Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Relating to make-up prayers for a person in a coma or state of unconsciousness, who then passes away.

Does the family of the person in this unconscious state need to keep track of all the missed prayers and then make-up for the prayers that were missed on their behalf after they die?

Or is it that in an unconscious state, they are unable to pray, and if they pass away in that state, then their prayer are not owing?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Imam Shurunbulali states: “If one loses consciousness or sanity for a duration of five obligatory (fard) prayers [or less], he must make them up upon recovery; if longer, he does not.” [Ascent to Felicity]

That is, the point at which one becomes absolved of having to make up any missed prayers is by the expiration of the time for the sixth missed prayer. [Maraqi ’l-Falah; Imdad al-Fattah]

Based on this ruling, if the person was unconscious for the duration of five prayers or less, the family should keep track of it as a debt owed. If the person regains consciousness, he would have to make them up. If he passes away without regaining consciousness, then for each missed obligatory prayer (including witr), 2.2 kg of wheat or its equivalent monetary value must be taken out of no more than one-third of his estate and given to the poor.

If, however, the coma lasted for six prayer times or longer, no debt is owed at all.

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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