My father died owing two days of Ramadan because he was sick in the year before the year in which he died. He died in Shawwaal and he said that he was going to feed poor people in return for those days. What is the ruling and what do we have to do with regard to that? Should we fast on his behalf and feed the poor, or feed the poor only? Please note that we do not know whether he fed poor persons or fasted to make up those days, because he had diabetes and used to fast Ramadan even though it was difficult for him.
Praise be to Allaah.
If your father was able to make up the days that he owed from the previous Ramadan, but he neglected to make them up before the Ramadan after which he died began, then it is better for you if one of you fasts and makes up these two days that he owed, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: âWhoever dies owing fasts, his heir should fast on his behalf.â Agreed upon. And if you feed the poor on his behalf by giving a saaâ of the local staple food, which is equivalent to approximately 3 kg, that will be sufficient.
But if before Ramadan he was unable to make up the two days because of sickness, then you do not have to make them up or feed poor persons, because he was not negligent.
And Allah is the source of strength; may Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. End quote.
Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaâimah, 9/261
-- Islam QA