Sunday, August 1, 2010

Exemption from Siyam and Solāh

When an Old Person Becomes Exempted From Fasting and Solāh

Question: What age limit is an old man exempted from fasting and praying?


In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

There is no age limit by which a person is exempted from Siyam and Solāh. However, an old man could be exempted from fasting in two cases.

1. If he is no longer held accountable because of losing his consciousness due to senility and the like. In this case he does not have to fast and he does not have to expiate for this as he is no longer held accountable for his acts. The Prophet,Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam , said:

"The pen is lifted (stopped from writing the deeds) from three kinds of people: a sleeping person until he wakes up, a mentally-handicapped or insane person till he can reason, and a child till he reaches the age of puberty."


2. If he is unable to fast due to his old age, then he is exempted from fasting and he has to expiate for it, which is to feed a poor person for every day he broke the fast.

As regards performing the prayer, a person is not exempted from it under any circumstances as long as a person is conscious. However, if a person fails to fulfill one of its conditions, or a pillar from its pillars, then he has to perform the prayer according to his ability.

And Allah Almighty Knows best.

[Fatwa No. 90699 by The Fatwa Center at Islam web, Wednesday July 28, 2010]

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