I deliberately broke the fast one day in Ramadan and I want to feed sixty poor persons. My question is: Is it stipulated to feed them in one go or can I feed four poor persons each day, for example, or three poor persons? Is it permissible for me to feed poor persons if they are members of my family, such as my father, mother and siblings?
Praise be to Allaah.
If a person breaks the fast in Ramadan by doing something other than having intercourse, he does not have to offer expiation, according to the correct view. Rather what he has to do is repent and make up the day on which the fast was broken. If he broke the fast by having intercourse, then he has to repent and make up that day, and the expiation for that is freeing a believing slave. If that is not possible, then he should fast for two consecutive months. If he is not able to do that, then he should feed sixty poor persons.
If he decides to feed poor people because he is unable to do the first two options, namely freeing a slave or fasting for two months, it is permissible to give the food to the poor in one go, or he may give it in stages, according to what he is able to do. But it is essential to cover the reuired number of poor persons. And it is not permissible to give the food offered as an expiation to one's ascendants (fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers) or to one's descendants (children and grandchildren, both male and female).
And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah sent blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions.
Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaâimah, vol. 2, 9/221
-- Islam QA