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Collective kaffara

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Collective kaffara refers to freeing a slave, fasting for sixty days, and feeding sixty poor people altogether, which becomes obligatory due to breaking the fast by committing a forbidden act or intentional murder. Of course, some jurists consider it a precaution to perform the collective kaffara in breaking the fast with a forbidden act.

In the collective kaffara, thirty-one days of fasting must be consecutive, and in feeding the poor people, at least one mudd of food (750 grams of wheat, barley or the like) must be offered to each poor person. According to the fatwas of the jurists, if it is not possible to perform three kaffaras together, the person should do whichever he is capable of, and if he is not capable of doing any of them, he should ask forgiveness from God.

Meaning

Collective kaffara is performing several kaffaras altogether, which becomes obligatory due to committing some forbidden acts, and it includes freeing a slave, fasting for sixty days, and feeding sixty poor people.

Obligation

Collective kaffara becomes obligatory in cases such as breaking the fast by a forbidden act or intentional murder:

Breaking the fast by a forbidden act

According to the fatwas of some jurists, breaking the fast by committing a forbidden act such as eating najasa, adultery, masturbation, etc., in addition to the obligation of fasting, entails the obligation of collective kaffara; whether the forbidden action is forbidden by itself or it is forbidden for a reason such as usurpation, becoming najis or eating harmful food. According to a hadith narrated from Imam al-Rida (a), breaking the fast with a forbidden action entails collective kaffara. Some people, based on jurisprudential rules and some other narrations, have considered only one kaffara required when breaking the fast with a forbidden action. Ayatollah Khamenei and Ayatollah Sistani consider the collective kaffara recommended based on precaution. Some have ruled with obligatory precaution in this matter.

According to the fatwas of some marja’s, the collective kaffara for breaking the fast with a forbidden action is not specific to the fast of the month of Ramadan and includes other obligatory fasts. Some have also included swallowing the phlegm of the head and the chest in the mentioned ruling. Also, swallowing saliva with blood in it, according to the fatwas of some jurists, will entail collective kaffara, or according to the obligatory precaution, the three types of kaffara must be performed.

According to the fatwas of some marja’s, attributing a lie to God or to the Prophet (s) while fasting entails kaffara; however, there are differences of opinion in this regard.

Deliberate Murder

The deliberate murder of a Muslim entails collective kaffara. This ruling is mentioned in the hadiths. Also, according to the narrations, one of the conditions for acceptance of the repentance of a murderer is offering the collective kaffara.

Some jurists believe that collective kaffara is obligatory if the person has committed murder himself, and if he has been involved in the murder through a mediator or he has ordered the murder, no kaffara is obligatory on him.

The kaffara for murder is obligatory in the murder of a Muslim woman, a Muslim man, free or slave, wise or insane, an adult or a child. This ruling also applies to an unborn child having soul.

There is a disagreement over the obligation of collective kaffara for an insane person or a child who commits murder. Some have written that most jurists believe that the cost of feeding the poor and freeing slaves should be deducted from their property and that they should fast after their recovery and maturity.

Most jurists believe that after retribution, the cost of feeding the poor and fasting is removed from the property of the murderer. Also, if the murderer is killed before offering the kaffara, the cost of kaffara will be deducted from his property. If the murderer is not included in the ruling of retribution, such as in the murder of a child by his father, the collective kaffara is obligatory upon him.

If several people kill someone together, the collective kaffara is obligatory upon each of them. In some narrations, it is stated that if a person commits murder in prohibited months, he should fast in the same months for offering kaffara.

Rulings

Some of the rulings of collective kaffara are as below:

  • In sixty days of fasting, at least thirty-one days should be consecutive.
  • In feeding each poor person, at least one mudd of food should be offered (750 grams of wheat, barley or the like). Of course, according to al-Allama al-Majlisi, there is a difference of opinion among jurists whether one or two mudds of food should be offered.
  • If it is not possible to perform the three kaffaras together, the person should do whichever he can, and if he is not capable to perform any of them, he should ask forgiveness from God.


References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from کفاره جمع in Farsi WikiShia.