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Ramadan is a time of purification, sacrifice and generosity. It is a month of fasting and devotion. However, there are conditions and occasions when a person is unable to complete their obligatory fasts. As a compensation for missed fasts donations can be made to expiate the obligation.
Both Fidya and Kaffara are two conciliatory forms of charity. They are donations given to the needy in lieu of fasting. These donations benefit members of the community who live in impoverished conditions.
What's the difference between Fidya and Kaffara?
The meaning of Fidya comes from the concept of putting forward something on behalf of something else. It is charity offered by those people who cannot fast in Ramadan due to old age, ill health, medical conditions, or pregnancy.
The meaning of Kaffara refers to the idea of covering over a mistake or something incomplete. It is charity given when a day of fasting has been deliberately missed or broken without a valid reason, or upon the breaking of a pledge or oath.
How do I calculate what I owe?
Both Fidya and Kaffara donations are meant to feed a person in need for each of the fasting days missed and are calculated as equivalent to the price of one meal each for two people, or two meals for one person. This is calculated as $15 per day.
This amount is based on the average cost of a basic meal in Canada. If you feel that you spend more per meal, then it is permissible to adjust the price accordingly.
Fidya can be calculated for any amount of individual days, or $450 for the entire month. Furthermore, if able, one should make up missed fasts during the month by fasting the same amount of days afterward.
Kaffara is calculated at the same daily amount, however, the atonement for purposefully breaking one’s fast in Ramadan is to either fast 60 consecutive days after Ramadan, or if unable, to feed 60 people, which equals 30 days of charity, or $450.
Who does my Fidya or Kaffara benefit?
At IDRF your Fidya and Kaffara donations of $10 per day directly support the people of Gaza with food during the month of Ramadan. Our food parcels which we distribute through contributions of both Zakat-ul Fitrah, Fidya and Kaffara, provide 5 weeks of food parcels and an Eid gift to over 6000 people each year.