What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: if a person has deliberately broken many Ramadan fasts for two years, should he offer kaffarah for all of them or will a single kaffarah suffice? Should the person fast for sixty days [consecutively] to offer each kaffarah or will feeding the needy suffice?
Questioner: Zahid from England
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
If a person has broken two or three fasts of a single Ramadan and has not offered the kaffarah for fasts broken previously, then a single kaffarah is sufficient for all the fasts. If the person has broken many fasts of two Ramadans and has not offered their kaffarah previously, then two kaffarahs are due upon him/her. Similarly, three kaffarahs for breaking fasts of three Ramadans. This is the correct ruling. This is in the Zahir al-Riwayah (manifest narrations). However, according to Imam Muhammad (may Allah be pleased with him), if a person breaks fasts of two Ramadans and had not offered kaffarahs previously, then a single kaffarah for all the broken fasts would suffice. But this ruling is not rajih (preferred). This faqir (lowly servant) referred to more than ten books and has summarised the lengthy discussions contained in them pertaining to this matter and presented it here.
It is stated in al-Jawharah:
مَنْ أَفْطَرَ فِي رَمَضَانَ مِرَارًا ۔۔۔ وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي رَمَضَانَيْنِ لَزِمَهُ لِكُلِّ يَوْمٍ كَفَّارَةٌ بِالْإِجْمَاعِ وَإِنْ لَمْ يُكَفِّرْ لِلْأَوَّلِ فِي الصَّحِيحِ وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي رَمَضَانَ وَاحِدٍ فَأَفْطَرَ فِي يَوْمٍ وَاحِدٍ ثُمَّ فِي يَوْمٍ آخَرَ فَإِنْ كَفَّرَ لِلْأَوَّلِ لَزِمَهُ كَفَّارَةٌ لِلثَّانِي بِالْإِجْمَاعِ وَإِنْ لَمْ يُكَفِّرْ لِلْأَوَّلِ كَفَتْهُ كَفَّارَةُ وَاحِدَةٌ عِنْدَنَا
Translation: “If someone breaks two fasts in two Ramadans, then he/she must offer two kaffarahs, even if the kaffarah for the first one was not offered. If both the fasts were of a single Ramadan, and the kaffarah for the first one was offered, then the kaffarah for the second fast must also be offered, as per consensus. If the kaffarah for the first fast has not yet been paid, then, according to us, only a single kaffarah for both the fasts is sufficient.”
[al-Jawharah, vol. 1, pg. 141]
It is stated in Bahar-e Shari’at: “If someone breaks two fasts, then he/she must offer two kaffarahs, even if the kaffarah for the first one has not yet been offered. This is in case if the two fasts are from two Ramadans. If both the fasts are from a single Ramadan, and the kaffarah for the first one has not been offered yet, then only a single kaffarah is sufficient for both of them.”
[Bahar-e Shari’at, vol. 1, pg. 995]
It is mentioned in al-Durr al-Mukhtar:
وَلَوْ تَكَرَّرَ فِطْرُهُ وَلَمْ يُكَفِّرْ لِلْأَوَّلِ يَكْفِيه وَاحِدَةٌ وَلَوْ فِي رَمَضَانَيْنِ عِنْدَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَاخْتَارَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِلْفَتْوَى أَنَّ الْفِطْرَ بِغَيْرِ الْجِمَاعِ تَدَاخَلَ وَإِلَّا لَا أَيْ وَإِنْ كَانَ الْفِطْرُ الْمُتَكَرِّرُ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ بِجِمَاعٍ لَا تَتَدَاخَلُ الْكَفَّارَةُ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يُكَفِّرْ لِلْأَوَّلِ لِعِظَمِ الْجِنَايَةِ
Translation: “According to Imam Muhammad (may Allah be pleased with him), if a person has broken many fasts, and has not offered previous kaffarahs, then a single kaffarah is sufficient for all of them, even if the fasts are of two Ramadans. Others have passed the ruling stating that if a person has broken a fast due to other than sexual intercourse with his wife, then the kaffarahs can be merged into a single one, i.e. a single kaffarah will be sufficient. If someone breaks a fast due to sexual intercourse, then the kaffarahs will not be merged into a single one, even if kaffarah for the previous fast was not offered. This is due to the gravity of sexual intercourse.”
