How should a Person suffering from Dementia Perform Salāh?

 

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Question: If an old person is suffering from dementia, is Salāh still obligatory on them and does the ruling of junoon (insanity) apply to such an individual whereby he is absolved from Salāh?

الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 

Answer

Dementia is the impairment of the nerve cells in the brain affecting the everyday rational decisions. One of the most common causes of dementia is Alzheimer which damages the nerve cells in the brain resulting in memory loss, forgetfulness, confusion, personality changes, communication difficulties and a decline in the ability to think and reason clearly. Dementia patients end up becoming dependant on others in their decision making and behaviour.[1] If such sufferers are Muslims, they will struggle to perform Salāh due to constant forgetfulness of the number of rak’ats performed and also, need constant reminding of Salāh times.

Dementia is different from junoon as junoon ceases (salb) the intellect faculty, not being able to rationalise anything. The classical Hanafi jurists such as Imām Haskafi rahimahullah, Ibn Ābideen Shāmi rahimahullah and Ibn Nujaim rahimahullah describe the inhibition state not being able to do tamyeez (distinguish) from one thing to another and complete absence of consciousness (adamul mubalat) that prolongs for a longer duration and remains permanent. Clearly, his permanent inability to distinguish between right from wrong makes him unable to carry out the Sharī῾ah prescription. The jurists refer to the permanence state of junoon as Kāmil Mutbiq which according to them, uplifts the obligation of worship.[2]

To put it simply, the classical Hanafi jurists outline the following conditions of that category of junoon which uplifts all legal obligations;

  1. The intellect must be completely inhibited (salb)
  2. He is not able to distinguish between right from wrong or make out what is being said to them, and
  3. A prolonged or permanent state

A dementia person, on the other hand, becomes a victim of difficulty in decision making and constant memory loss, somewhat similar to excessive ishtibah and sahw. He has the capacity to comprehend what he is being instructed to do if he is given slow instructions. Junoon and dementia are therefore not analogous, hence not absolved from obligatory acts such as Salāh.

There are two ways a dementia sufferer can perform his Salāh. One is that he prays Salāh behind someone as a Muqtadi and just follow the Imām’s postures. This however only suffices for the Fardh prayers only. The second method is talqeen which is for someone to stand by his side to remind him of the Salāh times and the number of Rak’ats he is reading. This is classed as an outside individual reminding the one in Salāh and not ta’leem.[3] The Salāh will be valid as long as the patient does not speak nor move his chest away from the Qiblah during Salāh, otherwise, the Salāh will break.

 

 

[Allãh Knows Best]

 

 

Written by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed

Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department

 

[1] https://www.caregiver.org/caregivers-guide-understanding-dementia-behaviors

https://www.caregiver.org/is-this-dementia-what-does-it-mean

http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ALZ040-What-is-Alzheimers_WEB-.pdf

 

[2] Sarakhsi, al-Mabsoot, Bāb Salatul Mareedh, p. 153 vol 2

وَجَعَلَ الْجُنُونَ كَالْإِغْمَاءِ فَقَالَ: إذَا جُنَّ يَوْمًا وَلَيْلَةً أَوْ أَقَلَّ فَعَلَيْهِ قَضَاءُ الصَّلَوَاتِ، وَإِذَا جُنَّ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ قَضَاءُ الصَّلَوَاتِ، وَهَذَا؛ لِأَنَّ الْجُنُونَ يُعْجِزُهُ عَنْ فَهْمِ الْخِطَابِ مَعَ بَقَاءِ الْأَهْلِيَّةِ لِلْفَرْضِ أَلَا تَرَى أَنَّ فَرْضَهُ الْمُؤَدَّى يَبْقَى عَلَى حَالِهِ يَعْنِي حَجَّةَ الْإِسْلَامِ وَالصَّلَاةَ الْمُؤَدَّاةَ حَتَّى لَوْ أَفَاقَ قَبْلَ مُضِيِّ الْوَقْتِ لَمْ يَكُنْ عَلَيْهِ إعَادَةُ الصَّلَاةِ فَعَرَفْنَا أَنَّ الْجُنُونَ إذَا قَصُرَ فَهُوَ كَالْإِغْمَاءِ فَإِنْ كَانَ يَوْمًا وَلَيْلَةً أَوْ أَقَلَّ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ قَضَاءُ الصَّلَوَاتِ،

«رُفِعَ الْقَلَمُ عَنْ ثَلَاثٍ عَنْ الصَّبِيِّ حَتَّى يَحْتَلِمَ، وَعَنْ الْمَجْنُونِ حَتَّى يُفِيقَ، وَعَنْ النَّائِمِ حَتَّى يَسْتَيْقِظَ»

Ibn Nujaym, Bahr Rāiq, Kitāb Taharat Nawaqizul Wudhu, p. 72 vol 1

وَأَمَّا الْجُنُونُ فَهُوَ زَوَالُ الْعَقْلِ وَنَقْضُهُ ظَاهِرٌ بِاعْتِبَارِ عَدَمِ مُبَالَاتِهِ وَتَمْيِيزِ الْحَدَثِ مِنْ غَيْرِهِ وَعَلَّلَهُ بَعْضُ الْمَشَايِخِ بِغَلَبَةِ الِاسْتِرْخَاءِ وَرُدَّ بِأَنَّ الْمَجْنُونَ قَدْ يَكُونُ أَقْوَى مِنْ الصَّحِيحِ فَالْأَوْلَى مَا قُلْنَاهُ كَذَا فِي الْعِنَايَةِ

Tahtawi, Bāb Salatul Mareedh 436

“والجنون مثله” اعلم أن الأعذار ثلاثة ممتد جدا كالصبا يسقط به جميع العبادات وقاصر جدا كالنوم فلا يسقط به شيء ومتردد بينهما وهو الإغماء فإذا امتد ألحق بالممتد جدا وإلا ألحق بالقاصر جدا ذكر الحدادي ولا يعتبر الإغماء في الصوم والزكاة لأنه يندر وجوده سنة أو شهرا بخلاف الجنون فإنه يمتد فاعتبر في سقوط العبادات والله سبحانه وتعالى أعلم وأستغفر الله العظيم.

Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Salāh, Bāb Salatul Mareedh, p. 573 vol 2

(قَوْلُهُ وَمَنْ جُنَّ أَوْ أُغْمِيَ عَلَيْهِ) الْجُنُونُ آفَةٌ تَسْلُبُ الْعَقْلَ وَالْإِغْمَاءُ آفَةٌ تَسْتُرُهُ

Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Salāh, Bāb Salatul Mareedh, p. 582 vol 2

جَعَلَ الْجُنُونَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ مَرَاتِبَ قَاصِرًا وَهُوَ مَا لَا يَزِيدُ عَلَى يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ وَكَامِلًا غَيْرَ مُطْبِقٍ وَهُوَ مَا يَزِيدُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَكِنَّهُ قَدْ يَزُولُ وَكَامِلًا مُطْبِقًا وَهُوَ مَا يَزِيدُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ وَلَا يَزُولُ. وَالْحَاصِلُ لِصَاحِبِ الدُّرَرِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ التَّقْسِيمِ هُوَ التَّوْفِيقُ بَيْنَ كَلَامِهِمْ فَإِنَّهُ نَقَلَ عَنْ تَلْخِيصِ الْجَامِعِ عَدَمَ الْوُجُوبِ بِالسَّمَاعِ مِنْ الْمَجْنُونِ. وَعَنْ الْخَانِيَّةِ الْوُجُوبَ وَعَنْ النَّوَادِرِ أَنَّهُ إذَا قَصُرَ فَكَانَ يَوْمًا وَلَيْلَةً أَوْ أَقَلَّ يَلْزَمُهُ السُّجُودُ تَلَاهَا أَوْ سَمِعَهَا أَيْ وَإِذَا وَجَبَتْ عَلَيْهِ تَجِبُ عَلَى مَنْ سَمِعَهَا مِنْهُ بِالْأَوْلَى ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ فِي الدُّرَرِ أَنَّ الْقَاصِرَ يَجِبُ السُّجُودُ بِتِلَاوَتِهِ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى مَنْ سَمِعَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ مَا فِي النَّوَادِرِ وَالْكَامِلِ الْغَيْرُ الْمُطْبِقِ لَا يَجِبُ عَلَيْهِ بِتِلَاوَتِهِ بَلْ عَلَى سَامِعِهِ وَهُوَ مَا فِي الْخَانِيَّةِ وَالْمُطْبِقُ لَا يَجِبُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَا عَلَى سَامِعِهِ وَهُوَ مَا فِي التَّلْخِيصِ وَقَدْ جَرَى الشَّارِحُ عَلَى هَذَا التَّقْسِيمِ وَالتَّوْفِيقِ

 

[3] Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Salāh, Bāb Salatul Mareedh, p. 571 vol 2

(وَلَوْ اشْتَبَهَ عَلَى مَرِيضٍ أَعْدَادُ الرَّكَعَاتِ وَالسَّجَدَاتِ لِنُعَاسٍ يَلْحَقُهُ لَا يَلْزَمُهُ الْأَدَاءُ) وَلَوْ أَدَّاهَا بِتَلْقِينِ غَيْرِهِ يَنْبَغِي أَنْ يَجْزِيَهُ كَذَا فِي الْقُنْيَةِ

(قَوْلُهُ وَلَوْ اشْتَبَهَ عَلَى مَرِيضٍ إلَخْ) أَيْ بِأَنْ وَصَلَ إلَى حَالٍ لَا يُمْكِنُهُ ضَبْطُ ذَلِكَ، وَلَيْسَ الْمُرَادُ مُجَرَّدَ الشَّكِّ وَالِاشْتِبَاهِ لِأَنَّ ذَلِكَ يَحْصُلُ لِلصَّحِيحِ (قَوْلُهُ يَنْبَغِي أَنْ يَجْزِيَهُ) قَدْ يُقَالُ إنَّهُ تَعْلِيمٌ وَتَعَلُّمٌ وَهُوَ مُفْسِدٌ كَمَا إذَا قَرَأَ مِنْ الْمُصْحَفِ أَوْعَلَّمَهُ إنْسَانٌ الْقِرَاءَةَ وَهُوَ فِي الصَّلَاةِ ط. قُلْت: وَقَدْ يُقَالُ إنَّهُ لَيْسَ بِتَعْلِيمٍ وَتَعَلُّمٍ بَلْ هُوَ تَذْكِيرٌ أَوْ إعْلَامٌ فَهُوَ كَإِعْلَامِ الْمُبَلِّغِ بِانْتِقَالَاتِ الْإِمَامِ فَتَأَمَّلْ.