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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.
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My grandfather is sick. I give on his
behalf ten Dirhams per day from his
own money as an expiation for not
fasting. I do this sometimes after the
Iftaar (sunset meal that concludes the
fast), sometimes in the morning, and
other times before the Iftaar. Does this
free him from liability? Is it enough?
What intention should I have when I
give this ransom?


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord
of the Worlds. I testify that there is
none worthy of worship except Allah,
and that Muhammad is His slave
and Messenger.
If your grandfather is expected to
recover from his illness, then this
expiation will not free him from
liability. Rather, he will be required to
make up for the days of fasting
whenever he is able. Allah The Exalted
Says (what means): { So whoever
among you is sick or on a journey
[during them] - then an equal
number of days [are to be made
up]. }[Quran 2: 184]
If recovery is not expected, however,
then your grandfather is required to
give an expiation of feeding a poor
person each day. The amount of the
ransom is one Mudd [volumetric
measure (handful)], equaling 750 grams.

It would be better to give half a
Saa' (twice that). Giving Dirhams
(money) instead of food is
impermissible unless there is an
outweighing benefit in this. So, the
expiation must be food as stated in the
verse where Allah The Exalted Says
(what means): { And upon those who
are able [to fast, but with hardship]
– an expiation [as substitute] of
feeding a poor person [each day]. }
[Quran 2: 184]
It is impermissible to give the expiation
unless the sick person really does break
fasting on that day. Hence, if you give it
after the true dawn while your
grandfather breaks fasting that day (i.e.
did not intend to fast), then it will free
him of liability.

Your grandfather must authorize you to
give the expiation on his behalf because
he is responsible for this act of worship
and he will not be free from liability
unless he holds an intention to do it.
The Messenger of Allah said:
“ Intentions are what count in
deeds. ” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Allah Knows best.


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