Wednesday 18 Muḥarram 1446 - 24 July 2024
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Missing Jumu`ah and Congregational Prayers to Serve His Sick Father

Question

My father – may Allah, may He be Exalted, heal him – suffered a stroke two years ago, which resulted in complete paralysis on the left side of his body, and left him unable to speak. I have left my job so I can stay with him and help him with his food, drink and hygiene. I have some questions: 1. When cleaning him after he soils himself, I wear gloves to keep my hands clean, because after cleaning him, I take off the dirty gloves and put a new diaper on him, with the catheter in my hand. I am afraid that my wearing the gloves may be a kind of showing displeasure or disgust; will Allah punish me for that? 2. If I am in a state of purity (Taharah), and I check the catheter without touching it, but I see my father’s `Awrah, does that invalidate my Wudu? If it so happens that I touch the penis to adjust it, must I do Wudu in order to read from the Mus-haf or offer a Nafil prayer? 3. In the first year, my father understood little, and spent most of his time asleep, and he did not pray. Even if I prayed in congregation with him, I would find him sleeping or having exited the prayer. But this year he has become aware of the times of prayer, and he wakes up even if he was sleeping. Our house is on the second floor, and Allah knows how much I wish that we could pray in the mosque, but if I carry my father down the stairs I will get too tired, and I will worry about him. I have started to pray most of the obligatory prayers at home in congregation with my father, and I do not go to the mosque. Even for Jumu`ah, we listen to the khutbah from the Haram, then we pray Dhuhr with four rak`ahs. 4. Sometimes my father is tired, so I pray `Asr one hour before its time, or I put it together with Dhuhr. Is it permissible for me to pray `Asr again in the mosque or in his house, if he is tired? 5. Sometimes my father is constipated, which is a result of the stroke, so I use my finger to extract what is in his rectum. Is there any blame on me for doing that? In the past I used to go to the mosque, and when I came back from the prayer I would find my father weeping and distressed, and sometimes I do not got out of his house for several months for fear that he might wake up and not find me, and get distressed, because he will not accept for anyone to feed him, sit him up or clean him except me. I stay with my father and my Mus-haf and uphold my prayers, and I have forsaken my worldly concerns. I am owed money in Riyadh but I cannot go back and collect it. I also owe money, and some of the people to whom I owe it are patient and understand my circumstances, but others have made complaints to the police, and I have been wanted by the police for six months. Are my actions regarded as consuming people’s wealth unlawfully, because I have not paid off what I owe, and I am afraid that my prayers and my reading of Qur’an will not be accepted. 6. After completing the Qur’an, is it permissible for me to give the reward for that to my father and mother, because they taught us and it is thanks to them that I have completed the Qur’an? Or is it sufficient for me to say: O Allah, grant my parents the best of rewards?

Summary of answer

1. It is not permissible for you to not pray Jumu`ah, if there is someone who can take care of your father while you go to the mosque. If there is no one, then you are excused for not going to the mosque and you can pray Dhuhr with him instead. 2. You should pray in congregation in the mosque, so long as someone else can be with your sick father while you go to the mosque. 3. There is nothing wrong with wearing gloves when removing impurity from a sick father because touching the `Awrah is prohibited. 4. It is not permissible to look at your father’s `Awrah except in the case of necessity. 5. If your father is aware of the prayer, then it is obligatory for him and it is not permissible for him to not pray. 6. It is not permissible for you to not pray Jumu`ah, if there is someone who can take care of your sick father while you go to the mosque. If there is no one, then you are excused for not going to the mosque and you can pray Dhuhr with him instead. 7. It is permissible for the sick person to put together Dhuhr and `Asr, and Maghrib and `Isha’, at the time of the earlier or later prayer so as to ward off hardship.

Praise be to Allah.

How to remove impurities from my sick father

We ask Allah, may He be Exalted, to heal your father and grant him well-being, and to grant you the best reward for what you are doing for him.

You are doing well by wearing gloves when cleaning him of impurity, because touching the `Awrah is prohibited, and it is essential to use a barrier such as gloves and the like.

It says in Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da’imah (25/283): “You will be rewarded – in sha Allah – for what you are doing of serving these disabled people, and cleaning them by washing them and otherwise, but that should be done whilst concealing their `Awrahs and using a barrier when cleaning them, placing a barrier on the hand such as a glove or wrapper.”

It does not matter if what is motivating you to wear the glove is disgust; rather disgust at touching impurities is something natural.

Is it permissible to look at my sick father’s `Awrah?

It is not permissible to look at your father’s `Awrah except in the case of necessity, such as if you cannot adjust the catheter except by looking.

Looking at the `Awrah does not invalidate Wudu.

