Could you please give information about the subject of "Excuse" in Islam ? In which conditions do we become (mazur) excused about the religious services?

Details of the Question
Could you please give information about the subject of "Excuse" in Islam ? In which conditions do we become (mazur) excused about the religious services?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is described as : happening or non-happening of an action, the reason put forward for pardoning a crime, a shortcoming or a defect  of a property, the cases in which it is difficult to meet the Islamic conditions without causing more harm. About worshipping matters, an excuse describes a situation that causes something canceling the ablution to continue. That person who suffers from it is called an excused man. Some excuses occurring afterwards also affect the covenants.

These cases are excuses: Continually passing gas, dripping urine, bleeding nose or wound. Catamenia that lasts more than ten days or less than three days. Postnatal bleeding that lasts more than forty days.  Menstrual bleeding of a female younger than nine years or older than fifty-five years. Such a male is called “ma’zur (Excused male)” and a female is called “ma’zura (Excused female)”

In order to regard someone excused about the religious services, the excuse must continue without cessation for a period necessary to perform a prayer together with the ablution, within a prayer time. Besides, it must exist in other times of prayers at least once. The state of being excused disappears if it stops for a full prayer time.

The Prophet (PBUH) said to a woman who asked about the continual menstrual bleeding: “ In Allah’s knowledge, you will have six or seven days of period, after that make wudu ( ablution) and then pray and fast for 23 or 24 days. It will suffice you” (Tirmidhi, Cleanliness 95)

An excused person should renew his/her ablution for every time of prayer. The Prophet (PBUH) ordered an excused woman to do so. (Bukhari, Ablution, 63; Abu Dawud, Cleanliness, 110, 112; Tirmidhi, Cleanliness, 93) The ablution of an excused person is cancelled by the end of the prayer time. According to Imam Zufar, the beginning of a prayer time cancels it, while Imam Abu Yusuf thinks that both the beginning and ending of a prayer time invalidate the ablution. A person who makes ablution after the sun rises, he can perform the noon prayer with that ablution because the time for the prayer has not ended

A woman having a non-routine bleeding out of normal menstruation period, may have sexual intercourse with her husband because there is no certain evidence that bans it.
On the other hand, the permit was compared to the permit for praying under the same circumstances. An excused person may pray as much as he/she wants within one certain prayer time, with an ablution taken in that time. He/she may circumambulate the Kaabah, read the Quran. (Sayyid Sabiq, Fikhu's-Sunnah, I, 76, 77).

The Imam that leads the prayer in congregation must be free from any kind of excuses like urinating disorders, nose bleeding and continual gas passing. Such a person may only lead a person having the similar excuses in prayer (Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Mukhtar, I, 541).

In order to perform the Friday prayer and the five daily prayers in congregation, one needs to be free from diseases, to be secure, to be free (not slaves), to be capable of seeing and walking. If one of them does not exist, then, it is a valid excuse not to go to mosque in order top ray in congregation. (Zuhayli, Islamic Jurisdiction and Proofs, II, 270)

The following are valid excuses not to fast in Ramadan :

a) Journey. One may perform the 4-rakah prayers as 2-rakahs if he/she goes on a journey of  90 km long or more. He/she may postpone the Ramadan fasting too. In the verse, the following is stated,  “if any of you is ill or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. “ (Surah al-Baqara, 2/184)

b) Illness. One does not have to fast if the illness gets worse when he/she fasts or if he/she cannot withstand fasting. The evidence is the aforementioned verse.

c) Pregnancy or nursing. A woman may quit fasting in Ramadan if she supposes that herself or the baby will be seriously harmed due to hunger. The evidence is the following hadith, depending on comparison to the sick and the traveler : “ Allah has called off half of the prayer and fasting from the traveler, and He has called off the fasting from the pregnant and nursing woman" (ash-Shawkani, Naylul-Awtar" IV, 230).

