I live in the USA and the federal constitution here forbids slavery with the exception of those being punished for a crime. There are thousands of people in jail who cannot afford the bail money to get out of jail and hire proper counsel for their defense in criminal court. The result is that they admit to crimes they may have not committed and end up doing involuntary servitude for years in prison.

I know this type of slavery during incarceration is a far cry from the slavery in our prophets time. I don't think they had prisons back then. I tried to find the sura in the Quran regarding the ways for a muslim to make up for missed days of fasting but couldn't find one, so these must be in hadith.

Although I never missed days of fasting for some years now, in my youth I was sloppy in this regard. Can payments to free people from jail or prison whether in the form of bail-bond or hiring proper criminal attorney be counted as 'freeing a slave', particularly for making up for missed days of fasting? Please cite Hadith.

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    I must say this is a very interesting and new way of seeing things; seeing prisoners doing involuntary unpaid work who cannot afford an attorney as slaves. Not to belittle anyone, but I believe no ordinary person or sheikh can give you such a fatwa, because giving such a fatwa requires a great depth of knowledge and whomever answers this question will be responsible for his answer in front of Allah (subhanahu wa taala). I advise you to visit your local mosque or Islamic center (if any). They can help you better.
    – Ahmad Tn
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 3:18
  • Good question. Given that there is officially no slavery in the West then surely other possibilities would need to be considered. For example, donating to Amnesty International which does work with unlawful incarceration seems aligned with this thought. Essentially, the Islamic principle of Ijtihad (ruling by analogy) would need to be invoked. Commented May 3, 2018 at 3:57

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I am assuming that you are referring to Kaffarah (expiation) for fasting in Ramadan. This applies to when you intended to fast but broke it or if you had intercourse during the daytime in Ramadan.

If you did not fast at all and did not have intercourse then the expiation of freeing a slave does not apply, AFAIK, you only need to repent and make up for missed fasts, see here, here and here etc.

The Kafarah for breaking a fast is the same as breaking a vow of abstention:

والذين يظاهرون من نسائهم ثم يعودون لما قالوا فتحرير رقبة من قبل أن يتماسا ذلكم توعظون به والله بما تعملون خبير

فمن لم يجد فصيام شهرين متتابعين من قبل أن يتماسا فمن لم يستطع فإطعام ستين مسكينا ذلك لتؤمنوا بالله ورسوله وتلك حدود الله وللكافرين عذاب أليم

And those who pronounce thihar from their wives and then [wish to] go back on what they said - then [there must be] the freeing of a slave before they touch one another. That is what you are admonished thereby; and Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

And he who does not find [a slave] - then a fast for two months consecutively before they touch one another; and he who is unable - then the feeding of sixty poor persons. That is for you to believe [completely] in Allah and His Messenger; and those are the limits [set by] Allah . And for the disbelievers is a painful punishment.

Quran 58:3-4

أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أمر رجلا أفطر في رمضان أن يعتق رقبة أو يصوم شهرين أو يطعم ستين مسكينا

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commanded the person (who) broke the fast in Ramadan to free a slave or observe fasts for two (consecutive) months or feed sixty poor persons.

Sahih Muslim

When the Quran and Hadith have prescribed alternatives to freeing slaves then one should act on those alternatives and not try to invent analogies prone to error. Civil prisoners are not slaves.

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    Thank you. I tried to find in the Quran where breaking a divorce vow (Quran 58:3-3) is the same as intentionally breaking a fast but couldn't find. Is said connection only in hadith? The hadiths in the links you provided say different things. One says you can't make up for it as it is a cardinal sin worse than adultery, the others say as an option to fast 2 consecutive months for each day violated, which is not practical and doesn't make sense. Commented May 3, 2018 at 21:36
  • "Civil prisoners are not slaves." Are there any requirements in the sunnah to count as slavery? After all, freeing a slave is a very big good deed. We shouldn't be discouraging people from doing it simply because it is not called slavery.
    – The Z
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 0:33
  • @TheZ One can do it out of voluntary Sadqah, sure. But obligatory rituals should be done according to how they have been prescribed and one should refrain from controversial analogies whose validity is doubtful. That the noun "slave" isn't applied to them by the people is cause in itself since the Quran has used a noun and not a description of circumstances. There are numerous differences between them , e.g. Prisoners are incarcerated for a finite amount of time whereas a slave would have remained enslaved for life and their children would have been slaves as well.
    – UmH
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 4:05
  • Next, posting bail may not free prisoners permanently as they might be found guilty in the trial, whereas freeing a slave would free them for certain. Partially freeing a slave or giving them some money to partially contribute to buying their freedom does not count in fiqh.
    – UmH
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 4:31

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