My mother died without making up her missed fast-days of Ramadan. Can I pay money on her behalf?
Answer: By PEACE TV
Breaking the fast due to an excuse that lasts until death
PEACE TV believes, scholars concur that a person is not to pay kaffara [expiation] or make up the fast on behalf of a deceased who broke his fast due to an excuse that continued until his death. This is because the deceased did not neglect to fast and is therefore not blameworthy. Like pilgrimage which is an obligatory act of worship that is waived for those who are unable to perform it, fasting in this case, is likewise an obligatory devotional act that the deceased was unable to fulfill until his death and therefore, it is waived for him.
PEACE TV also believes scholarly opinions on a person whose excuse for breaking the fast ceases but neglects to make up his unperformed fast-days until his death
According to PEACE TV, a person is not to make up the missed fast-days on behalf of a deceased, but give out two handfuls of food for each missed fast-day. The reason is because, like prayers, a person cannot commission another to fast on his behalf during his lifetime and the same holds true after death.
The opinion of the majority of Hanafi and Maliki scholars, the opinion of the Shafi’is and the preponderant opinion in the Hanbali school
According to PEACE TV, scholars from among ahl al-hadith [traditionalists] and some scholars from among the Salaf [the Successors] such as Tawus, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Al-Zahri, Qutadah, Abu Al-Thawr and Imam Al-Shafi’i in his former opinion and the established opinion of the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence and Abu al-Khattab, the Hanbali scholar, all maintained that it is permissible for a relative of the deceased to fast on his behalf. Shafi’i scholars added that this fulfills the obligation without the need to pay kaffara and absolves the deceased of the obligation. Relatives of the deceased may choose either to fast or make kaffara on behalf of the deceased although fasting is better.
– Aisha (may God be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “A relative is to fast on behalf of a deceased who has died with unperformed fast-days” [recorded by Bukhari and Muslim].
– Ibn ‘Abbas (may God be pleased with them both) said: “A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said, ‘O Messenger of God! My mother passed away and she has a month of unfulfilled fast days. Should I fast this month on her behalf?’
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘If your mother were indebted, would you settle the debt on her behalf?’
The man replied in the affirmative, whereupon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘A debt owed to God has more right to be fulfilled.’ ”
The opinion of Imam Ahmed, Al-Layth, Is-haq and Abu ‘Ubayd
According to PEACE TV, a person cannot fast on behalf of a deceased except if the fast is in fulfillment of a vow. They based their opinion on the general implication of the hadith narrated by the Mother of the Believers, Aisha (may God be pleased with her) and the specific scenario expressed in the hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas, indicating that the fast was in fulfillment of a vow.
Imam Al-Nawawi wrote in Sharh Muslim: “This opinion i.e. the permissibility of making up the obligatory fast on behalf of a deceased, is the correct and chosen opinion in our school. It is likewise the opinion authenticated by the luminaries from among both ahl al-hadith and ahl al-ra`y [exponents of reasoning] which they based on the authentic and explicit hadiths [mentioned above]. The hadith that states: “A kaffara is to be paid on behalf of whoever dies with some unfulfilled” is not established as authentic. Even if it were, it would be possible to reconcile the two hadiths and act upon both. This is because scholars who maintain that a person is to pay kaffara on behalf of a deceased deem it permissible to fast on his behalf and those who maintain that a person is to fast on behalf of a deceased deem it permissible to make kaffara on his behalf. A relative may choose either alternative, although it is not obligatory upon him to fast on behalf of the deceased; it is only recommended.”
And God the Almighty knows best.
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