Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Assalam aleykum
If someone from my family members does not pray or fast do I have to give expiatory payments (fidya) for their missed prayers and fasts?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
There is no obligation upon you to give expiatory payments (fidya) on behalf of family members from your own money, and not should such payments be viewed as necessarily lifting the sin of falling short in one’s obligations.
In the case of deceased family members, expiatory payments (fidya) are to be given for missed prayers and fasts if the deceased has stipulated so in his/her will. These expiatory payments can be taken from up to 1/3rd of the wealth the deceased has left behind. If the deceased has no inheritors or if the inheritors agree to it, it can be taken from more than 1/3rd.
The same ruling applies to other missed financial obligations, such as zakat, sadaqa al-fitr, and the like, for which the actual amount due must be given. Similarly, one can direct in his/her will that Hajj be performed on their behalf.
If the deceased has not stipulated anything of the above in his/her will, or if 1/3rd does not cover the expiatory payments or expenses for his/her missed acts of worship, there is no obligation upon you or any other individual to cover these payments.
However, in the case of close family members, such as parents, it would be recommended for you to do so to the extent that you are able. This would simply be in keeping with the general recommendation the religion has laid down for conduct towards one’s parents and family. It is not uncommon, for example, for an individual to perform a Hajj on behalf of their deceased siblings or parents who were unable to do so despite their not having stipulated so in their will. Rather, such acts are done out of love for one’s family and a hope that God will accept this on their behalf.
[Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar (2:72-73)]
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.