condition break his Sawm in order to take medicine? Can he perform the Five Daily Obligatory Salaahs (Prayers) although bleeding is continuous and thus both his underwear and outer clothes are soiled with blood?

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned and you are unable to observe Sawm or observing Sawm increases the severity of your disease or retard the recovery, it is permissible for you not to observe Sawm; but you have to make up for the missed days of Sawm... read more here.

Illnesses that allow breaking the Sawm

Question: My wife was suffering from an abdominal illness, so I took her to Al-Huda Specialist Hospital in Al-Taa’if. She observed Sawm (Fast) for ten days last Ramadaan, but she could not complete the rest of the month. The specialist said to us that she had to eat six meals a day due to her weakness. Now Ramadaan is near again and I remembered that she has not been able to make up for the days that she missed last Ramadaan. I, therefore, ask of Allaah, and then of you, to guide me to the correct Fatwaa. Can paying a Fidyah (ransom) compensate for the days of Sawm she missed, because the doctor said that she must eat six meals daily over the course of the day? Please advise us. May Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: If the case is as you mentioned, she is excused for not fasting during Ramadaan. She has to make up for the days she did not fast, if Allaah cures her and she becomes able enough to fast. Likewise, if she is unable to fast during the coming month of Ramadaan or part of it, she can abstain from Sawm and make up for the missed days, if Allaah cures her... read more here.

Kidney dialysis as a nullifier of Sawm

Question: Some patients – may Allaah cure them – suffer from renal failure, so they need to go through kidney dialysis,which is used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function to filter poisonous wastes in the blood typically two or three times a week. Blood is taken to the dialysis machine that carries the removed blood to the dialyzer for filtering out impurities wherein blood is diffused with a dialysate. Kidney dialysis is so necessary to the patient’s life that may be endangered because of contingent renal dysfunction.

Does this process invalidate Sawm (Fast)? Please bear in mind that it is a necessity and it is so difficult for the patients to break their Sawm and make up for it later, while the only benefit they get is filtering poisonous waste in the blood. In fact, this is a frequently asked question. Please give us information in this regard, may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: His Eminence the Manager of King Faysal Hospital and His Eminence the Manager of the Military Hospital in Riyadh were addressed by letters no. 1756/2 dated 14/8/1406 and 1757/2 dated 4/8/1406 respectively to enquire about the nature of the process of kidney dialysis, whether it involves mixing chemicals, and whether it includes nutrients... read more here.

Sawm of a patient with intestinal complaints

Question: I suffer from a gastric ulcer and I underwent five surgeries. I remained in hospital for a long time as I had been suffering severe ill health. During this period of time, the month of Ramadaan came, and I was unable to fast during the current Ramadaan nor make up for the missed fasts of last Ramadaan. What should I do?

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned that you were unable to fast due to suffering severe ill health and that you still can not fast as per the doctor’s instructions, there will be no blame on you... read more here.

Non-observance of Sawm by a gastric ulcer patient

Question: My brother suffers from a gastric ulcer. His doctor restricted the foods he is allowed to eat and prohibited him from observing Sawm (Fast) for the next five years. My brother attempted to fast, but it badly affected his health. What is the ruling on this case?

Answer: If this is the condition of your brother, and the doctor who advised him to abstain from Sawm is reliable, honest and knowledgeable, then he should follow his doctor’s advice. Therefore, he should not fast during the month of Ramadaan until his health improves to the extent that he is able to observe Sawm... read more here.

Sawm of a diabetic and tuberculosis patient

Question: My mother is 66 years old. For the last seven years she suffered from diabetes, and since she was diagnosed, she has continued to receive treatment for her condition. Also, in 1398 A.H she came down with tuberculosis and I took her to Kuwait in search of treatment. She remained hospitalized at the Thoracic Disease Hospital in 1399-1400 A.H. where she was treated for two years until her condition improved relatively speaking. Since she left the hospital she has been living at my home and she is still being treated for these two conditions and must visit the hospital every week. She also suffers from general physical weakness due to her old age and these incurable diseases. She cannot fast at the present time as she has to drink at least one cup of water every two hours.

Likewise, she did not fast the last two years while she was in the hospital according to the advice of her physicians. Next Ramadaan is coming soon and we would like to know, may Allaah reward you well, what should be done concerning the days of fasting that she missed the last two years and also regarding the fasting of next Ramadaan that she cannot perform. May Allaah grant you success and forgive you! Peace be upon you!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned regarding your mother’s illness,then she is allowed to give up fasting during the month of Ramadaan as long as she remains in this condition. If she recovers and is able to make up for the missed days, she should do so by fasting... read more here.

