Assalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuhu My question is that how do i make up for the obligatory fasts that were not kept by my deceased parents? They have missed very many years and not due to any illness etc. It is going to be hard for me to keep them on their behalf. Can I pay a fidya instead? Jazak Allah Khairan
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
If a Muslim dies while having some fast to make up, then it is permissible and desirable for his relative to fast on his behalf but this is not an obligation on him. He should fast on his behalf according to the days that the dead had missed as per the preponderant view of the scholars because the Prophet said: “Whoever died owing fasts, then his guardian should fast on his behalf.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] If the dead has a number of relatives, then it is permissible for them all to fast on his behalf even if it is on the same day and the fasting of the number of the people who fasted on his behalf would be counted on his behalf. For instance, if ten people fast on his behalf, it will be counted as 10 days fasting on his behalf, and so on.
Indeed Imaam Al-Bukhari entitled a Chapter in his Saheeh by: “The Chapter of whoever died owing fasts” Al-Hasan said: “If 30 men fast on his behalf on the same day, this is permissible.”
Moreover, it is permissible for the guardians to give permission to non-relatives of the dead to fast on his behalf as well. The jurists stated that it is permissible for a stranger [a non-relative] to fast on behalf of the dead with the permission of his guardians after his death and the fasting will be valid.
On the other hand, if nobody fasted on behalf of the dead, it becomes obligatory to feed the poor on his behalf. The jurists are of the view that a relative has a choice between feeding or fasting on behalf of the dead. This feeding is obligatory if the dead had left an inheritance from which poor people could be fed. Ibn Baaz said: “If there is no one to fast on them [the dead parents], then feeding a poor person from their inheritance for each day half a Saa’ (approximately one and half Kilogram [of the local staple food]) should be done."
Allaah Knows best.
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