The outstanding fasts of a dead person
There are two situations related to the outstanding fasts of a dead person.
The first situation is where the dead person died before he got the opportunity to fast what he had missed. In this case there is no qadha for the deceased and there is no need for the heirs to give any fidyah to charity. (Hidayah p.221 v.1)
The second situation is where the dead person had the opportunity to fast and neglected to do so. In this case if the deceased made a bequest that the outstanding fasts are paid from his inheritance then it will be carried out by the heir’s upto one third of his total inheritance. If no bequest was made then the heirs out of their own money can give the fidyah on behalf of the deceased. (Hidayah p.222 v.1)
This will be the interpretation of the following hadith that the heirs will give fidyah on behalf of the deceased and will not physically themselves do qadha of the fasts on behalf of the deceased.
The Prophet of Allah “If anyone dies in a state (that he had to complete) some fasts, his heir must fast on his behalf (i.e. give compensation of the fast)”. (Sahih Muslim)
Once Saaiduna Ibn Umar was asked: Can anyone fast for another or can anyone pray salah for another? He replied: “Nobody can keep fast for another and nobody can pray salah for another” (Muwatta Imam Malik)
Finally, it should be borne in mind that the fidyah is in exchange for the fast the terminally ill person cannot keep. Therefore before the month of Ramadhan one will not be permitted to give the fidyah. As soon as the month of Ramadhan begins one will be allowed to give fidyah everyday for each fast or for the whole month if he wishes at once. (Ahsanul Fatawa p.436 v.4)
Finally, you can give the fidyah according to the rate of this country or to the country you are sending the fidyah to. If you are planning to give the recipients of the fidyah money then the amount of sadqah fitr will be given for each fast. However, if you are planning to feed the poor then you will need to feed them two meals a day. (Mazahirul Haqq p.21 v.2)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham