It is $10 per validly missed fasting day, at Zakat Foundation of America.
Here’s the simplified calculation:
Number of validly missed fasting days x $10 = total fidya payment
Allah, in the Quran, excused some people from fasting Ramadan. He divided those with valid exemptions into two groups:
People facing temporary hardship
People enduring chronic hardship
Muslim scholars widely consider the fidya payment due only from the second group, people with long-term conditions that prevent them from safely fasting — the elderly infirm and the people with debilitating chronic illness, for the most part.
Allah says of them:
Yet for those who are [hardly] able to endure it, [and do not fast,] the redemption [for each day] is feeding an indigent person [instead]” (Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:184).
But note that this same verse continues by (1) encouraging the giving of more in voluntary sadaqah over and above the fidya payment for the missed fasts, and (2) placing a premium on fasting, if one can at all do it, safely and healthfully, of course:
And if one volunteers a good offering [over and above this], it is better for him, [still]. However, if you fast [despite difficulty], it is best for you, if only you were to know.”
As for the first group, Allah exempts them from the Ramadan fasting days because of their hardship but requires them to make up their Ramadan fasts by fasting other days in fulfillment of the missed days.
It [fasting Ramadan] is for a specified number of days. But one among you who is sick or is on a journey shall fast the same number of other days” (Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:184).
Members of this group — the (temporarily) sick, travelers — most scholars generally extend by analogy or underlying wisdom (hardship) to include pregnant and breastfeeding women. (This may include the critically food-deprived and the coerced, as well.) But the evidence from the Companions is strong for this extended inclusion.
Yet some scholars insist that, say, pregnant and breastfeeding women do both — pay the fidya for missed days and then make up the missed Ramadan fasts as soon as possible. (See What Is Meant by Fidya for Making Up Missed Ramadan Fasts?)
(For unauthorized fasts broken in Ramadan, see What Is Meant by Kaffarah for Violations of Ramadan Fasts? and How Do You Pay Kaffarah?)
The fidya payment comes due with each day missed and should be paid as close to immediately as possible. If one knows he’ll miss the whole Ramadan fast, for instance, he should make that payment of, in our assessment, $300 for all the month’s days in that Ramadan.
If one does not make up owed Ramadan fasts before the following Ramadan, the majority of scholars hold that fasting-delinquent person must pay the fidya for each missed day of the previous Ramadan in addition to making up the still due fasting days (after completing the current Ramadan fasts).
If one delays his or her Ramadan fasting make-ups for two successive Ramadan months, the due fidya-rate doubles (that would be $20 per missed day according to our current assessment). If three successive Ramadan months lapse, the daily fidya triples, and so on.
Importantly, if the reason for missing the Ramadan fasts persists to the next Ramadan or even over several successive Ramadan months, then there is a valid legal opinion that one does not have to pay the fidya redemption fee. One just makes up the days as soon as the condition preventing fasting is relieved (see the next question).
For pregnant and nursing women who do not fast Ramadan, there are four legal opinions at variance, but the most reliable of them, according to the great Cordovan jurist Ibn Rushd (Averroes, d. 1196) are the two following rulings, and between them he holds the second one as legally better grounded in revealed textual evidence:
They pay the fidya but do not have to make up the missed fasting days. (This is the opinion of the two great Companions Abdullah ibn Umar and Ibn Abbas, Allah be pleased with them.)
They make up the missed fasting days, but do not have to pay the fidya. (This is the Hanafi legal school’s opinion, along with other notable jurists.)
These opinions provide major relief — one physical, one financial — for women bearing and nursing children through consecutive years of Ramadan months, as well as a choice for the option that suits them best.
The Prophet Muhammad, on him be peace, set the fidya redemption fee for each validly missed Ramadan fasting day.
The Prophet, on him be peace, set the fidya payment for each validly missed Ramadan fasting day at half a sa‘ — that is, two double handfuls of food.
Most scholars say this payment is to be of foodstuffs common to and normally eaten by the people who live in the same locality where the person paying the fidya redemption fee lives.
The Prophet, on him be peace, established the volume measures of the agrarian people of Madinah as the standard for volumetric payments within the Shariah (Islam’s Revealed Law) for all time.
The base volume measure — the sa‘ — equals four double-handfuls, say of barley, wheat, etc.
These volume measures are used to determine fees due in Islam for dry foodstuffs, and from which payments in liquid foods and weights can be derived. (Basically, one sa‘ of water is 2.75 liters, or just under three quarts. One sa‘ of grain is 2.176 kg, or just under 5 lbs.)
Sa‘ Volume Standard
Mudd (pronounced like “good”)
Sa‘ (ending with glottal ‘ayn Arabic letter
Wasq (rhymes with “brusque”)
Five Wasqs (nisab, the threshold quantity of eligible foodstuff on which Zakat comes due)
Ratl (analogous volumetric weight measure)
1 1/3 double-handfuls
5 1/3 Madinan ratls
Most Islamic scholars today affirm the validity of value payment for fidya fasting redemption fees, and the Zakat Foundation of America follows this widespread ruling, according to established guidelines:
The currency must be converted to food and the poor and hungry fed from it.
Fidya payment amount is calculated based on the place of residence of the payer.
The food supplied as the fidya redemption fee is from what is most common and healthful locally to the needful one who receives it.
Fidya payment in money also provides clear benefits to its divinely required payers and divinely intended recipients and purposes: to feed the destitute, refugees, the displaced, the homeless, and the poor.
Fidya value payment in money brings far greater ease and usefulness than food items, unless the payer can himself or herself deliver that food directly to its eligible recipients. This dramatically increases the likelihood of the due fidya payment for missed Ramadan fasts being made.
The transportability of fidya payments enables maximal facility in directing food where most needed to the hungry and poor, locally, regionally, and internationally.
The Hanafi school of Islamic law, in particular, has emphasized the mechanism of payment (for Zakat al-Fitr, or Fitrana, for example) to its rightful recipients, the poor, rather than focusing on a specific food-type.
A quick survey of Muslim charities collecting, converting, and distributing fidya payments this Ramadan shows that they almost universally have not reacted to steep food-price increases in 2022 by increasing the fidya fee payments over 2021. Yet food prices the world over have risen more dramatically, for example, in the U.S. than in the past 40 years.
By end of March that U.S. food-price increase stood at 7.9%. As we have seen, Allah encourages us to increased generosity in our fidya payment, if we absolutely cannot fast Ramadan.
And if one volunteers a good offering [over and above this], it is better for him, [still] (Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:184).
A 79¢ voluntary increase for U.S. fasters seems a fair benchmark for an added minimum “good offering” to each day’s fidya payment, bringing it to $10.79 per day or $323.70 for the entire month.
And may Allah accept and grow it.
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In 2021, 94¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 3¢ went to administrative costs & 3¢ went to fundraising costs.