Q. Due to my mother’s old age, she cannot fast. Can she give Fidyah for all the fasts that she cannot keep before Ramadhaan starts? Can She give it to non-Muslims?
A. If your mother is unable to fast due to old age or ill health, she will be excused from fasting in the month of Ramadhaan. On the other hand, if she recovers or she regains her health and strength to fast, it will be obligatory on her to fast and make up (Qadha) of any missed fasts of Ramadhaan. However, if there is no hope of her recovering, then she is obligated to make up for it by giving the Fidyah amount per fast to poor and needy Muslims.
The Fidyah amount cannot be discharged before the commencement of Ramadhaan. The Fidyah amount may be discharged after the commencement of Ramadhaan. (Khairul Fataawa 4/89)
The recipients of Fidyah are the same as the recipients of Zakaat. Hence, all the conditions related to the discharging of Zakaat to Zakaat recipients also apply to the recipients of Fidyah, for e.g. the Fidyah amount has to be given to poor and needy Muslims and not non-Muslims. (Shaami 2/369)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.