Sickness and Expiation (Fidya) for Missed Prayers

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I didn’t know fidya includes missed fard prayers too. Can you please give some insight regarding this? My dad passed away two years ago and he has never missed his fard prayers or fasts to my knowledge until he got sick. He had a stroke and was affected by the sickness for 9 years. He was not able to talk, walk or comprehend hence he was totally depended on us. Does this rule of fidya apply to him for his missed prayers as he didn’t deliberately miss the prayers but due to his sickness.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

If your father was sick such that he was unable to pray even by head movements, and he died in that state (without recovery), then no compensation (fidya) would be due.

However, if he was able to pray with head movements and he did not, compensation (fidya) would need to be paid as per his bequest (wasiyya) and the money he left behind.

The Compensation (fidya)

The compensation (fidya) is the monetary equivalent of approximately 2kg of wheat for each prayer (which is six per day as the witr prayer is operationally obligatory).

When the money is insufficient or there was no bequest, and the family, for instance, would like to pay on behalf of the deceased, it would be permitted to fulfill this by giving a portion of the money (such as one day’s worth of prayers– approximately 12kg of wheat) to a poor person, and having them gift the money back to you. Then, one would give the money to them again (which would pay for the second day of missed prayers), and again they would gift the money back to you. One would repeat this until all missed prayers have been compensated for.

If you cannot remember the exact number of prayers missed, you would make a reasonable, safe judgment, and then pay that amount.

[`Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

See also: Prayer Rulings for the Sick, Injured, and Hospitalized
and: How To Make Expiatory Payments (Fidya) To Compensate For the Missed Fasts and Prayers of a Deceased?

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani