Deliberately Never Observed Ramadhan, Should He Make Up The Fast?
I have never fast a whole Ramadhan in my life. But now I intend to fast this year insya Allah. How should I make up for the fasts that I have missed?
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
1. The Case of Never Observe the Fast the Ramadhan.
The fasting of Ramadhan is one of the pillars of Islam, and it is not permissible for one who is required to fast not to do so, unless he has an excuse. Whoever does not fast due to a legitimate shari’e excuse, such as sickness, travelling or menstruation, and is able to fast, has to make up the missed fasts.
“[A]nd whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days”
The one who deliberately did not fast without an excuse is far from one who has an excuse in this regard. If a person delays an act of worship from the time it is due, such as prayer or fasting, without excuse, it is not valid and will not be accepted if he does it after the time specified for it in is over.
Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked on the ruling if a Muslim who did not fast Ramadhan for many years although he did all the other duties required of him, and he has no reason for it. And does he have to make up those fasts if he repents?
Shaikh al-‘Uthaymeen replied: The correct view is that he does not have to make up those fasts, he has to repent. [It is] because in [shari’e] every act of worship that is prescribed for a specific time, [one is not allowed to perform outside the time frame]; if a person delays it beyond that time deliberately without a [valid] excuse, Allah SWT will not accept it from him. So there is no point in making them up, because it is unacceptable. He has to repent to Allah and perform a lot of righteous deeds. Whoever repents, Allah accepts it.
[Majmu’ Fatawa al-Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, question no. 19/41]
This is the situation of one who did not fast without excuse, which he did not have the intention of fasting and he did not fast.
1.1. Deliberately Breaks The Fast of Ramadhan.
And to the one who began a fast, then during the day he breaks the fast, he has to make up that day.
Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on breaking the fast during the day in Ramadhan without any excuse.
He replied: In the case of someone breaking the fast during the day in Ramadhan without any shari’e excuse is a major sin, which makes a person a fasiq (rebellious evildoer).
Prophet Muhammad SAW, "Whoever broke even one fast of Ramadhan without an excuse or sickness, even if he fast the whole life after that, it will not compensate what he missed"
He has to repent to Allah and make up the day he broke the fast. If someone had began the fast then during the day but he broke it without any valid excuse, he is a sinner, and he has to make up that day he broke it because according to shari’e when someone started the fast it became binding upon him to complete it, as in the case of a vow.
It is incumbent upon us to fear Allah and to beware of His wrath, retribution and a painful punishment. One should hasten to repent to Allah before death takes him unawares. Perhaps today’s action we may see as with no reckoning, but tomorrow there will be the reckoning. Whoever repents, Allah will accept his repentance, and whoever draws closer to Allah one hand span, Allah will draw closer to him one cubit. For Allah is Most Generous, Forbearing and Most Merciful, as He says:
“Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His slaves and takes the Sadaqah (alms, charity), and that Allah Alone is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful?”
Allah says at the end of the verses on fasting: “Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you”
The phrase, “so that you may be grateful to Him” shows that fasting is a blessing for which we must be grateful. Hence some of the salaf used to wish that the whole year was Ramadan.
But if he deliberately did not start to fast at all without excuse, then he does not have to make it up, because that will be of no benefit to him, for it will never be accepted from him.
The basic principle with regard to every act of worship that is related to a specific time is that if it is delayed beyond that time with no excuse, it will not be accepted, because the Prophet SAW said:
“Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected”
[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2697; Muslim, 1718]
This is a transgression of the sacred limits of Allah, and transgressing the sacred limits of Allah is zulm (wrongdoing), and the wrongdoer’s deeds are not accepted. Allah says:
“And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are the Zalimun (wrongdoers)”
It should be noted that if one did this act of worship before the time for it should begin, Allah would not be accepted from him, and by the same token if he does it after the time for it is over, it will not be accepted from him, unless he had an excuse.
[Majmu’ Fatawa Al-Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, no. 45]
2. Breaking a Making up of Obligatory Fast.
If a person begins an obligatory fast, such as making up a missed Ramadhan fast or offering an expiation for breaking a vow (kafarah yameen), it is not permissible for him to break the fast without a valid syar’ie excuse, such as sickness or travel.
If he breaks that fast – with or without an excuse – he has to make up that day, but he does not have to offer any expiation, because expiation is only required for intercourse during the day in Ramadan.
And if he breaks the fast with no excuse, then he has to repent to Allah SAW for this haram action.
The Views of the Scholars
Ibn Qudamah (4/412) said: If a person commences an obligatory fast, such as making up a missed Ramadhan fast, or a fast that he vowed to observe, or an expiatory fast, it is not permissible for him to break the fast. The scholarly were unanimous in their opinion on this issue.
Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmu’ (6/383): If a person has intercourse during a fast other than in Ramadan, such as making up a missed fast, or a fast that he vowed to observe, etc, no expiation (kafarah) is required. This is the view of the majority.
But Qatadah said: He has to offer expiation if he broke a fast that he was observing to make up for a missed Ramadhan fast.
[See al-Mughni, 4/378]
Shaikh Ibn Baaz was asked: One day I was fasting to make up for a missed fast, but after Zuhur prayer I felt hungry so I ate and drank deliberately, not because I had forgotten or was unaware. What is the ruling on this action of mine?
He replied: Such a case one has to complete the fast, for it is absolutely not permissible for someone to break an obligatory fast, such as when one is making up a missed Ramadhan fast or a fast that you have vowed to observe. Apart from that you also need to repent from what you have done. Allah will accept whoever repents himself to Allah.
[Majmu’ Al-Fatawa (15/355)]
Shaikh Ibn Salih Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: I had fast to make up for what I owed, then I broke the fast deliberately. After that I made up that fast one. I am not sure whether that is sufficient or do I have to fast two consecutive months? Do I have to offer expiation? Please advice.
He replied: If a person begins an obligatory fast, such as making up a missed Ramadhan fast or offering expiation for breaking a vow (kafarah yameen), or expiation for shaving during Hajj if he shaved his head before exiting ihram, or any other obligatory fast, it is not permissible for him to break the fast without a valid shari’e excuse. The same applies to anyone who begins an obligatory action – he has to complete it and it is [absolutely] not permissible for him to stop it unless he has a legitimate shari’e excuse that allows him to breaks it.
[Majmu’ Al-Fatawa (20/451]
Therefore, the lady who begins to make up a fast then broke her fast with no excuse and made up that day does not have to do anything else, but she has to repent and ask Allah for forgiveness for breaking an obligatory fast with no excuse.
And Allah Almighty Knows best.
[Adapted from the Islam QA]