The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Fasting and Illness

1 Question: What is the Islamic ruling about someone who is suffering from a disease? How should he go about fasting?
Answer: He who fears for himself of falling ill as a result of fasting is not required to fast. Nor is he who believes that fasting would worsen his poor state of health in any way, be it hampering his recovery or increasing his pain. This should, however, be commensurate with what is generally accepted in these circumstances. If he fears that fasting might be harmful to him, it is permissible to break his fast. And if his illness continues until the next Ramadhan, Qadha is not obligatory but he should give 750 grams of food (wheat, flour or bread or any kind of food) for each day to poor Shiites. If he recovers within the same year, only Qadha is obligatory on him and he will not have to pay kaffara.
As for a patient whose health is not affected by fasting, he must fast and his fasting is in order.
2 Question: I am suffering from a problem with my kidney. Dehydration will affect my kidney and worsen my health problem. What is my duty about fasting?
Answer: You cannot fast in the said case. If your problem continues until the next Ramadhan, Qadha is also not obligatory either; you should give one mudd of food stuffs as fidya for each day. One mudd is equal to 750 grams.
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