With regard to cleaning it, you should try hard to clean it whilst covering his `Awrah and washing away the impurity beneath a barrier of cloth and the like.

We have noted above that it is not permissible to touch his `Awrah; rather you should wear gloves.

If we assume that touching occurs, then touching the penis and the anus without a barrier invalidates Wudu according to many of the scholars among the Companions and the generation who came after them and the leading scholars who came after them, including Malik, Ash-Shafi`i and Ahmad.

Is it permissible to miss congregational prayer to take care of my sick father? 

If your father is aware of the prayer, then it is obligatory for him and it is not permissible for him to not pray.

You should pray in congregation in the mosque , so long as someone else can be with him while you go to the mosque.

With regard to his becoming distressed if you leave, it does not seem that this is an excuse for not praying in congregation in the mosque.

But if it happens time after time that you see a change in his mood that is more than usual, such as his feeling distressed and the like, then we hope that there will be no blame on you if you pray next to him at those times, whilst striving to put his mind at rest and make him accept your leaving him when need be, such as prayers in congregation and the like, which one has no choice but to do, so someone else should be with him for this short time when you leave him.

Is it permissible to miss Jumu`ah prayer to take care of my sick father?

Similarly, it is not permissible for you to not pray Jumu`ah , if there is someone who can take care of him whilst you go to the mosque. If there is no one, then you are excused for not going to the mosque and you can pray Dhuhr with him instead.

He himself is excused for not attending Jumu`ah if it is too difficult for him to go.

It says in Kashshaf Al-Qina` (1/495): “The sick person is excused for not attending Jumu`ah and prayers in congregation , because when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) fell sick, he stayed away from the mosque and he said: “Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Or if someone is afraid that his friend or relative will die before he can get there to see him or tend to him, if the sick person does not have anyone to tend to him instead of him, then [we may note that] Ibn `Umar was called, whilst he was preparing to go to Jumu`ah, to go to Sa`id ibn Zayd [who was dying], and he came to see him in Al-`Aqiq and did not go to Jumu`ah.

It says in Ash-Sharh: “We do not know of any difference of scholarly opinion concerning that.” 

Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: My son is sick and stays in the hospital, and I stay with him; for three months I have not attended Jumu`ah prayer, because my son is sick and very young. What is the ruling on that?

He (may Allah have mercy on him) replied: 

“There is no blame on you, so long as your son needs you to be there with him, because the sick person’s need for someone to tend to him is one of the things that waive the obligation to attend Jumu`ah and prayers in congregation for the one who is tending him. But if it is possible for someone else to tend to him while you go to the prayer, then the prayer is not waived from you in that case.” (Fatawa Nur `Ala Ad-Darb, 8/2)

Is it permissible for sick people to join prayers together?

It is permissible for the sick person to join Dhuhr and `Asr , and Maghrib and `Isha’, at the time of the earlier or later prayer, so as to ward off hardship. 

It says in Kashshaf Al-Qina` (5/2):

“Section on joining prayers together: … It is permissible to join Dhuhr and `Asr at the time of either of them, and to join  Maghrib and `Isha’ at the time of either of them. These four are the prayers that may be joined: Dhuhr and `Asr, and Maghrib and `Isha’, at the time of either the first or the second of each pair.

… For the sick person, not joining the prayers together may be too hard on him and make his condition worse. It is proven that it is permissible for the woman suffering from Istihadah [irregular, non-menstrual bleeding], which is a kind of sickness, to join prayers together. Ahmad argued that sickness is worse than travelling; he was treated with Hijamah [cupping] after sunset, then he ate dinner, then he joined the prayers [Maghrib and `Isha’] together.”

Is it permissible to use fingers to extract faeces from a sick person’s rectum?

There is nothing wrong with using your finger to extract [faeces] from your father’s rectum when there is a need for that, on condition that a barrier be used, such as gloves.

Is it permissible to neglect the debts you owe?

It is not permissible to neglect the debts you owe , because that is a kind of wrongdoing. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “For one who can afford it to delay repayment is wrongdoing.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2400 and Muslim, 1564)

You have to strive to pay them off, even if you have to appoint someone else to do it on your behalf.

Is giving the reward of reciting the Quran to your parents permissible? 

There is a difference of opinion with regard to giving the reward of recitation to your parents . The best is not to do that, and to be content with offering supplication (Du`a’) for them .

So long as they taught you and encouraged you to memorise the Quran, there is the hope that they will attain the reward of all of your recitation, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever calls people to right guidance will have a reward like that of those who follow him, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest. And whoever calls people to misguidance will have a burden of sin like that of those who follow him, without that detracting from their sin in the slightest.” (Muslim, 4831)

We ask Allah to heal your father and to increase you in righteousness and goodness.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A