Sawm of a diabetic person

Question: I got married in 1477 A.H. I have ten children; six sons and four daughters. My wife, all praise be to Allaah, is righteous and fears Allah (Exalted be He). Since we have been married, she has been committed to her religion and consistently performed the five obligatory daily Prayers and observed Sawm (Fast) of the month of Ramadaan. I never saw her lazy in performing Salah or observing Sawm during the blessed month of Ramadaan. When she breaks her Sawm because of menstruation, she immediately makes up for the days of Sawm she missed; five days after the end of Ramadaan. However, she has been suffering from diabetes for one year. It was so severe on her to the extent that she fell into a state of unconsciousness and was hospitalized. After several months, she recovered, but she is still suffering from diabetes. Physicians told us that there is no cure for this disease.

During the month of Ramadaan in 1398 A.H., she gave birth to a male baby on the first day of Ramadaan. After the end of the forty days of postpartum period, she tried to make up for the month of Sawm she had missed. She observed Sawm till midday, but she again suffered from vertigo and could notstand up. Thus, she broke her Sawm. After eating and drinking water, she felt better and the dizziness disappeared. A few days later, she suffered vertigo again at midday when she tried to observe Sawm and thus, once more broke her Sawm. She cried out of fear of Allaah (Exalted be He) lest the following Ramadaan should come while she is still in this state. She asked me to inform Your Eminence about her condition. She will try, In-shaa’-Allaah (if Allaah wills), to observe Sawm. What should she do if she suffers vertigo due to observing Sawm? What should I, as her husband, do in this case for the sake of pleasing Allaah (Exalted be He)?

I hope you will guide us to the truth. May Allaah guide you to what pleases Him, grant you success and make Paradise your abode.

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned with regard to the continuity of her illness and her inability to make up for the days of Sawm she missed, there will be no harm to delay making up for these days till she is able to perform them even if another Ramadaan passes... read more here.

A diabetic person who is negatively affected by fasting

Question: I suffer from diabetes. Observing Sawm (Fast) affects my health badly. I am seventy two years old. I usually forget in my Salaah (Prayer) and I think this is the result of diabetes.

Answer: If you come to know, through experience, that observing Sawm aggravates your disease or delays your recovery or if your well-versed Muslim physician informs you that observing Sawm causes you harm, you are permitted to break your Sawm. Then, you can, after recovery, make up for the days of Sawm you have missed. But if your disease continues, Allaah forbids, and you are not able to make up for these days or think mostly that you will not recover, you have to feed a needy person half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg. Approx.) of wheat, dates, rice or the like of the food you usually feed your family for every day of Sawm you have missed... read more here.

Sawm of a patient with one sick kidney

Question: My wife underwent an operation before the month of Ramadaan. Because of the operation, she was unable to fast (she had one kidney removed and stones removed from the other kidney). Her physician advised her not to fast for the rest of her life. Thus, we would like to know the religious ruling regarding the expiation for the missed days of fasting.

How should I go about feeding sixty needy persons if this is the expiation that has been ordained? Are we supposed to expiate as long as physicians forbid her from fasting out of fear for her life? Are we supposed to expiate for every year that the doctors believe she should not fast? Are we permitted to pay the expiation in cash? If it is permissible to pay it in cash, then how much should we pay? Am I required to buy grain and distribute it among the needy or should I go to the Sacred Mosque and distribute money among the needy there, as I may not find sixty needy persons here? Please enlighten us, may Allaah reward you well!

Answer: If a reliable Muslim physician has advised her that fasting is harmful to her health, then she should not fast. Instead, she should pay the expiation for each day that she does not fast during the month of Ramadaan by feeding one needy person. Each person should be given half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg Approx.) of wheat, rice, dates or other such foodstuffs eaten in her country. The expiation should not be paid in cash... read more here.

