Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: A hadith states that if one’s obligatory prayers are lacking, the Lord will say: “Look and see whether My slave has any voluntary prayers which may be used to make up what is lacking in his obligatory prayers.” Then all his deeds will be examined and dealt with in the same way.’” What is meant by lacking? Does this refutes the opinion that missing just one salat makes you a kafir? I do pray but I don’t pray on time. Every day when Isha starts I make all give prayers together. Am I a kafir?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.
No, you are not a disbeliever for missing your prayers.
If you are falling short in your prayers, ask Allah for assistance. You should take the means to be able to pray within the time. Allah Most High says, ‘Worship at fixed times has been enjoined on the believers.’ [4:103]
The Narration (hadith)
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The first thing for which a person will be brought to account for on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayer. If it is sound, he will be successful, and if it is lacking in any way, he will be damned. If his obligatory prayers are lacking, the Lord will say: “Look and see whether My slave has any voluntary prayers which may be used to make up what is lacking in his obligatory prayers.” Then all his deeds will be examined and dealt with in the same way.’” [Tirmidhi]
Abadi says in his `Awn al-Ma`bud Sharh Sunan Abi Dawud in reference to a corroborating narration, what is meant by ‘lacking’ is that they were deficient. He quotes `Iraqi stating that their deficiency could be by way of the absence of reverence, supplications and other sunna actions of the prayer. However, it could also be the absence of the prayers themselves.
Seeking Allah’s Assistance
If you are finding it difficult to pray each prayer within its time, you should pray two cycles (rak`ats) and make a supplication for Allah to open up a way for you.
Your prayer should be a means of showing gratitude to Allah for the countless blessings he has bestowed upon you. Bring it to life with a living heart, eager to fulfil what has been made incumbent upon you. Think of the prayer as a relief rather than a burden and strive to complete it as best you can.
Most workplaces in our times understand the religious commitments of its employees. If you do not have a place to pray at work, approach your manager explaining your circumstance and make an intention of benefitting all of the Muslims in your workplace.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Be avid for what benefits you, seek the assistance of Allah and do not deem yourself incapable.’ [Muslim]
The prayer is one of the first things that each person will be asked about on the final day. May Allah give us all the divine success (tawfiq) to keep it in check.
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani