Answered by: Maulana Burhaan Rahman
I have a chronic disease called Crohn’s disease so I have not fasted for many years during Ramadan because of this. However, I did not give any Fidya payments during this time as I did not know this was a requirement for not fasting due to illness and I have just learnt about this recently.
Do I have to make up these years of missed payments and can I make these payments slowly? As I am now 19 so I have approximately missed around 7 years of Ramadan fasts (from the age of 12-18) which is a large sum of money for me to pay all at once.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
With regards to paying the fidyah due to missed fasts, it is mentioned in the Qur’an:
اَيَّامًا مَّعۡدُوۡدٰتٍؕ فَمَنۡ كَانَ مِنۡكُمۡ مَّرِيۡضًا اَوۡ عَلٰى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنۡ اَيَّامٍ اُخَرَؕ وَعَلَى الَّذِيۡنَ يُطِيۡقُوۡنَهٗ فِدۡيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسۡكِيۡنٍؕ فَمَنۡ تَطَوَّعَ خَيۡرًا فَهُوَ خَيۡرٌ لَّه
“Fasting is for a fixed number of days, and if one of you is sick, or if one of you is on a journey, you will fast the same number of other days later on. For those who are capable of fasting (still, they do not opt for fasting) there is compensation; feeding a needy person for each day missed. Whoever voluntarily does more good than is required, will find it better for him.” [Surah Baqarah verse 184]
So in your case having a chronic disease prevents you from fasting the missed fast in Ramadan hence the fidyah (feeding a person who is in need) should be given.
And considering that you have many fasts to recover in terms of fidyah, you and Allah know how capable you are of paying it off. The only thing you can do is give it your best and pay however you can according to your ability as the Qur’an states:
وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ
“Strive in the cause of Allah in a manner worthy of that striving. He has chosen you (for His task), and He has not laid upon you any hardship in religion” [Surah Hajj verse 78]
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Maulana Burhaan Rahman
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham