Delay in making up missed Ramadaan fasts – the rulings

In short, whoever does not fast some days of Ramadaan has to make up those days before the next Ramadaan comes. This person is sinning if he does not make up the fasts before the next Ramadaan without a legal excuse like sickness, forgetting, etc. The Imams are agreed that this person must make up the fasts, but they differed as to whether along with making up the fasts he must also feed one poor person for each day or not.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) said in this regard, “The correct view with regard to this issue is that a person does not have to do anything more than making up the missed fasts, but he is sinning if he delays doing so.” Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/451.

So, one who one delays making up the fasts with no excuse, must repent to Allaah and resolve not to repeat this mistake in the future.

read detailed discussions below…


I did not make up for th missed Ramadaan fasts. What to do?

I did not fast some days in Ramadaan because of my period. This happened a few years ago, and I have not fasted these days until now. What do I have to do?.

REPLY: The imams are agreed that whoever does not fast some days of Ramadaan has to make up those days before the next Ramadaan comes.

They quoted as evidence for that the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari (1950) and Muslim (1146) from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: “I used to have fasts that I still owed from Ramadaan, and I could not make them up until Sha’baan, and that was because of the position of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) [as a husband].”

Al-Haafiz said, “It may be understood from her keenness to fast them in Sha’baan that it is not permissible to delay making up fasts until the next Ramadaan begins.

If a person delays making up fasts until Ramadaan begins, one of the following two scenarios must apply.

1 – The delay is for a reason, such as being sick and the sickness lasting until the following Ramadaan begins. There is no sin on a person for delaying in this case, because he has an excuse, and he only has to make up the days missed. So he should make up the number of days that he did not fast.

2 – There is no reason for the delay, such as when a person was able to make up the fasts but he did not do so before the following Ramadaan began.

This person is sinning by failing to make up the fasts with no excuse. The imams are agreed that he must make up the fasts, but they differed as to whether along with making up the fasts he must also feed one poor person for each day or not.

Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad said that he must feed a poor person, and they quoted as evidence for that the reports narrated from some of the Sahaabah such as Abu Hurayrah and Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them).

Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was of the view that he does not have to feed a poor person as well as making up the fasts.

He quoted as evidence the fact that Allaah commands the one who does not fast in Ramadaan only to make up the missed fasts, and He did not mention feeding a poor person. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “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” [al-Baqarah 2:185] See al-Majmoo’, 6/366; al-Mughni, 4/400

This second view was also favoured by Imam al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him). He said in his Saheeh, “Ibraaheem (i.e., al-Nakha’i) said: If a person neglects (to make up missed fasts) until the next Ramadaan comes, he should fast the missed days of both months. But he did not think that he has to feed a poor person. There was also a mursal report from Abu Hurayrah and Ibn ‘Abbaas which says that he should also feed a poor person. Then al-Bukhaari said: But Allaah does not mention feeding a poor person, rather He says (interpretation of the meaning), “…the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days.” [al-Baqarah 2:185]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, when noting that it is not obligatory to feed a poor person, “With regard to the words of the Sahaabah, their use as evidence is subject to further discussion if it goes against the apparent meaning of the Qur’aan. In this case, saying that it is obligatory to feed a poor person goes against the apparent meaning of the Qur’aan, because Allaah only enjoined making up the same number from other days, and He did not mention more than that. Based on this, we should not oblige the slaves of Allaah to do any more than they need to fulfil their duty. But what was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas and Abu Hurayrah may be interpreted as referring to what is mustahabb, not what is obligatory. The correct view with regard to this issue is that a person does not have to do anything more than making up the missed fasts, but he is sinning if he delays doing so.” Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/451.

Based on this, then what is obligatory is to make up the fasts only, but if a person wants to be on the safe side and feed one poor person for each day missed, then that is good.

The woman who asked this question – if she delayed making up the fasts with no excuse, has to repent to Allaah and resolve not to repeat this mistake in the future. And Allaah is the One Whom we ask to help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. And Allaah knows best. http://islamqa.info/en/26865

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I forgot to make up missed fasts before the next Ramadaan comes?

REPLY: The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that forgetting is an excuse which means that there is no sin or accountability in all matters, because of a great deal of evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, but they differed as to whether the fidyah is still required in cases of forgetfulness.

With regard to the issue of forgetting to make up missed Ramadaan fasts before the next Ramadaan comes, the scholars are also unanimously agreed that they must still be made up after the second Ramadaan, and they are not waived as a result of forgetting.

But they differed as to whether the fidyah (which is feeding a poor person) is required when making up the missed fast (after the second Ramadaan has come and gone). There are two points of view:

1 – That the fidyah is not required, because forgetting is an excuse that means there is no sin and the fidyah is waived. This was the view of most of the Shaafa’is and some of the Maalikis. See: Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (3/445); Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj (3/196); Minah al-Jaleel (2/154); Sharh Mukhtasar Khaleel(2/263).

2 – That the fidyah is required, and forgetting is an excuse that means there is no sin only. This was the view of al-Khateeb al-Sharbeeni among the Shaafa’is, who said in Mughni al-Muhtaaj (2/176), “It seems that it means there is no sin only, and that the fidyah is not waived.” This was also stated by some of the Maalikis. See: Mawaahib al-Jaleel Sharh Mukhtasar Khaleel (2/450).

The more correct view is the former, in sha Allaah, for three reasons:

1 – The general meaning of the verses and ahaadeeth which say that people are not held accountable for forgetting, such as the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.” [al-Baqarah 2:286]

2 – The basic principle that one is not subject to any expiation or fidyah except with evidence, and there is no reliable evidence in this case.

3 – There is a difference of opinion as to whether this fidyah is required in the first place, even in the case of one who delays making up the fasts deliberately. The Hanafis and Zaahiris are of the view that it is not obligatory and Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was of the view that it is only mustahabb, because there is no report to suggest that it is prescribed except from the actions of some of the Sahaabah, which is not strong enough to suggest that people be obliged to follow it, let alone oblige them to do it in a case where Allaah has granted an excuse.

To sum up, he only has to make up the missed fasts, and he does not have to feed the poor, so he should make them up after Ramadaan. And Allaah knows best.  http://islamqa.info/en/107780