Refraining from fasting in Ramadan due to illness and caring for children
I am an Egyptian woman living in Cairo. I will be in Spain for the next summer and my stay there will coincide with ten days from the month of Ramadan. My question is:
1- According to Cairo local time, sunset there will be at around 10:00. Should I fast the whole day?
2- I have been suffering from manic depressive disorder for the last twenty years. My doctor prescribed antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and sedatives to help me sleep and I take these pills daily. Fasting affects my mood and psychological state to the extent that I cannot concentrate when I get excited. This is difficult for me as I have two children who need care and help in their studies. Fasting prevents me from taking care of my children.
So, should I fast? If not, what is the expiation I should pay?
It is permissible for an ill person who cannot fast Ramadan to refrain from fasting. If possible, such a person is to make up the missed fast days after Ramadan. If his illness is chronic, it is obligatory upon him to pay a fidya (compensation) which consists of feeding a poor person for each day he refrains from fasting. This is based on the hadith of Ibn Umar (may God be pleased with them both) who narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever dies with unperformed fast days of Ramadan, then [the responsible family member] is to feed a poor person on his behalf for each missed fast day” (recorded by Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah).
In your case, it is permissible to refrain from fasting. And if your illness is chronic, you must feed a poor person for each day you do not fast the equivalent of 2.75 kg of rice for instance.
And God the Almighty knows best.