What do the scholars and muftis of the noble Shari’ah say regarding the following matter; if a person has passed away and he had missed many salahs (ritual prayers), then what should his children do for him? Do they have to offer salah on his behalf, or give sadaqah (charity)? If they do so, will the person’s salahs be compensated for?
Questioner: Kabir from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
Salah shall not be offered on behalf of a deceased person but fidyah (compensation) shall be paid for his salahs. If the children do it, then it will be a great favour to the person. The method for giving fidyah for both males and females is as follows:
Find out the age of the deceased individual and subtract nine years of prepubescence from it in case of a woman and twelve years in case of a man. In the age that remains, find out for how long the person did not offer salah, i.e. how many missed prayers are due upon the individual. Calculate the estimate for a maximum duration. If you wish, calculate it for the entire age from puberty. For every prayer, give one sadaqat al-fitr. The value of sadaqat al-fitr is approximately 2 kg 80 gm of wheat or its flour or its value in money. There are 6 salahs every day, 5 are fard (obligatory) and 1 is wajib (compulsory).
For example, if the price of 2 kg 80 gm of wheat is 3 pounds, then it will be 18 pounds for the salahs of 1 day, 540 pounds for those of 30 days and 6480 pounds for those of a year. If the salahs of 50 years are due upon a person, then 324000 pounds must be given as fidyah.
Hilah (Legal Stratagem): It is obvious that every person does not have the capacity to give such a huge amount in charity. Therefore, the noble scholars have devised a shar’i hilah (legal stratagem). For example, give 540 pounds for missed salahs of 30 days to a faqir (destitute) male or female as fidyah. The fidyah for missed salahs of 30 days is offered. Now the destitute must return it to the giver as a gift. Upon receiving the money, the person must give it again to the destitute as fidyah for missed salahs of 30 days. Thus, repeating the give and take will compensate for all the salahs. [al-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah, vol. 8, pg. 167]
It is not a condition that the hilah must be done only with the amount of 30 days. The above is just an example given for clarity. If it is assumed that the fidyah amount for 50 years is present, then giving and taking for one time only will complete the task. The fitrah amount must be calculated by considering the current rate of wheat. The fidyah for missed fasts is also similar. One sadaqat al-fitr must be given for every missed fast. After offering the fidyah for missed salahs, one can also offer fidyah for missed fasts. The hilah for fidyah can be used by the rich and poor alike. If heirs do it for their deceased ones, it will be of great help to the departed ones.
As far as the compensation of salahs of a deceased person by offering fidyah is considered, we hope that—in sha Allah (Allah willing)—through His mercy, He ﷻ will free the person from the load of missed obligatory prayers. The heirs will also earn reward.
Certain people donate a copy of the Holy Qur’an to a masjid, etc. or give some amount in charity and convince themselves that they have offered the fidyah of all the salahs missed by the deceased. This is a false notion.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath Team
Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0439] If someone has a deceased parent who had missed prayersfasts, what can their children do for them?