Q: There is
a young woman
who works as a teacher and has four (Part No. 10; Page No. 344) children who breaks Sawm (fast) during Ramadan for a Shar`y (Islamic legal) excuse such as discharging postpartum blood or being in her menses. However, after Ramadan is over, she does not make up for the days she missed but feeds one needy person per day. She further claims that whoever says that making up for the missed days is obligatory and may not be replaced by feeding is telling a lie.
It is obligatory on a person who breaks the Sawm of a day of Ramadan for an excuse such as illness, being on a journey, menstruation or postpartum period to make up for the day he misses. Thus, he may not feed a needy person per day as long as he has the ability to observe Sawm. Allah (Exalted be He) said:
...and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days.
Accordingly, in case doctors decide that such a woman does not have the ability to observe Sawm, she should feed a needy person half a Sa` (1 Sa`=3 kg. Approx.) of wheat or any other local staple foodstuff for every day she misses. Moreover, she has to feed a needy person likewise for every day she delayed making up for until Ramadan of the next year has started without a valid Shar`y excuse. Furthermore, her claim, that whoever says that making up for the missed days is obligatory and may not be replaced by feeding is telling a lie, is untrue. Making up is obligatory unless there is no ability at all to observe Sawm, in which case feeding is the alternative. In this regard,
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) in reply to a similar question said:
We used to be ordered to make up for fasting, but not to make up for Salah (i.e. we missed during menstruation).
(Related by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Undoubtedly, this Hadith is of the same authority as that of a Hadith Marfu` (a Hadith narrated from the Prophet with a connected or disconnected chain of narration). (Part No. 10; Page No. 345) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.