Kaffarah is an Arabic term that translates to “what is paid to redress an imbalance or to compensate for commissioning a sinful act, i.e., a kind of punishment or penalty”.
For those wondering “when is Kaffarah necessary?”, you might be surprised to learn the answer. Contrary to popular belief, Kaffarah doesn’t apply solely to missing fasts and, in fact, should be paid to compensate for any sin during Ramadan.
The hours between sunrise and sunset mark the time in which Muslims should abstain from eating and drinking during Ramadan. The month ends with Eid ul-Fitr, which is a festive celebration.
Despite this, sometimes it’s unavoidable to miss a fast, meaning that you’re instead required to pay Fidya (Fidya and Kaffarah are very different). The difference between Fidya and Kaffarah is that Kaffarah is a deliberate act, whereas Fidya is an unavoidable obstacle. The following reasons permit you to miss a fast and pay Fidya:
Although, if one wishes to remain righteous in Allah’s (SWT) eyes, they must pay Kaffarah for breaking fasts without a just cause.
For anyone wondering how to pay Kaffarah, there are a handful of things that a Muslim may do in the name of Kaffarah for not fasting in Ramadan. These include:
This originates from the Hadith-I Sharif narrated by Abu Huraira:
‘A person came to our master the Prophet and said, “O the Messenger of Allah, I am ruined.” Our master the Prophet asked what happened. He said that he had broken the Ramadan fast intentionally. Our master the Prophet told him to free a slave. When he said that he had no slave, he ordered him to fast for two months incessantly. When he said that he was unable to do so, he told him to feed poor people.’
By donating your Kaffarah with Muslim Aid, you can be absolutely sure that every last penny of your donation goes to feeding the people who need it most.
Although there isn’t a set time when to pay Kaffarah, one is expected to pay with urgency. Missing a fast isn’t something to be taken lightly and one should ideally pay their Kaffarah before Ramadan comes to a close.
For those who don’t know how much Kaffarah to pay, it’s believed to cost £5 to provide one meal for one person. Since one must feed 60 poor people as a result of Kaffarah, the Kaffarah amount in the UK equates to £300.
A singular Kaffarah payment accounts for numerous broken fasts. Despite this, it’s not good Muslim practice to exploit this.
Paying Kaffarah for not fasting is the only way to eliminate it. Otherwise, your Kaffarah will persist until it’s paid in full.
Ramadan is one of Allah's (SWT) direct commands, therefore to purposely break your fast is to purposely go against the words of Allah (SWT), meaning you need to repent for your sin in the form of Kaffarah.
You can pay your Kaffarah directly through Muslim Aid this Ramadan, and we will use it to feed the hungry and needy.