What Can We Do about Missed Prayers of a Deceased?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu’alaykum,

What is the expiation for missed obligatory prayers

If someone passes away and couldn’t make up the missed prayers – can his family members expiate for it? Who is responsible and how can one do it?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The expiation (fidya) is the monetary equivalent of approximately 2kg of wheat, per prayer.

There are six prayers to expiate for, and this includes the Witr which is operationally obligatory.

You should pay the total amount to a needy Muslim.

If a bequest was made by the deceased, the money should be deducted from a third of his estate. Otherwise, anybody can make the payment on his behalf.

Please also see: 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 Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Converts and Inheritance

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I have a question regarding inheritance. My husband and I are both converts. Recently, my mother converted alhamdulillah; otherwise we have no Muslim relatives. We also have two adopted children who are young (8 year old twins).

How should we structure are wills, so that my mother gets her rightful share (which I am not sure what it is – 1/6?) and so that we can provide for our girls? Their birth parents left them at an orphanage without providing any information about themselves and therefore they will not be receive an inheritance through them.



Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

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

There is scholarly consensus that a non-Muslim does not inherit from a Muslim. [Ibn Qudama, Mughni]

As such, your only rightful heirs are your husband and your mother. Your husband is entitled to 1/2 of your estate. Your mother is entitled to 1/3 of your estate, and then the remaining 1/6 also goes to your mother [by returning of what remains (radd)].

As for your husband, you are his only rightful heir and hence you are entitled to his entire estate (1/4 is your rightful share, and then the remaining estate goes to you as well).

As for the twins for whom you both are caretakers, each of you may give them a bequest (wasiyya) of up to 1/3 of the estate (without need of anyone’s approval). If you wish to give them more than 1/3 of your estate, your mother and husband would have to approve after your demise. If he wishes to give them more than 1/3 of his estate, you would need to approve after his demise. [Maydani, Lubab]

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

Does Islamic Law Require that My Property be Divided in Particular Way in the Event that I Die?

Inheritance Laws: Can I Stipulate Other Than the Determined Amounts Mentioned in the Qur’an?

Dealing with Death: Inward & Outward Manners

Inheritance Laws: Can I Stipulate Other Than the Determined Amounts Mentioned in the Qur’an?

Answered by Ustadh Faraz A. Khan

Question: According to the sharia, an estate should be transferred in between kids as 1/3 to the girl and 2/3 to a boy. Will it be ok if one decides to do 1/2 and 1/2  between the boy and girl, especially if the kids are not married?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullah,

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

This is an excellent question. To fully understand its legal ruling, one must appreciate the nature and importance of inheritance law as a whole.

Inheritance Law: Linguistics

The word in Arabic most often used for this branch of jurisprudence is fara’id, sing. farida, which is derived from a root word that has three primary meanings:

(1) “to decree,” (taqdir), since the shares that are designated for various relatives are decreed by Allah Most High and are therefore fixed;

(2)”to be decisive,” (qat`), since the percentages are listed in the Qur’an itself and hence the proof for them is decisive and unequivocal;

(3) “to expound or clarify” (bayan), since they are delineated in full clarity and as such need no interpretation or elucidation from the Prophetic practice. This is opposed to the ritual prayer (salat), for example, the command of which is general in the Qur’an but the details of which are then elucidated by the Prophetic sunna. [Mawsili, Ikhtiyar]

Allah Most High Himself uses this term (farida) in the Qur’an to refer to inheritance rulings (4:11), and ends the verse with “Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, Ever-Wise.” These two divine attributes are essential to keep in mind when considering the fixed percentages of inheritance, since His decree of those percentages is undoubtedly based on His preeternal knowledge of human nature and society, and undoubtedly a reflection of His transcendent wisdom, which we are utterly incapable of comprehending. [Tafsir Jalalayn, Abu Suud, Nasafi]

The Legal Ruling

Based on the above discussion, one can appreciate that Islamic law does not allow for changes to these determined percentages. The one exception to this ruling would be if the deceased had made a bequest for an heir of a certain amount of money, which would be valid only if the rest of the heirs, that are adults, approved of it after his/her death. If some of them approved and not others, then it would be valid only with respect to the heirs that approved, based on their relative portions. Finally, a child’s approval would not be given any consideration. [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Faraz A. Khan has lived in Amman, Jordan, for several years studying and teaching traditional Islamic sciences, with a focus on Hanafi jurisprudence, hadith studies, theology, logic, and Arabic grammar. He translated and annotated the classical Hanafi primer “Ascent to Felicity” (Maraqi ‘l-Sa`adat) by Imam Shurunbulali, recently published by White Thread Press.