The expiation (kaffarah) is obligatory when particular acts are committed. Apart from those related to the ihram during pilgrimage, there are fourteen expiations:
(1) The expiation for killing a Muslim intentionally: This is a combined expiation of freeing a believing slave, fasting for two consecutive months and the feeding of sixty poor persons.
Ruling 712: This expiation applies if the heirs of the killed do not seek retribution (refer to ruling 829).
(2) The expiation for killing a Muslim unintentionally: This is an expiation of freeing a slave, and if not possible then fasting for two consecutive months, and if not possible then feeding sixty poor persons.
Ruling 713: In the situation that the Muslim was killed – whether intentionally or unintentionally – in the sacred precincts (haram) of Makkah or in the sacred months – i.e. Rajab, Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hajjah and Muharram – the fasting of expiation should take place within the sacred months.
Ruling 714: The fasting in the sacred months – as mentioned in the previous ruling – proceeds the freeing of a slave in the order of priority in the expiation for killing a Muslim unintentionally.
(3) The expiation for intentionally breaking a fast in the month of Ramadhan:
If one breaks the fast by a generally permissible act, such as drinking water, then the expiation is selective, i.e. he can choose to undertake any one of the following: freeing a believing slave, fasting for two consecutive months, or feeding sixty poor persons. If he broke the fast by a prohibited act, such as drinking wine, then a combined expiation of all of the three acts will be obligated.
(4) The expiation for intentionally breaking a qadha fast for the month of Ramadhan after zawal: This is the feeding of ten poor persons, or if not possible then fasting for three days.
(5) The expiation for dhihar (as explained in the chapter of divorce). This is a sequential expiation of freeing a slave, and if not possible then fasting for two consecutive months, and if not possible then feeding sixty poor persons.
(6) The expiation for sexual intercourse during i’tikaf – the details of which are mentioned in detailed books of Islamic Law.
(7) The expiation for violating a covenant.
(8) The expiation of a woman for cutting her hair in grief and mourning.
These three expiations (6, 7 and 8) are as mentioned above for the breaking of the fast of Ramadhan by a permissible act.
(9) The expiation for violating an oath.
(10) The expiation for violating a vow.
(11) The expiation for eilaa (as explained in the chapter of divorce).
(12) The expiation of a woman for pulling her hair out in grief and mourning.
(13) The expiation of a woman for scratching her face in grief and mourning, such that she bleeds.
(14) The expiation of a man for tearing his clothes in mourning over his child or wife.
These six expiations (9-14) are: freeing a believing slave, or feeding ten poor persons, or clothing them; if none of these are possible, then he should fast for three consecutive days.
Ruling 715: None of the expiations are obligated unless the person is adult, sane and he committed the act intentionally and without being coerced, except for the person who killed a Muslim unintentionally as mentioned above.
Ruling 716: The expiations are worships which necessitate the intention of seeking proximity towards Allah.
Ruling 717: In fasting for two consecutive months, it is sufficient to fast continuously for a month and a day, and the remaining fasts may be separated; this is so unless the expiation is for killing a Muslim in the holy precincts of Makkah or in the sacred months, intentionally or unintentionally, in which he is required to fast the whole period continuously.
Ruling 718: The clothing of the poor means providing him sufficient clothing to cover the body in conventional manner.
Ruling 719: The feeding of the poor can be done in one of two ways:
(1) Every poor person is given a mudd – i.e. approximately 870 grams, or 900 grams as a precaution – of foodstuff, like dates, wheat, rice, etc, although it is better to give two mudds. But in the case of violating one’s oath and the other situations with the same expiation, as an obligatory precaution one should only give wheat, its flour, or its bread. It will not suffice to give the price of the foods rather than the foods themselves.
(2) Every poor person is fed a meal to his satiation. There are no limitations on the kind of food that is to be provided and its quantity.
Ruling 720: If one is unable to perform the expiation in any form, he should seek divine forgiveness.