Fasting for one who doubts whether they reached puberty or not
Fatwa No: 356176


Assalaamu alaykum. I pray that Ramadaan is going well and that Allah rewards you highly. My question is related to fasting. When I was young, I did not know about Fidyah (ransom), Kaffaarah (expiation), and so on. I was 10 or 11 years old. I cannot remember the exact age. I had not had my menses yet, but I may have had one of the other signs of puberty, though I cannot work out if it definitely was puberty. I have read about the signs of puberty and obligations on another fatwa site. I was not aware that even appearance of one of the signs means that you are expected to fast all of your fasts, and now I am looking into this as an adult and see how serious fasting is. In my case, I have an ovarian failure, so I have a small womb without ovaries. Therefore, the onset of my period was only possible due to medication which contains hormones. Therefore, I was diagnosed and given a hormone treatment and have been having artificial periods from the age of 17 till now. I also have weak bones, which is linked to this. Prior to this, when I was 10-11 years old, I was not encouraged to perform all of the fasts during school days. And I am not sure whether I was obliged to fast based on what I mentioned above. Therefore, I am concerned about Kaffaarah and how many fasts I ahve missed and whether I was liable for them or not. Do I need to keep up an estimate number of fasts maybe in shorter days? I am unsure; how would I pay so much money for so many fasts as Kaffaarah? I am also unsure about whether I need to give a Fidyah for any nullified fasts. Lastly, when giving the Fidyah or Kaffaarah, is it acceptible to give it as money to one of the many charities which we have in the UK? They usually have options when making a donation for charity, Fidyah, Kaffaara, etc. Or is it only acceptable by giving food? I am unsure how to work it out and to whom I will give the food directly. Please, kindly advise and clarify anything on my situation so that I can correct anything regarding my fasting. May Allah reward you. Wassalaam.


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

It is clear that you doubt whether or not you missed days of fasting after reaching puberty. Accordingly, as long as you are not certain that you had reached puberty at the age at which you were not fasting, the basic principle is that you had not reached puberty then. Hence, you are not obliged to make up for those missed days in light of your situation. Moreover, you are not required to offer Fidyah or Kaffaarah.

However, if you are certain that you had reached puberty and then missed days of fasting, you are obliged to make up for those missed days only and to offer a Fidyah for delaying making up for the missed days until the following Ramadhaan started without a valid excuse. The Fidyah is feeding one poor person for each missed fast day. Please, refer to fatwa 101245.

It is permissible to delegate charities or the like to feed the poor on your behalf. The majority of the scholars held that the obligation is to feed, not to pay the monetary value of the food. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 29385

Allah knows best.

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