A child dying after swallowing a plastic toy his mother gave him
Q: One day, I put my seven months old boy on the floor and gave him a toy to play with. I then left the room to perform one of my household duties; but when I returned I found him
dead with the toy
wrapped around his face, nose and mouth. I shook him, but he was already dead. Later on, I asked about the ruling on this, and was told that I have to offer Sawm (fast). Since I am unable to fast, I ask Allah that you send me a convincing reply, May Allah preserve you!
This woman was responsible for the death of this seven month old child, as she was negligent by giving the child the plastic toy, leaving the room, and allowing him to play with it alone. This resulted in the toy becoming wrapped around the child's face, nose, and mouth which lead to its suffocation. She should have protected him, and taken the necessary precautions by not giving him this toy because he was too young to safely play with it or handle it. Accordingly, this woman must offer Kaffarah (expiation), which in this case is to free (Part No. 21; Page No. 398) a believing bondsman, and if she finds none, she must fast for two consecutive months, and nothing other than this will absolve her. In addition to this, she is not to be excused from Sawm, for she will still be responsible for it. If she is able to offer it, then she must, and if she is unable to offer it during her lifetime, it is commendable that after her death, any of her relatives fasts on her behalf. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
If a person dies before making up for their obligatory fast, their heirs must fast on their behalf.
Furthermore, this woman should offer sincere Tawbah (repentance) and never commit such a mistake in the future.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.