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14 June 2024 | 7 Zul-Al-Hijja 1445

5:36 am

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14 June 2024 | 7 Zul-Al-Hijja 1445

5:36 am

Subuh

7:00 am

Syuruk

1:07 pm

Zohor

4:32 pm

Asar

7:12 pm

Maghrib

8:27 pm

Isyak

The Essentials of Fidyah: What Every Muslim Needs to Know


fidyah

Within the varied landscape of Islamic traditions, Fidyah emerges as a crucial yet frequently misunderstood element. It represents a compensatory measure for unfulfilled religious obligations, such as fasting during Ramadan, due to legitimate reasons like illness or pregnancy.


Fidyah's purpose extends beyond simply providing a means for Muslims to uphold their religious duties despite physical limitations; it also fosters a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate.


This detailed guide will explore the definition, purpose, and application of Fidyah within Islamic jurisprudence.


Definition and Purpose of Fidyah


Fidyah is an Islamic financial obligation that acts as a substitute for specific religious duties when an individual is unable to perform them due to valid reasons. Originating from the Arabic term for "ransom" or "redemption," it compensates for missed religious practices, most notably fasting during Ramadan.


This obligation is pertinent when the inability to fast or perform the duty is long-term or permanent, such as due to chronic illness, advanced age, or conditions like pregnancy and breastfeeding. The primary aim of Fidyah is to ensure that those physically unable to engage in certain acts of worship can still fulfil their spiritual duties in an alternate manner.


It embodies the Islamic principle of ease and compassion, advocating that religious practices should not cause undue hardship. By offering Fidyah, the individual maintains their connection to the communal and spiritual aspects of Islamic observances, whilst also aiding those in need.


Spiritually, Fidyah is significant as it allows individuals to partake in the blessings and rewards of religious observance through alternative means. It highlights the inclusivity of Islam and its accommodation for the diverse situations of its followers, strengthening the bond between the individual and the community by ensuring everyone has an opportunity to participate in and benefit from religious life.


Circumstances Leading to Fidyah Obligations


Fidyah becomes a necessary obligation under certain conditions where an individual cannot fulfil specific religious duties, predominantly fasting during Ramadan. The primary scenarios include long-term illness, physical or mental conditions that prevent fasting, and situations involving the elderly who find fasting extremely challenging or detrimental to their health.


Additionally, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and for whom fasting could negatively impact their health or that of their child are also required to pay Fidyah. Islamic jurisprudence specifies that Fidyah is due only when the inability to fast is not expected to be resolved before the next Ramadan, thus distinguishing it from temporary ailments where one might make up the fasts later.


The decision on whether to pay Fidyah or to make up missed fasts later is a critical aspect of Islamic law and should ideally be consulted with knowledgeable religious authorities to ensure adherence to the correct practice.


From the teachings of Islam, there are clear examples and guidance regarding Fidyah. For instance, the Holy Quran states in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:184), for those who can fast with difficulty, there is a ransom (Fidyah) of feeding a poor person. This directive highlights the flexibility and compassion of Islamic law, accommodating various life circumstances while preserving the spiritual and communal integrity of Ramadan.


Moreover, Islamic scholars often reference the Hadiths, which provide additional insights into how the Prophet Muhammad addressed similar situations. For example, it is narrated that the Prophet advised elderly men and women who could not fast due to age or chronic conditions to pay Fidyah, thus ensuring their integration within the community's observance of Ramadan.


Through these conditions and teachings, Fidyah represents a deep understanding of human diversity and the need for a compassionate application of religious duties, ensuring that all Muslims can experience the blessings of Ramadan, regardless of their physical capabilities.


How to Calculate Fidyah


Monetary Value


Calculating the monetary equivalent of Fidyah involves determining an amount that would suffice to feed a poor person for each day of fasting missed. The specific amount can vary based on local economic conditions and the typical cost of a meal in the region where the individual resides.


Generally, Islamic scholars recommend calculating Fidyah based on the cost of one meal or two half-meals for each day missed. This can roughly equate to the cost of about 1.5 to 2 kilograms of staple food such as wheat, rice, or barley, multiplied by local food prices. It is advisable to consult local Islamic authorities or religious bodies to obtain an accurate measure of this amount, as they often provide guidelines that reflect local living standards.


This helps ensure that the Fidyah paid is sufficient to fulfil the requirement of adequately feeding a needy person.


Food Quantities


In terms of food quantities, the Fidyah payment typically involves providing enough food to feed a needy person two meals a day for each day of fasting missed. This can be calculated as approximately 1.5 to 2 kilograms of the local staple food per day.


The specific quantity can depend on the staple diet of the region; for instance, in some areas, rice might be the staple, while in others, it could be wheat or barley.


Types of Food Typically Used for Fidyah


The types of food used for Fidyah are generally those that are considered staples in the local diet.


Common examples include:

  • Rice: Often used in regions where it is a staple part of the diet.

  • Wheat or Barley: Frequently utilised in many parts of the Middle East and South Asia.

  • Dates or Bread: In some cultures, dates or bread might be considered sufficient for a meal.


It is important to choose food that is nutritious and provides a balanced meal for the recipient.


The goal of Fidyah is not only to compensate for missed fasts but also to contribute positively to the welfare of those in need. Therefore, the selection of food should reflect an intent to offer meaningful support, not just to fulfil a religious obligation.


Conclusion


Fidyah plays a crucial role in Islamic practice, offering a compassionate alternative for those unable to fulfil the fasting requirements during Ramadan due to legitimate reasons.


It underscores the flexibility and inclusivity of Islamic law, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their physical circumstances, can participate in the spiritual benefits of this holy month.


By carefully calculating and thoughtfully distributing Fidyah, Muslims not only adhere to their religious obligations but also contribute to the welfare of the less fortunate in their community. As we reflect on the importance of Fidyah and its impact, it is essential to approach this duty with understanding and commitment.


If you are looking to calculate or learn more about Fidyah, or if you need guidance on how to make your contributions, please visit BAPA's Fidyah page. Here, you can find detailed information and resources that can assist you in fulfilling your obligations accurately and meaningfully. Embrace this opportunity to enhance your spiritual practice and help those in need through the act of Fidyah.

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