Can a person appoint a proxy for worships like daily prayers (salah), fasting, zakat (almsgiving) and Hajj?
Submitted by on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 17:56
Dear Brother / Sister,
Worships are divided into three as those performed only through the body, those performed only through money or goods and those performed both by the body and money or goods. No matter how a worship is performed, its reward can be donated to someone else. The person to be donated benefits from it.
As for the issue of whether a worship can be performed on behalf of someone and if it can be performed whether the responsibility of fard and wajib (obligatory) worships will be removed:
a) Appointing a proxy is definitely not permissible for the kinds of worshipping that are performed only through the body such as daily prayers, fasting, itikaf (staying in the mosque for worshipping). No one can perform fasting and prayers on behalf of someone else. Appointing a proxy for those kinds of worshipping will not remove the responsibility of the obligation.
b) Appointing a proxy is absolutely permissible for the kinds of worshipping that are performed through money or goods such as zakat, sacrificing an animal and sadaqah. A person can pay his zakat himself or can appoint someone as a proxy to pay his zakat on behalf of him.
c) Appointing a proxy for the kinds of worshipping that are performed both through the body and money or goods like Hajj is only permissible if the person who has to do it cannot do it due to weakness; otherwise, it is not permissible. If the appointed proxy makes Hajj for a person who cannot or could not make hajj due to death, old age, chronic disease, lack of non-mahram for a woman to travel for Hajj, etc, the Hajj is regarded to have been made for those people. The people with those excuses have to appoint someone as proxy and send him to Hajj. Their obligation to make Hajj is removed when they send someone as proxy to make Hajj on behalf of them.
It is necessary for those who are obliged to go to Hajj but die before they go to Hajj or send someone to Hajj in lieu of themselves to state in their will that someone should be sent to Hajj for them. If one third of the inheritance is enough to meet the expenses of the person to be sent to Hajj and the heirs do not send anybody, they will be responsible before Allah. If one third of the inheritance is not enough to meet the expenses of the person to be sent to Hajj or there is no statement in the will of the person regarding the issue, the heirs will not be responsible for it. However, if there is no statement in the will or one third of the inheritance is not enough to meet the expenses of the person to be sent to Hajj but if the heirs meet the expenses and one of them goes to Hajj or send someone to Hajj in lieu of the late person, the responsibility of the late person will be removed.
According to a narration, a woman from the tribe of Has`am went to the Prophet and said that her father was too old to sit on a mount and asked whether she could make Hajj for him. The Prophet replied that she could. (Bukhari, Hajj, 1; Muslim, Hajj, 407).
Ibn Abbas narrates: A woman vowed to make Hajj but her life was not long enough to make it; she died before she could make Hajj. The brother of the woman went to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and asked him what he should do. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) asked him, “If she had owed some money, would you pay it? The man said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah“. The Messenger of Allah said: "Then, pay her debt to Allah, too, because He deserves more to be paid." (Nasai, Manasik'ul-Hajj, 7)
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) also narrates: Sinan b. Salama al Juhani’s wife wanted someone to ask the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) if she could make Hajj on behalf of her mother who died. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Yes” and added, “if your mother had owed some money and if you paid for it, her debt would be removed, wouldn’t it? Then, let her make Hajj for her mother.” (Bukhari, Jazau’s Sayd, 33)
According to another narration, a woman asked the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) about the state of her father who died before he made Hajj. He said: “Make Hajj on behalf of your father." (Bukhari, ibid; Tirmidhi, Hajj, 85; Nasai, Manasik'ul-Hajj, 8)
It is necessary not to neglect Hajj. A person who is obliged to make hajj but cannot do it has to send a relative or friend he trusts to Hajj on behalf of him. Neglecting Hajj brings about divine wrath not divine misfortune. Its punishment takes place in the form of the increase of the sins. (Nursi, Sünûhât, p. 54)
The reward of a performed worship, the prosperity of the verses of the Quran or prayers and the reward of a charity and good deed can be donated to someone else, and the person to be donated benefits from it without any decrease. (Nursi, Şuâlar (Rays), p. 589)
However, appointing someone as a proxy can only be permissible if the obliged person cannot make Hajj himself. Otherwise, it is not permissible for someone who can Make Hajj himself to send someone else as a proxy for Hajj.
However, the excuses like being too old, chronic disease, being bedridden, death, lack of non-mahram for a woman to travel for Hajj are the reasons that make the obliged people unable to make Hajj themselves. When one of those excuses is present, the person who is obliged to make Hajj can send someone else on behalf of him to make Hajj.
The person to be appointed as a proxy should be qualified to make Hajj and should make Hajj by intending to make it on behalf of the person who has sent him. Both the obliged person and the proxy must be sane, baligh (having reached the age of puberty) and qualified to make Hajj.
According to Shafiis, the heirs of a person who was obliged to make Hajj but died before he could are obliged to make Hajj for him or appoint someone as proxy to make Hajj for him even if he had not stated it in his will and even if one third of the inheritance is not enough to meet the expenses of the person to be sent to Hajj. It is because Hazrat Prophet likened Hajj to other debts and stated that Allah deserved more to be paid. (Bukhari, Jazau's-Sayd, 22; Tirmizî, Hajj 85).
It is not necessary for a person who set off for hajj in the year Hajj became fard for him and died before he could to state in his will that someone be sent to Hajj as proxy for him; however, it is necessary for a person who set off for hajj not in the year Hajj became fard for him but later and died before he could to state in his will that someone be sent to Hajj as proxy for him. The proxy needs to be sent from the hometown of that person according to Abu Hanifa but from the place where he died according to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad.
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