COMPLETE GUIDELINES FOR PAYING FIDYAH FASTING: HOW TO, INTENTION, ADMISSION, TO DISTRIBUTION
Fidyah literally means ransom. According to the term Shari’a, it is a fine that must be paid for leaving an obligation or carrying out a prohibition. Sheikh Ahmad bin Muhammad Abu al-Hasan al-Mahamili classifies fidyah into three parts. First, the fidyah is worth one mud. Second, the fidyah is two mudds. Third, fidyah by slaughtering a dam (animal) (Shaykh Ahmad bin Muhammad Abu al-Hasan al-Mahamili, al-Lubab, p. 186).
In this paper the author will focus on fidyah related to the fasting worship of Ramadan. Referring to al-Mahamili’s explanation above, fidyah in this discussion is in the first category, namely fidyah worth one mud. The study of guidelines for paying fidyah fasting can at least be mapped into several sub-discussions as follows:
Category of People Who Must Pay Fidyah
1. Old parents
Old grandparents who are no longer able to fast, are not subject to the demands of fasting. The obligation is replaced by paying the fidyah of one mud of food for every day of fasting that is left behind. The limitation of being unable here is if being forced to fast causes fatigue (masyaqqah) which allows tayamum. People in this type of category are also not subject to demands to make up for the missed fast (Shaykh Zakariyya al-Ansari, Asna al-Mathalib, juz 1, p. 428).
2. Seriously sick people
A terminally ill person who has no hope of recovery and he is unable to fast, is not subject to the demands of the obligation of fasting in Ramadan. Instead, he is obliged to pay fidyah. Like old people, the limitation of not being able to fast for a terminally ill person is if they experience exhaustion when he fasts, according to the masyaqqah standard in the tayamum chapter. People in this category are only obliged to pay fidyah, there is no obligation to fast, whether there is ‘(in the month of Ramadan) or qadha’ (outside of Ramadan). Unlike a sick person who is still expected to recover, he is not subject to a fidyah obligation. He is allowed not to fast if he is exhausted by fasting, but is obliged to make up for his fast at a later date (Shaykh Sulaiman al-Bujairimi, Tuhfah al-Habib, juz 2, p. 397).
3. Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding are allowed to leave fasting if they are tired of fasting or are worried about the safety of the child/fetus they are carrying. At a later date, he is obliged to make up for the missed fast, either because he is worried about the safety of himself or his child. The fidyah obligations are detailed as follows:
If you are worried about the safety of yourself or yourself and your child/infant, then there is no fidyah obligation.
If you are only worried about the safety of the child/fetus, then you must pay fidyah. (see Shaykh Ibn Qasim al-Ghuzzi, Fath al-Qarib Hamisy Qut al-Habib al-Gharib, p. 223).
4. Dead people
In Shafi’i fiqh, the dead who leave the debt of fasting are divided into two:
First, people who are not obliged to be fidyahi. Namely people who leave fasting because of age and he does not have the opportunity to make up, for example, the illness continues until death. There is no obligation whatsoever for the heirs regarding fasting left by the deceased, either in the form of fidyah or fasting.
Second, people who must be trusted. That is, the person who leaves the fast without aging or because of age but he finds a time that allows him to make up the fast. According to qaul Jadid (Imam Shafi’i’s new opinion), it is obligatory for the heirs/guardians to issue a fidyah for the deceased in the amount of one mud of staple food for each day of fasting that is left behind. Fidyah payment fees are taken from the deceased’s inheritance. According to this opinion, fasting should not be done in order to meet the dependents of the deceased. Meanwhile, according to qaul qadim (the old opinion of Imam Shafi’i), the guardian/heir may choose between two options, paying fidyah or fasting for the dead.
Qaul qadim in this matter is superior to qaul Jadid, even more often fatwad by scholars, because it is supported by many scholars of tarjih experts.
The above provisions apply if the tirkah (the deceased’s inheritance) is sufficient to pay the fidyah of fasting for the deceased, if the tirkah is not fulfilled or the deceased does not leave any property at all, then there is no obligation whatsoever for the guardian/heir, either fasting for the deceased or paying fidyah. but the law is sunnah (Shaykh Nawawi al-Bantani, Qut al-Habib al-Gharib, pp. 221-222).
5. The person who ends the qadha of Ramadan
A person who delays making up the fasts of Ramadan—even though it is possible for him to make up immediately—until the next Ramadan comes, then he is sinning and is obliged to pay fidyah of one mud of staple food for each day of fasting that is left behind. This fidyah is required as a reward for the delay in making up the fasts of Ramadan.
In contrast to a person who does not make it possible to make up, such as when he is sick or his journey (safar) continues until the next Ramadan, then there is no fidyah obligation for him, he is only required to make up the fast.
According to al-Ashah, the fidyah of this category is multiplied with the passing of the year. For example, if a person has a dependent to make up for a day’s fast in 2018, he doesn’t make up for it until he enters Ramadan in 2020,
So with the passage of two years (two cycles of Ramadan), the obligation of fidyah is doubled to two muds.
Level and Type of Fidyah
The level and type of fidyah that is fulfilled is one mud of staple food for every day of fasting that is left behind. The staple food for the majority of Indonesian people is rice. The size of the mud when converted to grams is 675 grams or 6.75 ounces. This is based on well-known calculations, including those mentioned by Sheikh Wahbah al-Zuhaili in the book al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuhu. Meanwhile, according to the calculations of Sheikh Ali Jumah in the book al-Makayil wa al-Mawazin al-Syar’iyyah, one mud is 510 grams or 5.10 ounces.
Fidyah must be given to the needy or poor, it is not allowed for other zakat mustahiq groups, especially to the rich. The allocation of fidyah is different from zakat, because the text of the Qur’an in the context of fidyah only mentions the poor “fa fidyatun tha’âmu poor” (QS al-Baqarah verse 184). Meanwhile, the poor are analogous to the poor with the qiyas aulawi pattern (the more important qiyas), because the conditions of the poor are more severe than the poor (Syekh Khothib al-Syarbini, Mughni al-Muhtaj, juz 2, p. 176).
One mud for each missed fast is a separate/independent worship, therefore it is permissible to allocate several muds for several missed fasts to one poor person. For example, if the fast of a dead person is 10 days, then all 10 muds may be given to one poor person.
Unlike the case with one mud for a day’s fidyah payment, it is not permissible to give it to two or more people. For example, the fidyah of fasting for a breastfeeding woman for 1 day, then one mud fidyah cannot be divided in two to be given to two poor people. Likewise, the fidyah of fasting for pregnant women for 2 days is not enough to be given to 4 poor people.