Can I Pray Qadha If I Accidentally Miss a Prayer?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Salman Younas

Question

I am a student. My problem is related to prayer. So that I don’t miss a blessing due to not being able to find a place in the markets, I avoid leaving the house as much as possible, but at times I have to. My parents are very nice but not regular about prayer and don’t pay heed to miss a prayer due to being out of the house. Recently I learned that there is no qadha unless one was asleep or forgot about the prayer, and shopping also doesn’t fall into the conditions to join the prayer. But my problem is that my parents will not allow me to separate from them to find a place to pray, and even if they do, it is not safe for me to go alone as I am still relatively young and a woman. Also, they probably won’t take me to a place reserved for prayer like a mall, but the issue is that even if they did, it’s only for men. And in the mall, it’s not that difficult, but in bazaars, it’s impossible to find a place for a woman to pray. Most mosques in my country are only for men and close as soon as the men have prayed.

I question if, in this scenario, I accidentally and unintentionally miss a prayer if I cannot find a place on time and the time runs out, can I pray qadha for it? Or can I join the prayers or pray in the vehicle as when you travel to the bazaar, you are traveling? If not, then guide me as to what I should do.

Answer

Performing prayer within its time is an obligation. It is not permitted to delay prayer beyond its time without a valid excuse, such as travel, in which case one may combine Dhuhr/Asr and Maghrib/Isha, according to most schools. Without a good reason, you must ensure that you pray within the time. Otherwise, you would be required to make it up later.

Admittedly, this cannot be easy sometimes, such as in the case you describe. However, there are ways you can avoid being put in a situation where you may end up missing prayer. You can, for example, plan to go in-between prayer times. Sometimes, you will have to build up the confidence to simply ask a shop owner whether they have some space where you may pray. In a Muslim country, most people would not refuse such a request.

There is an opinion in the Shafi’i school that permits combining Dhuhr/Asr and Maghrib/Isha without an excuse but with the condition that this it not to be made a habit. This is not the relied-upon view in the school, but it is followable (as confirmed by Shaykh Salim al-Khatib). If you are sure, you will not be able to find a place to pray while out, you should combine prayers before departing to the market. But you should try to find a way to pray within the actual times and not make combining a habit.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Born and raised in New York, Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studied Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is now in his final year of his PhD at Oxford University, looking at the early evolution of the Hanafi madhab.
His teachers include: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Salah Abu’l Hajj, Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Snobar, Shaykh Ali Hani, Shaykh Hamza Bakri, Ustadh Rajab Harun and others.
UstadSalman’s’sUstadSalman’s’sUstadSalman’s’sUstadSalman’s’sUstadSalman’s’sUstadSalman’s’sUstadSalman’s’sUstadSalman’s’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in the UK with his wife.