An elderly person and an asthmatic person during Ramadan
Q: I am
a very old man.
I am around ninety years old. I suffer from asthma and high blood pressure. I have been able to fast Ramadan every year up until last year when I was forced to break my fast for sixteen days because I was unable to fast. I intended to make up for these days when my health became better, but my condition has not improved, and I am still unable to make up for these days. I fear that next Ramadan may come while I am still in such a state. I would like to know the religious ruling of paying in compensation for the missed days of fasting and what I should do next Ramadan. If I am supposed to pay for the days I could not fast by feeding the needy, what is the amount that I am supposed to give to each needy person? If there are no poor people who can take the food, can I give the equivalent in money instead of food? If this is possible, what is the amount of money I should give? Am I supposed to give it on a daily basis or should I collect it and pay it all as a whole at the end of the month?
If the reality is as you mentioned that you are ninety years old and suffer from asthma and high blood pressure, then you are not required to make up for the sixteen days of missed fasting during Ramadan as long as you are not able to make up for them. You are also permitted to break your fast as long as you are still unable to fast. You should give half a Sa` (1 Sa`=3 kg. Approx.) for one needy person for every day of Ramadan that you did not fast. You are permitted to give it out all at once or separately. Allah (Exalted be He) says:
...and He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship
You should not give money instead of food. (Part No. 10; Page No. 164) The food that you should give should be half a Sa` of wheat, dates, barley, or other such foodstuffs that are eaten in the area where you live.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.