Is It Permissible for Sick Elderly People to Pay the Expiatory Charity (fidya) for Missed Prayers?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question 

My grandmother is eighty years old, diabetic, with history of heart attack and stroke, due to which she has gotten very weak. Due to the current condition, she is unable to offer Qada Salahs that are on her.

She would like to inquire if it is permissible to pay the Fidya for Qada while she is alive, on the condition that if she gets better she would try to offer Qada as much as possible.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

If your grandmother is unable to make up her missed prayers due to her sickness and weakness, let her consider the following:

If she is able to pray her make-up prayers sitting or laying down without putting herself in undue difficulty, it is obligatory for her to make up those prayers. [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]

If she is able to do this option-then after calculating the amount of missed prayers to the best of her knowledge – she then determines a reasonable amount of prayers to make up each day. [Ibid.]

Even if the above is within her ability and she begins to make them up, it is ideal for her to keep a working record of the amount of prayers she has yet to make up. Alongside that let her leave a living will with instructions to pay the expiatory charity (fidya), if she passes before making them all up. [Ibid.]

See the following links for the more details regarding the above:
Praying Rulings for The Sick, Injured, and Hospitalized
Sickness and Expiation (Fidya) for Missed Prayers

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

Arabic References

(ومن مات وعليه قضاء رمضان فأوصى به أطعم عنه وليه) وجواباً إن خرجت من ثلث ماله، وإلا فيقدر الثلث (لكل يوم مسكيناً نصف صاع من بر أو صاعاً من تمر أو صاعاً من شعير) ، لأنه عجز عن الآداء في آخر عمره فصار كالشيخ الفاني، ثم لابد من الإيصاء عندنا (٢) ، حتى إن مات ولم يوص بالإطعام عنه لا يلزم على ورثته ذلك ولو تبرعوا عنه من غير وصية جاز؛ وعلى هذا الزكاة. هداية. [اللباب في شرح الكتاب – كتاب الصوم, ص 171]