I have 2 very related questions about the following part of the Quran, which is why I am posting them as 1 quection with 2 parts:

http://quran.com/2/184 [Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess - it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.

What exactly does that bold part mean interms of the following:

  1. What happens if the person who can't fast doesn't have enough money to feed the poor?

  2. Is there a predefined amount a meal should cost? For example, the country I am in has meals which will fill your stomach which are as cheap as $0.90USD all the way upto $580USD. Where both the $0.90USD meal and the $580USD meals will fill you up.

So if a person is unable to fast for 30 days each year, must he pay the ransom of 0.90USD * 30 days = 27USD. Or must he pay $580USD * 30 days = 17,400USD?

Sunni view preferred. If anyone knows the Sunni > Hanafi > Deobandi view specifically, then that would be even better.

3 Answers 3


The following is not about ransom for not fasting, but it nevertheless has an important message.

لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ الْأَيْمَانَ ۖ فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَاكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ ۖ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ كَفَّارَةُ أَيْمَانِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ ۚ وَاحْفَظُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] - then a fast of three days [is required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be grateful.

Feed a poor as how you would feed yourself. If you struggle with finance and live on $0.9 meal everyday then feed the poor with a $0.9 meal. If you have $580 meal everyday then you can feed them a $580 meal everyday.

If you really cannot afford to feed the poor and cannot fast, I do not have an answer that has reference. So my answer is only for your second question.


If you can't fast, don't. If you can't pay fidya, don't. Keep the fast in your heart. Assalamu alaikum!

A Hanafi view

If such a chronic illness from which recovery is not expected is established, one is obliged to pay expiatory payments (fidya) for every missed Ramadan fast. The expiatory payment is the monetary equivalent of 2.2 kg of wheat per fast. Again, one should consult a reliable local scholar to determine how much the monetary value of this would be. A condition for this is that one possess sufficient wealth to actually pay these expiatory payments. If one is considered poor and unable to pay the expiatory payment then he should seek Allah’s forgiveness and have remorse for the non-fulfillment of such an obligation. [Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar; Ibn `Abidin, Hashiya]

A hadith

‘Aa’ishah may Allaah be pleased with her narrated, "A man came to the Prophet , in the Masjid and said, "I have been burnt (ruined)!" "What is the case?" asked the Prophet . "I had sexual intercourse with my wife during the daytime of Ramadhaan," replied the man. The Prophet , said: "Give in charity." "I do not have anything to give," replied the man. The man then sat down and in the meantime, there came a person driving a donkey and carrying food (to give to the Prophet ). Then the Prophet , asked: "Where is the burnt person?" "Here I am," replied the man. "Take this (food) and give it in charity," said the Prophet . The man said, "To a poorer person than I? When my family has nothing to eat?" The Prophet , then said: "Then eat it yourselves." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Keep your speech clean (Section 4)

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said: "Fasting is not [abstaining] from eating and drinking only, but also from vain speech and foul language. If one of you is being cursed or annoyed, he should say: "I am fasting, I am fasting." [Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim; Sahih].

Abu Hurairah also reported that the Prophet (S) said: "Allah does not need the fast of one who does not abandon false speech or acting according to his false speech [Bukhari and others]]


the order is clear if you cant afford the alternatives then do 60 days fasting. As for as second point is concern, to calculate the amount, you can look at the "Fitrana (An amount paid before Eid Prayer by the people who fast)". then multiply the "Fitrana" with 30. For example it has been declared this year it would cost £2.50 in England, you can check your local mosques for this. (Sunni)

  • 1
    What about situations where health concerns prohibit fasting and the person doesn't have enough money to feed the poor? The question reads to me like that would be the concern. Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 23:06
  • @cartomancer, yes, that's exactly what I'm asking.
    – user3550
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 11:59

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