QUESTIONS ON FASTING IN RAMADAAN
My friend’s father is an old man. He is inconsistent with his prayers. However, for the past six years, he has not fasted due to terminal heart disease. Is it permissible for his daughters to fast on his behalf?
As long as he is alive and doctors have attested to his inability to fast due to the terminal illness with little hope of his state changing, then he feeds a poor person for every day he broke his fast.
This is similar to the ruling for the helpless elderly man and woman who are unable to fast. He feeds that poor person around 1.087kg of dates and its likes from local food. This ruling also applies to a terminally ill person (of any age).
It is not permissible to fast on their behalf unless they died whilst owing fasting days. The family members have the choice to do a good deed by fasting on behalf of the deceased; like the statement of the Messenger (ﷺ):
“Whoever dies owing some fasting days, their relatives can fast on their behalf. If they compensate by feeding the poor on their behalf, that will suffice.”
(Agreed upon: al-Bukhārī, 1952 and Muslim, 1147: reported by ‘Ā’isha)
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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