Question(s):
I have had deficiencies for years; I take multiple vitamins and pills to support my body as I have lost my appetite. I haven’t been fasting for the last three Ramadhāns. This year, I want to try and fast but I have to take Iron Tablets 3 times a day, would it be better if I fast or continue taking the tablets and not fast?

Answer(s):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Firstly, before the blessed month of Ramadan enters, you will need to consult with a Muslim doctor to determine whether it is feasible for you to fast & take some tablets during the non-fasting periods. (Iftār & Suhūr). In doing so, the following points should be noted in order:
1) Every effort should be made to fast if possible without harm, via alternative medicinal arrangements (as advised by medical experts/doctors). [1]
2) Nevertheless, if according to the medical experts/doctors, the medication is such that you must take them daily during the fasting period, such that if you fail to take them, it may result in your health being affected, then you may forgo the fasts in Ramadhan and keep them at another time during the year, perhaps during the shorter days. [2]
3) If it is not possible to keep the replacement fasts even during the shorter days, then you are considered ‘incapable of fasting’ (excused) and thus, it will be permissible for you to forgo your fasts and pay Fidyah instead.
4) However, if a person thinks they may be able to fast or they are unsure, the fast must be attempted. During the day, if they struggle, they can break the fast and make up for it later.

As for the Fidyah amount, it is equal to Sadaqat al-Fiṭr – ½ Ṣāʿ (Approx. 1.75kg) of wheat. This amount or its value has to be given for each missed Sawm (fast) due to genuine complete inability. The value is determined by the price of wheat in the location of the donor. [3]

Note: The 1.75kg quoted here is inclusive of the opinion of the majority of Scholars. The great Jurist Mufti Rashīd Aḥmad Ludyānwī (d. 1422ah) held the view that 2.32kg of wheat is required to fulfil the obligation of donating 1⁄2 Ṣāʿ of wheat. He adds that 2.25kg can be used when calculating the value of 1⁄2 Ṣāʿ of wheat. (Aḥsan al-Fatāwā, 4: 416). Nevertheless, 1.75kg will suffice to fulfil the obligation. [4]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best.
Mufti Mubasshir Ahmed
17 Sha’bān 1441 / 11 April 2020

Concurred by: Mufti Chakil Omarjee, Annas Shah
Approved by: Mufti Tahir Wadee | Mufti Yusuf Illolvi

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[References]
[1]
لا يكلف الله نفسا إلا وسعها
[Al-Baqarah, Āyah 286]

وما جعل عليكم في الدين من حرج
[Al-Hajj, Āyah 78]

قلت: أرأيت المرأة الحامل والمرضع التي تخاف على الصبي أو الحامل تخاف على نفسها؟ قال: تفطران وتقضيان يوما مكان كل يوم، ولا كفارة عليهما
[Al-Asl, 2/172 – Ibn Hazm]

بالحديث المرفوع الذي تقدم، ثم قال: ولأنه يلحقها الحرج في نفسها أو ولدها، والحرج عذر في الفطر كالمريض والمسافر، وعليها القضاء ولا كفارة عليها
[Al-Mabsūt, 3/99 – Dar al-Ma’rifah]

قال: (والحامل والمرضع إذا خافتا على أنفسهما أو ولديهما أفطرتا وقضتا) دفعا للحرج (ولا كفارة عليهما) لأنه إفطار بعذر
[Al-Hidāyah, 1/124 – Dar al-Fikr]
[Al-Ikhtiyār, 1/135 – Al-Halabi]


[2]
ولم يذكر مفعول الخوف ليشمل غير الهلاك لما قال في البزازية: خافت الحامل على نفسها أو ولدها نقصان العقل أو الهلاك أفطرت
[Hashiyah Durar al-Hukkām, 1/208 – Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub]

أو إبطاء البرء أو فساد عضو، بحر، أو وجع العين أو جراحة أو صداعا أو غيره، ومثله ما إذا كان يمرض المرضى
[Tahtāwi fi Hashiyah Al-Durr al-Mukhtār, 1/462]

أي بأن يعولهم ويلزم من صومه ضياعهم وهلاكهم لضعفه عن القيام بهم إذا صام
[Raddul-Muhtār, 2/422 – Dar al-Fikr]

قيد بالخوف بمعنى غلبة الظن بتجربة أو إخبار طبيب حاذق مسلم كما في الفتاوى الظهيرية على ما قدمناه
[Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, 2/307 – Al-Kitab al-Islāmi]

إن الله وضع عن المسافر نصف الصلاة والصوم، ورخص للحبلى والمرضع
[Nasai’ – 2277; Tirmidhi – 715; Ibn Mājah – 166]

وقال ابن عباس: تفطر الحامل والمرضع في رمضان، وتقضيان صياما، ولا تطعمان
[al-Musannaf Abdul-Razzaq, 7564]

[3]
وعلى هذا إذا مات وعليه صلوات يطعم عنه لكل صلاة نصف صاع من حنطة. وكان محمد بن مقاتل يقول أولا: يطعم عنه لصلوات كل يوم نصف صاع على قياس الصوم، ثم رجع فقال: كل صلاة فرض على حدة بمنزلة صوم يوم، وهو الصحيح
[Al-Mabsūt, 3/90 – Dar al-Ma’rifah]

(ولو مات وعليه صلوات فائتة وأوصى بالكفارة يعطى لكل صلاة نصف صاع من بر) كالفطرة (وكذا حكم الوتر) والصوم، وإنما يعطي (من ثلث ماله) ولو لم يترك مالا يستقرض وارثه نصف صاع مثلا ويدفعه لفقير ثم يدفعه الفقير للوارث ثم وثم حتى يتم (ولو قضاها ورثته بأمره لم يجز) لأنها عبادة بدنية (بخلاف الحج) لأنه يقبل النيابة
[al-Durr al-Mukhtār ma’a al-Shami, 2/72 – Dar al-Fikr]

إن أداء القيمة مكان المنصوص عليه في الزكاة والصدقات والعشور والكفارات جائز عندنا
[Al-Mabsūt, 2/156 – Dar al-Ma’rifah]

[4]
اگر صدقت الفطر ميں گیہوں یا گیہوں کا آٹا ديا جاۓ تو وزن ماش کے مطابق ۲.۳۲ کلوگرام دينا لازم ہے البتہ اگر قيمت دينا چاہے تو ۲.۲۵ کلوگرام گیہوں دينے کی بھی گنجائش ہے ، معہذا ۲.۳۲ کلوگرام کی قيمت ادا کرنا افضل ہے۔
[Ahsanul Fatāwa, 4/416 – HM Saeed]