Qaḍā’ Prayers of the Parents
Q 535: My father had a brain stroke. As a result, he remained ill for two years and was unable to distinguish between good and bad. That is to say, he lost his mental senses. During this two year period, he was not able to perform his prayers or fasts. Since I am the family’s eldest son, is it obligatory for me to perform his missed prayers and fasts? Of course, I know that if he were fine, it would be obligatory for me to perform those missed prayers. I would appreciate your advice in this regard.
A: If his mental defect did not reach the level of insanity and he was not unconscious through out the whole time of prayers, you would be obliged to make qaḍā’ of his missed prayers and fasts, otherwise there is nothing obligatory for you.
Q 536: Who should give the kaffārah for missed fasts of a person after he dies? Is it obligatory for the sons and daughters of the deceased person to give the kaffārah or could somebody else give it as well?
A: With respect to the kaffārah of missed fasts that was due on the father, if he could have the choice between fasting or feeding, the kaffārah should be taken out of the wealth he has left if possible; otherwise, the fasting rests with the eldest son.
Q 537: An elderly man left his family due to certain reasons and it is difficult for him to contact them. He is the eldest son of his parents. During that period, his father passed away and the son is unaware of the number of prayers and other duties his father might have missed. He does not have enough money to hire somebody to perform those missed duties for his father either. Nor does he have the ability to perform them himself due to his elderliness. What should he do?
A: It is not obligatory to do qaḍā’ of the missed prayers of the father except the amount the oldest son knows for sure have been missed. It is obligatory for the eldest son to perform his father’s missed prayers by any means possible. If he is unable to do so even through hiring another person to perform them, he is excused.
Q 538: If the eldest child of a deceased person is a female and his/her second child is male, is it obligatory for this son to perform the missed prayers and fasts of the mother and the father?
A: The criterion is that the male son being the eldest among the sons, if the father has any sons. As for the assumption in question, it is obligatory for the son, i.e. the father’s second child, to perform both parent’s missed prayers and fasts.
Q 539: If the eldest son — whether mature or not — dies before his father, will it become obligatory for any of the other sons to perform the missed prayers of his father?
A: The performance of the father’s missed prayers and fasts is obligatory for the eldest son who is alive when his father dies, even if he is not the father’s first child or son.
Q 540: I am the eldest son of the family. Is it obligatory for me to investigate and acquire information from my father about his missed prayers so that I can perform them for him? Or should he inform me of the numbers outstanding and if he does not, what will my duty be?
A: It is not obligatory for you to investigate, but it is obligatory for the father to perform them while he is alive or, if he could not, to specify it in his will. In any case, it is a duty of the eldest son, after the father’s death, to perform fasts and prayers he is certain his father missed.
Q 541: Someone dies while owning only a house where his children live and he has some missed prayers and fasts to perform. His oldest son cannot do so for him because of his daily occupations, is it obligatory to sell the house and have his missed prayers and fasts performed?
A: In the given case, it is not obligatory to sell the house. But the performance of the missed prayers and fasting, which were obligatory for the father, is the duty of his eldest son in all cases except if the deceased person ordered in his will that someone be hired by the third of his estate for that purpose and that amount is sufficient for all of the prayers and fasts that are obligatory for him. In this case, it will be obligatory to spend one third of the property left for this purpose.
Q 542: If the eldest son who had the obligation to offer his father’s missed prayers dies, will this obligation pass on to the eldest son’s inheritor or to the grandfather’s second eldest son (the brother of the eldest son)?
A: The performance of the father’s missed prayers and fasts, which were obligatory for his eldest son, will not become obligatory for the latter’s son or brother upon his death after that of his father.
Q 543: In case a father never performed any prayer, will his prayers be considered as all missed and obligatory for his eldest son to offer?
A: It is based on obligatory caution that, even in this case, doing their qaḍā’ is obligatory.
Q 544: If a father forsakes all of his worship duties intentionally, will it be obligatory for his eldest son to perform all of the prayers and fasts his father missed over 50 years?
A: In case he did not perform them out of rebellion, the performance of missed prayers and fast is not obligatory for the eldest son. However, caution by performing qaḍā’ for him, should not be forgone in such a case, as well.
Q 545: If the eldest son already has the obligation to perform some missed prayers and fasts of his own when the performance of his father’s missed prayers and fasts is also added to his obligations, which one of the two will have priority?
A: He has the choice in this situation; therefore, it is correct for him to start performing either of them.
Q 546: My father has some qaḍā’ prayers due but he cannot offer them and I am the family’s eldest son. Is it permissible — while he is still alive — that I perform his missed prayers or hire someone to perform them?
A: It is not correct to perform the missed prayers and fast on behalf of a living person.
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