Application To Record Number Of Raka’aat

Question

 I made a web-app for the elderly.

 

Backstory: my Nani used to be very punctual with her prayers but suddenly she stopped praying. My mom promptly noticed this change and asked her why she wasn’t praying and she said that it’s because she forgets the ayat, or what to say, or even the rakat. So my mom would sit with her and basically pray the whole namaz with her. Now years later my mom asked me to make an app that could assist the elderly with their namaz. So I made this web-app. If you guys know anyone that’s at an age where they’re starting to forget things and you think this could benefit them. Just let them know about it and let me get that sawab.

Answer

First and foremost, old age and weakness is part of the system of this world; old age comes with sicknesses and difficulties.  Allah Ta’ālā says in the Holy Quraan:

اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ ضَعْفٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنْ بَعْدِ ضَعْفٍ قُوَّةً ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنْ بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ ضَعْفًا وَشَيْبَةً يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْقَدِيرُ

Translation: Allah ﷻ is the One who created you in a state of weakness, and then He created strength after weakness, then created weakness and old age after strength. He creates what He wills, and He is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful. Al-Quran, 30:54 

Dementia refers to a group of symptoms caused by other conditions. Dementia causes a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to understand and remember, that is great enough to affect a person’s daily functioning. It happens when the parts of the brain used for learning, memory, decision making, and language are damaged or diseased.

Amnesia is a deficit in memory caused by brain damage or disease, but it can also be caused temporarily by the use of various sedatives and hypnotic drugs. The memory can be either wholly or partially lost due to the extent of damage that was caused. 

In light of the above definition, we understand dementia and amnesia to be mental disorders. They will fall under the category of (المعتوه\المجنون) i.e. insane or abnormal. According to Shari’ah such a person is excused from abiding by the Commands of Allah Ta’ala.

عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ رُفِعَ الْقَلَمُ عَنْ ثَلاَثَةٍ عَنِ النَّائِمِ حَتَّى يَسْتَيْقِظَ وَعَنِ الصَّبِيِّ حَتَّى يَحْتَلِمَ وَعَنِ الْمَجْنُونِ حَتَّى يَعْقِلَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ رَوَاهُ ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ عَنْ عَلِيٍّ رضى الله عنه عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم زَادَ فِيهِ ‏”‏ وَالْخَرِفِ ‏”

 

Translation: Hadhrat Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeping person until he awakes, a child until he reaches puberty, and an insane person until he comes to his senses … (another narration adds): “and an old man who is feeble-minded.”(Abu Dawud 4403)

In conclusion: If a person’s dementia/amnesia is of such a severe nature, that he/she is incapable of understanding what he/she is doing to such an extent that he/she forgets the method of performing Salaah – and this condition prevails for 24 hours, then he/she will be exempted from performing Salaah as Salaah will not be Fardh upon him/her. Hence, there will be no need for such a person to use such an App.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

 http://www.webmd.com/brain/types-dementia#1

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dementia-guide/Pages/about-dementia.aspx 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnesia 

(والجنون) هو اختلاف القوة التي بها إدراك الكليات تلويح، وبه علم تعريف العقل أنه القوة المذكورة، ومعدنه القلب وشعاعه في الدماغ درر (قوله تلويح) قال في البحر: وفي التلويح: الجنون اختلال القوة المميزة بين الأشياء الحسنة والقبيحة المدركة للعواقب انتهى. والأخصر اختلال القوة التي بها إدراك الكليات

)ج9 ص5 – الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين)

 قال: لأن الصلاة لا تجب على الصغير ولا على المعتوه المجنون، فكذلك لم تجب عليهما الزكاة.

(ج2 ص56  – كتاب الأصل)

(قوله أو (معتوه)) هو الناقص العقل، وقيل المدهوش من غير جنون كذا في المغرب، وقد جعلوه في حكم الصبي

(ج1 ص578 – رد المحتار دار الفكر)

(زاد فيه: والخرف) بفتح معجمة، وكسر راء من الخرف, وهو فساد العقل من الكبر، وهو غير المجنون, فإن المجنون من الأمراض السوداوية يقبل العلاج، والخرف بخلاف ذلك, ولهذا لم يقل في الحديث: حتى يعقل؛ لأن الغالب أنه لا يبرأ منه إلى الموت.

(ج12 ص477 –  بذل المجهود في حل سنن أبي داود)

فضرب منها كسب لعاقل مكلف، والضرب الثاني كسب لغير ‌عاقل، فالعاقل منهم الملائكة والجن والبالغون من الإنس غير المنتقصين، والذي ليس بعاقل منهم البهائم والأطفال والمنتقصون من البله والمجانين، وأفعال هؤلاء باتفاق غير داخله تحت التكليف لخروجهم عن العقل والتمييز

(ج1 ص236 – التقريب والإرشاد)

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