My wife suffered from an illness for three and a half years in which she
could not observe Sawm (Fast) from 1395 to 15/09/1398 A.H., then she died. The missed days of Sawm accumulated to three months and a half. Should I offer Sawm for this period on her behalf, pay a Sadaqah (voluntary charity), or both? Is it permissible for one of her relatives other than me to fast this period on her behalf? Kindly, give me your Fatwa.
(Part No. 10; Page No. 372)
If the state is as you mentioned that your wife remained ill for three years and a half in which she could not observe the Sawm of Ramadan and later she died, if she suffered from the illness until death, she is not obliged to make up for the missed days, for Allah (Exalted be He) says:
Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope.
Allah also said:
So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can
Accordingly, neither her relatives nor her husband are required to make up for the missed days on her behalf. However, if she had recovered and continued to be healthy for a period long enough to make up for the missed days but out of heedlessness she did not do that, then her husband and relatives should fast these days on her behalf.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.