A kidney patient making up the missed days of Ramadaan

Question: I am a Kuwaiti citizen, 27 years of age, and for two years I suffered from kidney disease that caused me to require dialysis. Physicians told me that I needed one of my brothers to donate a kidney to me. My younger brother, who is two years younger than me (25 years old), agreed to do so and the operation was successful by the grace of Allaah. The doctors advised me not to fast as I must drink a cup of water every hour. My brother was also advised not to fast. Physicians told me that if I were to try to fast, I would endanger my life. Only someone who has this disease can know just how much I have suffered. In my situation, am I required to fast or not? My brother fasted Ramadaan last year (two years after the operation) and it obviously affected him. I advised him not to do so, but he rejected my advice and continued fasting.

Please answer my question soon. What am I supposed to do if I do not fast? How much am I supposed to pay for each day or for the entire month? May Allaah protect and guide you to what is good for Islaam and Muslims.

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, then you are permitted to break your fast during the month of Ramadaan as long as you are in such a state. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …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. If you are able to fast in the future, then you are required to make up for any days that you did not fast. If, however, you cannot fast, then you should feed a needy person for every missed day of fasting. We ask Allaah to restore you to health as He is All-Hearing and answers our prayers... read more here.

Non-observance of Sawm by someone whom fasting may harm

Question: I suffer from kidney disease. One of my sons donated one of his kidneys to me and the physician who performed the operation advised me not to fast during the month of Ramadaan. The operation was performed only recently, and the physician told me that fasting will endanger my life due to my dire need for water, because this is a newly transferred kidney. I ask Allaah to guide me and I ask your Eminence to tell me what should I do concerning the missed days of fasting? Am I supposed to make up for these days or should I pay charity as I can not fast while in such a state? May Allaah protect and save you!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, then you are allowed to break your fast for as long as fasting causes you hardship. You have to make up for the days of fasting you missed during the month of Ramadaan whenever you are able to do so, even if after one year or more. If you are not likely to recover and to be able to fast in the future, then you should feed a needy person for every day of fasting that you missed during the month of Ramadaan. You should give each person one half Sa` (1 Saa`=3 kg Approx.) of rice, wheat or the like of other foodstuffs like that which you feed your family. In this case, you are not required to make up for these days of missed fasting... read more here.

Sawm of a kidney patient

Question: I am a kidney patient and I have undergone two surgical operations on my kidney. Doctors advised me to drink no less than two and a half liters of water daily and warned me that Sawm (Fast) and abstaining from drinking water for three consecutive hours endangers my life. Am I to follow their advice, or should I, seeking Allaah’s Support, observe Sawm despite their warning that I am at risk of developing stones? What should I do? What Kaffaarah (expiation) am I liable for if I do not observe Sawm?

Answer:If your health condition is as mentioned, diagnosed as such by skillful and efficient doctors, you are allowed to refrain from Sawm to protect your health and prevent further complications. If in the future your health improves and you recover your ability to fast, without difficulty, you must make up for those missed days of Sawm. However, if your disease continues and doctors decide that you are incurably susceptible to the risk of developing stones if you do not drink water over short periods, you should feed a needy person for each day that you do not fast... read more here.

The disease that cancels the obligation of Sawm

Question: I am a woman and have been suffering from a disease for the last fifteen years. Up until this time (1402 AH) I am suffering from this disease, and last year it was so severe that I was hospitalized and received treatment for three months. The physician prescribed a medication for me to take at home for a year. The disease that I suffer from is a type of pneumonia and bleeding from the mouth. Last year, I fasted eight days during the month of Ramadaan. If I stopped taking my medicine, I used to spit up blood with phlegm from my mouth. The physician recommended that I do not stop the medicine.

The next Ramadaan is coming up soon and I still have not made up for the missed days of Ramadaan from last year. If I fast, the hemorrhage will continue as a result of stopping the medicine, and will cause me to spit up phlegm alone or mixed with blood. I would like your Eminence to study my case and to inform me what I should do about the missed days of fasting from the previous Ramadaan and the religious ruling regarding the validity of the eight days that I fasted. Please answer my question, may Allaah reward you good!

Answer:If the reality is as you mentioned, then you are allowed to break your fast during the month of Ramadaan until you recover and are able to fast. Your fasting last Ramadaan is valid and you are not required to make up for the days you fasted, but you are required to make up for the days that you did not fast... read more here.

