Refraining from fasting due to a he...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Refraining from fasting due to a heart condition


I am an old woman with a heart condition that requires medical treatment. Can I refrain from fasting the month of Ramadan?


Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam and one which God Almighty has made conditional upon [a person's] ability. A person has the dispensation to refrain from this duty if he is unable to fast. Rather, if fasting is detrimental to his health, a matter determined by medical specialists, it becomes obligatory for him to refrain from fasting to preserve his health. But if his illness is not chronic, he must make up his missed fast-days once he restores his health.

A person with a chronic illness, such as certain conditions associated with old age and the like, is not obliged to make up his unperformed fast-days but make a fidya [compensation] which consists of feeding a poor person for each day he has missed, depending on his financial ability. It is likewise permissible to pay the cash value of the meal. If he is poor or if his income barely covers his expenses or the expenses of his dependents, then he is not to pay anything.

And God Almighty knows best.

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