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Ruling 1512. After someone has died, a person can be hired – i.e. he can be paid – to perform the prayers and other ritual acts of worship that the deceased did not perform during his lifetime. If someone performs them without getting paid, this is also valid.

Ruling 1513. A person can be hired to perform certain recommended acts – such as hajj, ʿumrah, and ziyārah of the graves of the Most Noble Messenger (Ṣ) and the Infallible Imams (ʿA) – on behalf of someone else. A person can also be hired to perform recommended acts and dedicate their reward to living or deceased persons.

Ruling 1514. A person who is hired to perform the qaḍāʾ prayers of a deceased person must either be a mujtahid,[2] or he must perform prayers according to the fatwa of someone whom it is valid to follow [i.e. do taqlīd of],[3] or he must act on precaution if he knows fully the situations in which one can exercise precaution.

Ruling 1515. A person who is hired must specify the deceased at the time of making the intention, but it is not necessary that he know his name. Therefore, if he makes the intention that ‘I am performing prayers on behalf of the person I am hired for’, it is sufficient.

Ruling 1516. A person who is hired must perform the act with the intention of discharging the obligation that is on the deceased. Therefore, it is not sufficient if he simply performs an act and dedicates its reward to him.

Ruling 1517. A person who hires someone must be confident that he will perform the act; and he must deem it probable that he will perform it correctly.

Ruling 1518. If someone realises that the person he hired to perform the prayers of a deceased person has not performed them, or that he has performed them incorrectly, he must hire someone again.

Ruling 1519. If someone doubts whether or not the hired person has performed the act – even if the hired person says, ‘I have performed it’ but he is not confident in the statement being true – then based on obligatory precaution, he must hire someone again. However, if he doubts whether or not he performed the act correctly, he can assume it was performed correctly.

Ruling 1520. Based on obligatory precaution, a person who has a legitimate excuse [for performing prayers in a certain way] – for example, he performs prayers with tayammum or in a sitting position – cannot be hired in any case to perform the prayers of a deceased person, even if the prayers of the deceased became qaḍāʾ in the same way. However, hiring someone who performs prayers with jabīrah wuḍūʾ or with jabīrah ghusl is not a problem. The same applies to hiring someone whose hands or feet have been amputated, although to suffice with the acts he performs on behalf of the person is problematic [i.e. based on obligatory precaution, one must not suffice with the acts he performs].

Ruling 1521. A man can be hired for a woman and a woman for a man. As for performing prayers aloud or in a whisper, the hired person must act according to his or her own duty.[4]

Ruling 1522. It is not necessary to perform the qaḍāʾ prayers of a deceased person in the order they became qaḍāʾ except for the prayers that must be performed in a particular order when they are performed within their prescribed time, such as ẓuhr and ʿaṣr prayers, and maghrib and ʿishāʾ prayers, of the same day, as was mentioned previously. However, if someone is hired to act according to the fatwa of the deceased’s marjaʿ[5] or according to the marjaʿ of the deceased’s guardian (walī),[6] and that marjaʿ considers it necessary to observe the order, then one must observe the order.

Ruling 1523. If someone makes a condition with the hired person to perform an act in a particular manner, the hired person must do so unless he is certain that the particular manner will invalidate the act. If such a condition is not made with him, he must perform the act according to his own duty. And the recommended precaution is that if there is a difference between his duty and that of the deceased’s, he should act according to the duty that is more precautionary; for example, if the duty of the deceased was to say al‑tasbīḥāt al‑arbaʿah three times and his duty is to say it once, then he should say it three times.

Ruling 1524. If a condition has not been made with a hired person as to how many recommended acts must be performed, he must perform prayers with a normal amount of recommended acts.

Ruling 1525. If someone hires a number of people to perform the qaḍāʾ prayers of a deceased person, then, as per Ruling 1522, it is not necessary to specify a time for each of them.

Ruling 1526. If a person is hired to, for example, perform the prayers of a deceased person within the period of one year, and if he dies before the end of one year, then another person must be hired to perform the prayers that are known not to have been performed [by the previous hired person]. If it is deemed probable that the hired person did not perform them, another person must still be hired based on obligatory precaution.

Ruling 1527. If someone who is hired to perform the prayers of a deceased person dies before completing the prayers, and if he had taken wages for all of them, in the event that it was a condition that he would perform all the prayers himself, the person who hired him can take back the wages, based on the agreed rate (al‑ujrah al‑musammāh), for the prayers that were not performed. Alternatively, he can annul (faskh) the contract and [for the prayers that were not performed,] he can take back the wages based on the standard rate (ujrat al‑mithl) for performing such prayers. However, if it was not a condition that he would perform the prayers himself, then his heirs must hire someone from his estate; and if he does not have an estate, then nothing is obligatory for his heirs.

Ruling 1528. If someone who is hired dies before performing all the qaḍāʾ prayers of the deceased, and if he has qaḍāʾ prayers of his own, then, after acting according to the instructions mentioned in the previous ruling, if anything is left over from his estate, and if he has made a will and his heirs give their consent, then someone must be hired to perform all his prayers. However, if the heirs do not give their consent, then the one-third of his estate[7] must be used for [hiring someone to offer] his prayers.

[1] The laws stated in this section are sometimes discussed under the heading ‘niyābah’, i.e. doing something on behalf of someone else.

[2] A mujtahid is a person who has attained the level of ijtihād, qualifying him to be an authority in Islamic law. Ijtihād is the process of deriving Islamic laws from authentic sources.

[3] The laws of taqlīd are mentioned in the first chapter of the present work.

[4] Therefore, if, for example, a man has been hired to perform the qaḍāʾ ṣubḥ prayers of a deceased woman, he must recite Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah aloud. See Ruling 978.

[5] That is, a jurist who has the necessary qualifications to be followed in matters of Islamic jurisprudence.

[6] This scenario could arise when, for example, the walī is the eldest son of the deceased, and it is obligatory for him to perform the qaḍāʾ prayers of his late father, and he hires someone to perform them. See Ruling 1370.

[7] This refers to the maximum amount of one’s estate over which he has discretion in a will for it to be disposed of in accordance with his wishes after his death.
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