Should a young ill female observe Sawm?

Q: My eleven-year-old daughter has to observe Sawm (Fast) in Ramadan this year, but she suffers from epileptic fits and has to take her medication every day. If she doesn’t, the disease will overtake her again. Should she observe Sawm this year or not?


A: If your daughter has not yet reached puberty, she does not have to observe Sawm, for she is not Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded... And he mentioned among them the young until they reach puberty. However, if your daughter has reached puberty and is unable to fast, she is to break Sawm and make up for it if she can. However, if her disease is incurable, she should feed a needy person for each day on which she breaks Sawm. Allah (Exalted be He) says: ...But if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. An old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day). The amount of food that should be served is half (Part No. 9; Page No. 98) a Sa` (1 Sa` = 3 kg. Approx.) of rice, wheat, or similar staple food of your country.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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