d. Old age. A person too old to fast or a hopelessly sick man who cannot withstand fasting does not have to fast in Ramadan; he does not have to fast later, either because he cannot do it. They must pay a ransom for each day they cannot fast to a poor man. In the verse, the following is stated : “For those who can do it (with hardship) is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent “ (al-Baqara 2/184)

e) Fear of death due to hunger and thirst. A person faced with such a situation does not fast. He will fast later. . In the verse, the following is stated : “make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction” (al-Baqara 2/195)

f) One who is forced to break the fast may break the fast. According to the majority of the scholars, he can fast later. A woman who is raped by force or while sleeping must fast later.  (al-Kasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi', II, 94-97; Ibn Rushd, Bidayatul-Mujtahid, I, 277-285; ash-Shirazi,al-Muhadhdhab, I, 178 ff.; Ibn Qudama,al-Mughni, III, 99 ff.; al-Fiqhul-Islami, II, 641 ff.).

In general sense, an excuse also affects the practical issues; for instance, it might affect the rental contract in the following ways : Bankruptcy of the renter, change of profession, being appointed to work in another city are valid excuses for the cancellation of the contract. Also the owner might annul the contract before due time, in case he has to sell his real estate because of his debts. Sometimes the excuse might be about the rented property. For instance, one who rents a bath in a village may cancel the contract if the dwellers of the village migrate from there.  (as-Sarakhsi,al-Mabsut, XVI, 2; al-Kasani, ibid, IV,197; al-Fatawal-Hindiyya, IV, 198, 458, 462).

In an agricultural partnership, these are valid excuses for annulling the contract: the owner of the land has to sell the estate due to debts, the partner who undertakes the agricultural tasks gets very ill. However, in cases of partnership contracts which are closely related to reaping time of the crop or planting trees, agriculture and horticulture, the cancellation must be done in a manner that will not harm the other partner. For example: There is a contract done for two years. But at the end of the first year, due to an excuse that has occurred later, it is cancelled after harvesting the crop . (al-Kasani, ibid, VI, 183 ff.; Ibnul-Humam, Fathul-Qadir, VIII, 42; Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Mukhtar, V, 196 ff.).

In case of general mobilization, these are the excuses not to join the war: The blind, the lame, the sick, the paralyzed, the elderly, the weak, one whose arms and legs are amputated, one whose family’s livelihood cannot be met, children, women and  slaves are exempted from war. The woman is considered to be busy with his husband’s service and the slave is to be busy with his master’s service. A child does not have the obligation to join the war. Ibn Umar (Son of Umar) said: “ I was presented to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) on the day of Uhud Battle, and I was fourteen, He decided that I was not competent for war. (Tirmidh, War, 32; Ibn Majah, The Punishments, 4). The others’ painful states are regarded as excuses: “There is no blame on those who are infirm, or ill, or who find no resources to spend (on the Cause), if they are sincere (in duty) to Allah and His Messenger: no ground (of complaint) can there be against such as do right: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most, Merciful.” (at-Tawbah, 9/91), “it is no fault in the blind nor in one born lame, nor in one afflicted with illness” (an-Noor, 24/61)

In case of a total attack by the enemy against an Islamic city, a woman may join the war only with her husband’s permission. (al-Kasani, ibid  VII, 97; Ibnul-Humam, ibid IV, 276, 283; Ibn Abidin, ibid III, 238, 241)

Jizyah (a tax collected from non-Muslims) is taken from the fully grown, free and male non-Muslims. The following are exempt from jizyah : women, children, the insane and senile people, those who are chronically ill, the blind, the paralyzed and people who are too oşd. Non-Muslims pay jizyah so that  the muslims will not fight them and they will be protected  against outer dangers. Those excused ones are not capable of fighting. The poor people do not pay jizyah because they cannot afford it. The priests that live a recluse life do not pay jizyah, either. (See at-Tawbah, 9/29; Celal Yeniçeri, State Budget in Islam, İstanbul 1984, p. 32, 33,190; Ziya Kazıcı, Tax System in the Ottomans, İstanbul 1977, p. 35-38; az-Zuhayli, VI, 444). However, the Shafii and Hanbali scholars base their judgments on the conditions of being sane, pubescent and male, for the jizyah; thus, they do not consider the aforementioned excuses valid for exemption from paying jizyah (Zuhayli, ibid VI, 445).

Hamdi DÖNDÜREN

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