What Is the Ruling of Praying Missed Prayers? How Do I Correctly Make Up Missed Prayers?

Hanafi Fiqh

 Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

I had 5 qadha prayers. Isha, fajr, zuhr, asr, maghrib. I prayed qadha isha with current isha as it is quite long and told myself I’d pray the rest tomorrow because I got tired. Whilst praying the current fajr I remembered the qadha fajr and I read that if you remember qadha whilst praying then your prayer becomes nafl. But dismissed the thought as it was nearly sunrise and continued praying and told myself I’ll pray the 4 other qadha after sunrise.

Is this ok? Is it permissible to pray qadha at any time? If not, what is the ruling of my current prayers?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Performing Prayers in Sequence

It is important to know that just as performing the five obligatory prayers is obligatory and it is also obligatory to perform them in sequence. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

This applies to the sequence between the current obligatory prayers as well as the sequence between the missed prayers and the current prayers. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Three Exceptions

The obligation of praying in sequence falls off due to three considerations:

  • If the recommended time of the current prayer is about to go out
  • If one forgot that they had missed prayers to make up
  • If the amount of missed prayers reaches six (excluding witr prayer, even though witr prayer must be prayed in sequence as well) [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Thus in the case that you mentioned-if you never missed the amount of six obligatory prayers in the past, then you must pray your prayers, both missed and current, in sequence.

You should have made up the five missed prayers in sequence prior to praying any current prayer.

Repeating Prayers Prayed Out of Sequence

It is necessary to make up the five prayers that you missed, as well any other obligatory or necessary prayer that was prayed (see below for exceptions to this) prior to all five missed prayers being made up. This is because all of those prayers were prayed out of sequence and are only considered voluntary prayers (nafl), as you mentioned. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Note that if any obligatory or necessary prayers, as mentioned above, were prayed in such a state that you forgot that you had missed prayers to make up or that the recommended time was constricted thus you prayed the current obligatory prayer prior to the missed prayers, those specific prayers are valid and are excluded from the above ruling. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Hope this helps
Allahu A‘lam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then 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 stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest 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 Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.