Taking medications during the day of Ramadaan

Question: I would like to inform Your Eminence that I have been suffering from asthma and severe allergy for 13 years. I traveled to London this year to perform medical examinations because sickness has caused me some complications. May Allaah protect you. The physician advised me to take medicine for three months three times a day. This specified period will coincide with the month of Ramadan. I would like to know what I should do as my condition requires receiving medicine to cure my lungs. I suffer great hardship due to observing Sawm (Fast) every year during Ramadaan. What should I do? May Allaah protect Your Eminence and guide you to increase in good deeds!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, there will be no blame on you in taking medicine according to your needs even if it is during daytime in Ramadaan for the sake of alleviating your pain and hoping that Allaah may cure you. If your medicine can be taken through the nose, intravenously, or intramuscular for the sake of alleviating asthma and facilitating breathing, your Sawm will be valid and you will not be required to make up for these days later... read more here.

Fasting of bronchial asthmatic patient

Question: I want to inform Your Eminence that I have been suffering from asthma since 1382 A.H. The disease has worsened gradually to the extent that I must use an inhaler for asthma every half an hour and sometimes every one or two hour, according to the mildness of the weather and its impact. I am also forced to take various tranquilizers once, twice or three times per day, according to the intensity of the persistent asthma allergy. I have had several medical reports, all of them reveal the severity of the illness, and exactly reflect what I feel and suffer. I ask Your Eminence whether it is permissible for me not to observe Sawm (Fast) in Ramadaan and what I should do to expiate for this since I cannot observe Sawm. May Allaah guide you!

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned, then there is nothing wrong if you do not observe Sawm in Ramadaan. Yet the days during which you did not observe Sawm are still a debt on you, i.e., you have to make up for them once you recover and become able to observe Sawm. Allaah (Exalted and Glorified be He) says: …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. On the other hand, if you remain sick and a specialized doctor decides that this illness is most likely to be incurable, then you have to feed one Miskeen (needy) person for each day you do not observe Sawm on, by giving this Miskeen half a Saa` (1 Saa`= 3 kg. Approx.) of staple food; such as wheat, dates, rice, etc. You do not have to make up for these days based on Allaah’s saying: Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope. And: …and He has not laid upon you in religion any hardshipread more here.

A patient who cannot fast Ramadaan

Question: There is a person who suffers from tuberculosis and finds it difficult to observe Sawm (Fast) in Ramadaan. Having not observed Sawm during last Ramadaan, should he feed needy people or not? It is worth mentioning that this illness is incurable and that he receives medication for a period of about a month, in which he leaves his home in the village and goes to the city, which makes it hard for him to stay there.

Answer: If this patient is unable to observe Sawm in Ramadaan due to suffering from an incurable disease, then he is to be exempted from Sawm. However, he must feed one needy person for each day by giving him half a Saa` (1 Saa`= 3 kg. Approx.) of staple food; such as wheat, dates, rice, etc. Provided that this is within his capacity. This patient takes the same ruling as an old man or aged woman who finds it difficult to observe Sawm… read more here.

Sawm and Tahaarah of a woman who inserts her finger or another object in her vagina

Question: If a woman inserts her finger into her vagina while making Istinjaa’ (cleansing the private parts with water after urination or defecation), applying ointment, or inserting a suppository; or if a female doctor inserts a diagnostic instrument or her finger during a medical examination, should a woman perform Ghusl (full ritual bath)? If this occurs during the daytime of Ramadaan, should she break her Sawm (Fast) and make up for it later?

Answer: In any of the above-mentioned cases, a woman does not have to perform Janaabah Ghusl (full ritual bath to cleanse of sexual discharge) nor does it invalidate her Sawm… read more here.

Salaah and Sawm (fast) of an elderly patient

Question: My father is around seventy or eighty years old. He suffers from many diseases, which are:

1- Bronchial asthma
2- Diabetes
3- Polyneuritis and spondylitis
4- He has also been bedridden for three years.

I would like to ask you the following questions:

1- He sometimes observes Sawm (Fast) but just until midday, for he cannot continue fasting until sunset. What should he do during Ramadaan?
2- He cannot perform Wudoo’ (ablution) properly as he can neither stand nor sit. What should he do when he wants to offer Salaah (Prayer)?
3- His clothes are often soiled with drops of urine or traces of excrement that he might be unaware of. Please answer my questions.

Answer: Firstly, if your father cannot observe Sawm due to his old age or because of an incurable disease, then he should break his Sawm and feed a needy person half a Saa` (one Saa` equals 3 kg) of wheat, rice, dates, or other such foods that are common in his area for every day he misses. Secondly, if your father cannot perform Wudoo’ by himself or with the help of others, then he can perform Tayammum (dry ablution) with clean earth… read more here.