[al-Durr al-Mukhtar, vol. 2, pg. 412]
Some people have a misunderstanding that if fasts are broken due to sexual intercourse, then the offender must offer many kaffarahs, otherwise a single one will suffice. Whereas, the intent in this ruling is that if a person has broken two fasts in two Ramadans due to sexual intercourse, then he must pay two kaffarahs.
Imam Ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami (may Allah have mercy upon him) states:
لَوْ جَامَعَ فِي رَمَضَانَيْنِ فَعَلَيْهِ كَفَّارَتَانِ وَإِنْ لَمْ يُكَفِّرْ لِلْأُولَى فِي ظَاهِرِ الرِّوَايَةِ وَهُوَ الصَّحِيحُ.قُلْت: فَقَدْ اخْتَلَفَ التَّرْجِيحُ كَمَا تَرَى وَيَتَقَوَّى الثَّانِي بِأَنَّهُ ظَاهِرُ الرِّوَايَةِ
Translation: “If a person committed sexual intercourse in two Ramadans then he must pay two kaffarahs, even if he has not offered the kaffarah of the first one. This is from the Zahir al-Riwayah and the correct ruling. I said: ‘as you see, the preference in this issue differs, and the second ruling is correct because it is from the Zahir al-Riwayah.’”
[Radd al-Muhtar, vol. 3, pg. 449]
However, if one breaks many fasts of a single Ramadan due to sexual intercourse or some other reason, and has not offered kaffarah for the previous fasts, then a single kaffarah for all the broken fasts of this Ramadan will suffice, as stated in Bada’i al-Sana’i:
وَلَوْ جَامَعَ فِي رَمَضَانَ مُتَعَمِّدًا مِرَارًا بِأَنْ جَامَعَ فِي يَوْمٍ ثُمَّ جَامَعَ فِي الْيَوْمِ الثَّانِي ثُمَّ فِي الثَّالِثِ وَلَمْ يُكَفِّرْ فَعَلَيْهِ لِجَمِيعِ ذَلِكَ كُلِّهِ كَفَّارَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ عِنْدَنَا
[Bada’i al-Sana’i, vol. 2, pg. 101]
The one who breaks the fast deliberately must also repent because it is a sin to break a fast intentionally without any valid excuse.
As for offering kaffarah by fasting, if the person is healthy, then he/she must offer kaffarah by fasting only [60 days consecutively]. If one does not have the ability to fast due to illness, and does not hope to recover, or is of old age, then he/she must feed sixty needy ones with two of the daily meals. However, the condition for this is that the person must not be able to fast during that period (of feeding), otherwise the feeding will be nafl sadaqah [involuntary charity] and the person will have to offer the kaffarah by fasting only.
It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah:
وَأَمَّا فِي كَفَّارَةِ الْإِفْطَارِ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ إذَا عَجَزَ عَنْ الْإِعْتَاقِ لِفَقْرِهِ وَعَجَزَ عَنْ الصَّوْمِ لِكِبَرِهِ جَازَ لَهُ أَنْ يُطْعِمَ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا
Translation: “The permissible expiation for breaking Ramadan fasts when one is not able to manumit slaves or unable to fast due to old age, is the feeding of sixty needy ones.”
[al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, vol. 1, pg. 207]
It is stated in Bahar-e Shari’at: “If a person is unable to fast due to illness, and does not hope to recover, or is very old, then he/she must feed sixty needy people with two daily meals until they are satiated. There is leeway in feeding them at once or separately. However, the condition for this is that the person must not be able to fast during that period (of feeding), otherwise the feeding will be nafl sadaqah [involuntary charity] and the person will have to offer the kaffarah by fasting only.”
[Bahar-e Shari’at, vol. 2, pg. 215]
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadiri
Translated by the SeekersPath Team
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0722] I intentionally broke many Fasts during Ramadan, do I have to keep 60 consecutive Fasts for each one I broke as kaffarah?
NOTE: When fasting for the consecutive 60 days it is important to ensure that they do not run into Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, nor Eid al-Adha (and the three days after it).