Forgiveness of Sin by Hajj and Outstanding Fasts
  • Question:

    I performed Hajj, Alhamdulillah in 2010. Since I am back, I am fasting for the days (of Ramadan) I had missed during my teenage years. Now somebody tells me I do not need to recover those missed fasts, because all my past sins are forgiven by Allah(SWT). I do not agree with this opinion but he says, it is a hadith, so can you tell me what is correct? Jazakallah.

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question. Mabrook / Congratulations on the completion of your Hajj. May Allah accept it and make it a means of mercy, blessings and guidance for you.

    In response to your concern, kindly note the following:

    It is true that after performing Hajj, one is granted forgiveness of sin, as the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) states, “Whoever performs Hajj to this house - Ka'bah- and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing, he, or she, will come out as the day he, or she, was born - pure and free from sins." (Bukhari & Muslim)

    However, there is a distinction between forgiveness of sin and fulfilling outstanding obligations. So in your case, by performing Hajj, Insha Allah, the sin of not keeping the fast is forgiven, however the obligation of making up those fasts are still upon you. There are numerous statements from the hadiths that substantiate this. I have not come across any hadith that states otherwise.

    Kindly see below:

    There is a detailed narration in Saheeh Bukhari of a man who deliberately broke his fast in Ramadan and the Prophet (pbuh) instructed him to make up for it. (see Saheeh Bukhari , chapter on fasting)

    “The scholars are of the consensus that the one who deliberately eats, or drinks during the days of Ramadan, without a valid excuse must make up the fast and also render the penalty (by fasting for two months or feeding 60 poor persons) (Al Jawhar Al Naqee) .

    Muhammad Ibn Al Munkadir states, “Reports have reached me that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was asked regarding making up missed fasts of the month of Ramadan, whether they are to be kept perpetually or with breaks in between, thus the Prophet (pbuh) replied, “The choice is yours (continuous or with breaks). Do you not understand, if there is an outstanding debt owing upon you, he can repay a coin or two coins (to accumulate to complete the total outstanding amount)". (Dar Qutnee)

    Ibn Umar (r) narrates the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying, “The one who passes away while having outstanding fasts of Ramadan upon him, (the guardians or family) should feed in the place of every day (missed), one poor person.” (Muwatta, Umdat Al Qaari)

    Imam Bukhari (r) has recorded that "Hasan (r) and Ibrahim (r) have stated regarding the breastfeeding /nursing and pregnant woman, when they fear for the health of themselves or their children, they will make iftaar (eat and drink) and make up (the missed fasts of Ramadan) later. (Bukhari)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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