QUESTIONS ON FASTING IN RAMADAAN
A man has reached seventy-five years of age and finds fasting difficult as he is ulcerous. What is the ruling on this man?
If fasting is difficult for both the elderly male and
female, they should break their fast and feed a poor
person for every day they broke their fast.
This can be done either by sharing a meal with the poor or by donating around 1.087kg of dates, wheat, or rice to them for every day missed.
If the elderly male and female are sick with ulcers or other types of illnesses, breaking their fast is now more justified. They are under the category of the sick. They do not feed the poor but instead make up the missed days once they have recovered. If they are unable to compensate for the fasting days missed due to old age, they feed a poor person for every day missed as mentioned earlier.
This ruling was given by ibn ‘Abbās (رضي الله عنهما) and others from the people of knowledge. The basis of this ruling is Allaah’s statement:
فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُۥ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ
…but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day).
(Al Baqarah, 2:184)
The old and helpless are unable to make up the fasting days missed, so feeding the poor becomes mandatory upon them as compensation.
When fasting became very difficult for Anas bin Mālik (رضي الله عنه) due to old age, he broke his fast and fed a poor person for every day missed.
(Muṣannaf ‘Abdur-Razzāq, 4/220, number 7570)
Indeed, guidance is with Allaah (ﷻ).
See 30 Questions and Answers on Fasting in Ramadaan by ‘Allāmah Abdul-‘Azīz Ibn Bāz, translated by ‘Abi ‘Abdir-Raḥmān Uways Onwordi at-Taweel
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