Question and answer details
|Respected scholars, As-salamu `alaykum. My mother has contracted an illness recently and her doctors have asked her not to fast during Ramadan. She has no source of income and is dependant on myself and my brothers. I feel myself responsible to compensate for her missing fast. I would like to know if I can pay this debt in her name in terms of money to the poor and how would I calculate the exact amount. I would also like to know the du`aa's the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to ask for the sick people. Jazakum Allahu khayran.|
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear brother in Islam, we do really commend you for showing dutifulness to your mother. We also commend your apparent interest in having a better understanding of the teachings of Islam and the rulings of this great religion in all matters. In fact, Islam is a religion that encompasses all aspects of life and secures guidance and light for all mankind.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam that are of paramount significance. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
A person who is terminally ill is exempted from fasting, but he or she must offer fidyah (compensation) for that. Compensation for skipping a fast is feeding one poor person. Allah says: [For those who can do it (With extreme hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent] (Al-Baqarah 2:184). If he or she cannot pay fidyah, it is acceptable for a son or a daughter to pay it on her behalf.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto,Ontario, Canada, states the following:
It is absolutely fine and acceptable for you to pay the fidyah (compensation in lieu of fasting) that is due upon your mother. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Children are the fruits of their parents' work" and therefore parents can benefit freely from their children's work. Furthermore, we have been ordered in the Qur'an to excel in our kind treatment towards our parents. Therefore, your willingness to pay this fidyah on behalf of your mother, who is not financially able, is indeed an expression of such excellence. You can rest assured just as your mother will be absolved by your generosity, you will also be blessed by it tremendously. So never feel any hesitation in your action.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islam.ca.