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Istijari Prayer

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Istījārī prayer or al-ṣalāt al-istījārīyya (Arabic: الصَّلاة الإستیجاریة) is a prayer said by a muslim on behalf of another muslim in exchange for an amount of money. Istijari prayers can be obligatory, such as the qada' of daily prayers of the deceased, and can be mustahab, such as the ziyara prayer. The person who undertakes an istijari prayer is called "ajir" (hired). The majority of Shiite jurists maintain that istijari prayers are only permissible on behalf of deceased persons.

Definition

An istijari prayer is an obligatory or mustahab prayer said on behalf of someone else in exchange for money. If someone says prayer on behalf of another person without receiving money, his prayer will be called "niyabati prayer" (subrogative prayer). In the jurisprudential literature, the person who says prayers on behalf of another person is called "ajir" or "na'ib" (surrogate), and the person on whose behalf the prayer is said is called "manub 'anh" (the surrogated).

Jurisprudential Ruling

Jurists have discussed the istijari prayer and its rulings under the sections of tahara (cleanliness), prayer, khums, and ijara.

According to the Shiite jurisprudence, an istijari prayer on behalf of a living person is not valid. However, it is said that Ibn al-Mutawwaj held that a mustahab istijari prayer performed on behalf of a living person is valid.

All Shiite jurists believed that performing obligatory and mustahab prayers on behalf of a deceased person without receiving money, and performing mustahab prayers on behalf of a deceased person in exchange for money are valid. But there is a disagreement among them as to the validity of performing obligatory prayers on behalf of a deceased person in exchange for money. It is claimed that the majority of scholars permit an istijari prayer on behalf of deceased people.

Related Rulings

  • In an istijari prayer, it is obligatory to observe the order between noon, afternoon, evening and 'isha' prayers.
  • An istijari prayer should be done with mustahab actions that are usually practiced while saying prayers.
  • In an istijari prayer, one should intend saying the prayer on behalf of a particular person, even if one does not know his or her name.

References