Fidyah (Arabic: الفدية) and Kaffarah (Arabic: كفارة) are religious donations made in Islam when a fast (notably in Ramadan) is missed or broken. The donations can be of food, or money, and it is used to feed those in need. They are mentioned in the Qur’an which distinguishes the two, but unifies them into one idea.
“[Observing Sawm (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.” [Quran: 2:184]
If one does not fast some days during Ramadan, it is obligatory to make up these missed fasts before the next Ramadan arrives, regardless of whether these fasts were missed with a valid excuse (e.g., travel, sickness, etc.) or without a valid excuse.
If one is not able to fast or does not make up for them before the next Ramadan due to long-term/chronic illness, one must pay a compensation (Fidyah/Kaffarah) by feeding a poor person for every day of fasting not observed.
The price for Fidyah changes each year and is determined by SSC each Ramadan based on the cost of rations. For those who would like to take advantage of this service, envelopes marked “Fidyah” with the amount that needs to be paid for each missed fast are kept outside the donation box in the lobby of the main MCK Building. Please deposit the envelopes in the donation box.
872 Arch Ave.
Chaska, Palo Alto, CA 55318