Q) It is well known that whoever has intercourse with his wife during the day in Ramadaan has to free a slave or fast two consecutive months or feed sixty poor persons.
My question is:
1- If a man has intercourse with his wife more than once on a number of days, does he have to fast two months for each day, or is two months sufficient to expiate for all the days on which he had intercourse?
2- If he did not know that this ruling applies to the one who has intercourse with his wife, and he thought that for each day that he had intercourse with his wife he had to make up just one day, what is the ruling in this case?
3- Is the wife subject to the same ruling as the husband?
4- Is it permissible to pay money instead of giving food?
5- Is it permissible to feed one poor person on behalf of himself and his wife?
6- If he cannot find a person to feed, is it permissible to give money to one of the charitable organizations such as Jam’iyyat al-Birr in Riyadh or another charity?.
A) Praise be to Allaah.
With regard to one who is obliged to fast:
1 – If he has intercourse with his wife during the day in Ramadaan, one or more times on one day, then he must offer one expiation. If he had intercourse on several days then he must offer multiple expiations, the same number as the days on which he had intercourse.
2 – He must offer expiation for having intercourse even if he was unaware of the fact that he would have to offer expiation for having intercourse.
3 – The wife must also offer expiation for having intercourse if she willingly went along with her husband in that. But if she was forced then she does not have to do anything.
4 – It is not permissible to give money instead of feeding a poor person, and that is not sufficient.
5 – It is permissible to feed one poor person half a saa’ on behalf of himself and half a saa’ on behalf of his wife. That will be considered to be one of the sixty poor persons who must be fed on behalf of them both.
6 – it is not permissible to give it all to one poor person, or to a charitable organization etc., because they may not distribute it to sixty poor persons. The believer must strive to discharge his duty with regard to expiations and other obligations.
And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.
The Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas.
Fataawa al-Lajnah, 10/320.