Can One Be Forgiven for Not Praying Properly in the Past?

Question: Can one be forgiven and still be able to go to paradise if they started praying properly recently but hasn’t prayed properly, if at all, in the past 5 years? Also, even if they fasted during Ramadan, will their fasts be counted if they didn’t pray. If not, what can they do to make it up?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Know that the mercy of Allah is open to all who sincerely repent. Sincere repentance is achieved by fulfilling the following conditions:

(1) Sincerely regretting one’s actions
(2) Desisting from the sin (in your case not missing any more prayers)
(3) Having a strong resolve to never repeat the sin

[Nawawi, Riyadh al-Salihin]

The fasts that you have done are still valid regardless of whether you were praying or not. They are two distinct obligations.

Seeking Knowledge

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim” [Ibn Majah].

It is obligatory that you seek knowledge on how to perform the prayer properly.

Consider the StepsCertificate program here at SeekersGuidance.org

Hope this helps
And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.