Qada salah and fast stated in a Will


As-salaamu alaykum Dear Mufti What is the ruling of Missed Salah and Fast stated in a Last Will and Testament? And how should it be worked out?   Shukran
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته


1. As a rule, the Shāfiʿī madhhab does not prescribe monetary expiation for missed ṣalāh.
2. The circumstances for monetary compensation (fidyah) in lieu of missed fast are specific. These are some situations in which fidyah must be given:

2.1. When the person in unable to do the fast personally, due to age or irreversible illness.
2.2. When the original fast was missed due to pregnancy or breastfeeding where the concern was for the child and not the parent.
2.3. When the unmade fast of a particular year was not made up within the first eleven months following, and stood over till the following year.

3. The basic quantity for fidyah is 1 mudd of whatever happens to be the staple food of the locality. The mudd is a quantity of volume that equates to 750 millilitres.
4. Where the staple food is rice, an amount of rice that would fill a 750ml container would have to be given for each day missed.
5. However, it is also possible, and even preferable, that a family member undertakes to fast on behalf of the person who must pay in. This is in line with the ḥadīth in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī,

من مات وعليه وصيام صام عنه وليُّه [متفق عليه، رواه البخاري رقم 1952 ومسلم 1147]
Anyone who dies with [outstanding] fasting upon him—his guardian will fast on his behalf. [Bukhārī 1952, Muslim 1147]

6. The family member who fasts on behalf of the person originally responsible could be any close or distant relative, or even a non-relative. It can even be undertaken by several persons, simultaneously or at different times.
7. All of the above, however, pertains to the modalities of making up for missing fast. The crux of your question, however, is how to quantify the amount of missed days when no number is stated in the will.
8. Here one is left with little option but to resort to an “educated guess”. The factors that would have to be considered in such a calculation are—

8.1. the age of the person who made the will,
8.2. what is known about his/her degree of religious observance, specifically in respect of fasting,
8.3. what is known about the health of the person in the various stages of his/her life, and the manner in which this could be expected to impact upon fasting
8.4. the gender of the person in order to ascertain days lost due to factors such as menstruation and post-natal bleeding

9. To whatever figure one eventually comes to it would be advisable to add a certain percentage (eg. 10%) for the sake of precaution.
10. The total figure yielded by this calculation and precautionary addition may then be given out in the form of staple food (eg. rice), or family members may undertake to fast it in on behalf of the person in whose will the missed fasts were originally stated.

والله تعالى أعلم

And Allah knows best.

(Issued: April 2018)


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