Reaching puberty, which has specific signs, makes fasting Ramadan an obligation
From `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz to the honorable brother H.S.H., may Allah safeguard you.
As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you).
With reference to your question recorded in the Departments of Scholarly Research and Ifta', no. 1180, dated 23 Jumada Al-Awwal, 1407 A.H., in which you stated, "I have a 13-year old daughter and we conventionally believe that girls only have to fast when they are fifteen years old, but some people said that girls have to fast when they begin to have menstrual periods. Then, when we asked my daughter (about menstruation), she said that the menstrual period started with her three years before, when she was ten years old. So, we want to know the truth, should a girl fast when she is fifteen years old or when she begins to menstruate? And if the girl is to fast when she begins her menstrual period, does she have to make up for missed fast during these three years, knowing that we are really ignorant about this matter and we lack knowledge about it? Please we gratefully hope that you kindly give us an answer.
(Part No. 15; Page No. 174)
A: I would like to inform you that upon reaching the age of puberty, a girl has to fast, knowing that puberty is known through one of the following signs: Reaching fifteen years old, starting menstrual periods, the development of stiff pubic hair, or the flow of female secretion out of lust either when awake or asleep, if her age is under fifteen. Therefore, she has to make up for the days missed since she started to have menstrual periods and she also has to make Kaffarah (expiation) by feeding a Miskin (needy) for every day she missed because of delay in making up for these days until next Ramadan, knowing that the food for every Miskin is half of Sa` (1 Sa`=3 kg. approx.) of staple foodstuff in one's country. However, if she is poor and cannot offer food, she is not required to do so, and then will be sufficient.
May Allah guide us all to that which pleases Him.
As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.
General Chairman of the Departments of Scholarly Research,
Ifta', and Guidance
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