He Is Suffering From Bleeding And Blot Clots In The Brain – Does He Have To Fast?
The Awqaf -
My wife's father is suffering from bleeding and
blood clots in the brain, may Allaah heal us and you.
He cannot move and he is totally paralyzed, but he may
be able to lift a cup of water with help to drink,
then he will continue to hold the cup for an hour if
we forget him, because he does not realize that he has
finished drinking. His memory is almost gone. The
doctors are unanimously agreed that there is no cure
except with Allaah. He has been in the situation and
getting worse for six years, praise be to Allaah, and
he cannot do without daily medicine and natural
remedies. This is costing them thousands every month.
He has not prayed since then and he has to be carried
to the bathroom, and for a year or more he has had a
catheter and he has no control over his urine or
stools, and he cannot even signal to us that he needs
tog o to the bathroom, no matter how hard we try to
teach him to let us know by giving us some signal. He
can hardly talk and he does not understand anything
but he knows our faces and is moved when he hears sad
stories, for example. We have tried to help him pray
even if it is by moving his eyes, but he does not
understand and he does not remember the verses and the
tashahhud and the number of rak'ahs in each obligatory
prayer. Does he have to offer any expiation for not
praying? Or for not fasting in particular? Does he
come under the heading of the sick whose families must
offer the expiation for not fasting by feeding one
poor person for every day? Or does he come under the
heading of the insane or mentally disabled who have no
understanding, so fasting and prayer are waived for
Praise be to Allaah.
If his memory is gone and his mind has changed so that
he is not aware of things, then fasting and prayer are
waived in his case, and he does not have to offer any
expiation, because one of the conditions of being
accountable is that one should be of sound mind.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: "The Pen has been lifted from three: from
the sleeping person until he wakes up, from the minor
until he grows up, and from the insane person until he
comes to his senses." Narrated by Abu Dawood (4403),
al-Tirmidhi (1423), al-Nasaa'i (3432) and Ibn Majaah
(2041). Abu Dawood said: It was narrated by Ibn Jurayj
from al-Qaasim ibn Yazeed from ‘Ali from the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he
added: "and the old man who is feeble-minded."
This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in
Saheeh Abi Dawood.
It says in ‘Awn al-Ma'bood: "the old man who is
feeble-minded"; this refers to when the mind becomes
weak in old age. Al-Subki said: This implies that it
is additional to the three (mentioned in the hadeeth),
and this is correct. What is meant is the old man who
has lost his mind due to old age, because an old man
may become confused which prevents him from
distinguishing things, and means that he is no longer
accountable, but it is not called insanity and it does
not say in the hadeeth "until he comes to his senses,"
because in most cases he will not recover from this
before he dies, and if he recovers for some of the
time and comes back to his senses, then he is
accountable for that time… End quote.
See: al-Ashbaah wa'l-Nazaa'ir by al-Suyooti, p. 212
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him)
said: Fasting is not obligatory unless certain
conditions are met:
1- Being of sound mind
2- Being an adult
3- Being a Muslim
4- Being able to do it
5- Being a resident (i.e., not travelling)
6- Being free of menses and nifaas in the case of
1 – Being of sound mind, the opposite of which is
losing one's mind or reason, whether that is due to
senile dementia i.e., old age, or an accident which
has caused a person to lose his mind and awareness.
This person does not have to do anything, because of
his loss of reason. Like the one who has reached old
age and reached the point of senility, he does not
have to fast or feed the poor, because he has lost his
mind. The same applies to one who is unconscious as
the result of an accident or other cause; he does not
have to fast or feed the poor, because he is not
aware. End quote from Liqa' al-Baab il-Maftooh
He also said: The one who has lost his mind as the
result of old age or an accident and there is no hope
of recovery, is not obliged to fast, like the one who
has reached a great age and become senile and can no
longer speak properly. He is like a child and is not
obliged to fast. The same applies to one who has had
an accident and lost his mind in a way from which
there is no hope of recovery. But if there is the hope
of recovery, such as if he is merely unconscious, then
he has to make up the fasts when he wakes up, but if
he has lost his mind completely then he does not have
to fast, i.e., if he does not have to fast then he
does not have to offer the fidyah either. End quote
from Sharh al-Kaafi.
What appears to be the case is that he does not have
to pray or fast, and there is no need to feed the poor
on his behalf instead of fasting.
And Allaah knows best.