Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions. Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. As to what follows: In response to your question, we say: If a person’s forgetfulness makes him lose his mental faculties, meaning that he has reached the stage of senility whereby he cannot differentiate between things, then at the stage it is not compulsory for such a person to fast. Thus, he is not required to fast, nor is he required to expiate for not fasting. However, if he forgets and remembers, and has control of his mental faculties but he forgets, in this case forgetfulness can afflict a healthy people, and it does not absolve them of legal responsibility. Thus the presence of forgetfulness or forgetting very much does not absolve a person from legal responsibility. What absolves a person from legal responsibility is the loss of mental faculties. As for forgetting things and not remembering them; this does not affect legal responsibility. Therefore, it is incumbent to look into the situation of a person. If the problem is that he forgets and drinks something during the day in Ramadan, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said, as has been stated in an authentic narration by Abu Hurairah, “If somebody eats or drinks forgetfully then he should complete his fast, for what he has eaten or drunk, has been given to him by Allah" [al-Bukhari (1933) and Muslim (1155)]. However, if the person forgets in such a manner that he has reached the stage of senility, then there is no problem for him in leaving fasting, because he is not from the people who are required to fast. Expiation is not required from him in this condition, because expiation and feeding the poor are due from the people who are required to fast and he cannot withstand fasting nor does he have the ability to fast, either due to chronic ill-health, old age or decrepitude, although he is in control of his mental faculties. However, if he loses his mental faculties he is absolved of legal responsibility.