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I Wasn’t Praying on Time. Were My Good Deeds Valid? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have fed poor people for the expiation of an oath at a time in which I did not pray properly. Was my expiation accepted?

I am basing my doubt upon the Hadith that states that a person deeds are not accepted if he missed the Asr prayer.

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Shukran for your question.

The apparent meaning of the hadith you quoted was not understood by our scholars. In his Fath al-Bari, ibn Hajar mentioned several interpretations of this narration. I mention a few here:

ONE: The one who omits the prayer of Asr, believing it not to be compulsory. Such a person is considered a disbeliever and his actions are thus not accepted.

TWO: The one who omits Asr resembles those people whose actions will not be accepted, or it is close that he deeds will not be accepted.

THREE: The one who omits Asr will not receive the full reward for his actions.

The point her being that the scholars or the vast majority of scholars, did not consider the actions of one who omits Asr as invalid. The hadith merely emphasizes the importance of the Asr prayer specifically. Consequently, your kaffarah is valid and you should not entertain doubts in this regard.

And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.