Is My Prayer Accepted If It Doesn’t Stop Me from Sinning?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Is my prayer not accepted if I continue to sin because salah is supposed to stop you from sinning, and if so, would I need to do qada of those salahs


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

The verse in reference has been discussed in great detail by the great scholars of Quranic exegesis:

Allah Most High says, “Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, (genuine) prayer should deter (one) from indecency and wickedness. The remembrance of Allah is (an) even greater (deterrent). And Allah (fully) knows what you (all) do.” [Quran, 29:45]

Four Main Interpretations Are as Follows:

  • Performing the five daily prayers is an expiation for the sins that transpired between them. [Qurtubi, al-Jami li Ahkam al-Quran]
    The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “What do you think about a river in front of one of your doors in which he bathes five times a day – would any filth remain on them?” They replied, “No filth would remain on them.” He said, “That is the likeness of the five daily prayers — Allah erases sins by them.” [Tirmidhi]
  • Ibn ‘Umar (Allah bless him) said, “The meaning of prayer in the above verse is the Quran that is recited in the prayer. The Quran that is recited in the prayer forbids indecency, wickedness, fornication, and all sins.” [Qurtubi, al-Jami li Ahkam al-Quran]
  • While one is in the prayer, they do not commit indecency or wickedness. I.e., Prayer prevents these things as long as you are engaged in it. [Ibid.]
  • The prayer will eventually deter the person from sins. Anas bin Malik (Allah be pleased with him) said, “There was a young man from the Helpers who would pray with the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) and at the same time would not leave any act of indecency or theft except that he committed it. This was mentioned to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), who said, “Indeed, the prayer will eventually deter him (from sin). It wasn’t long after that he repented and became upright.” The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Did I not tell you.” [Ibid.]

Related: Would Sins Prevent the Acceptance of Deeds?

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.