Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
For years I was unaware that you must perform ghusl after emitting sperm. However, in the Hanafi school, I was told your ghusl is valid without an intention, and I know I made ghusl many times within these years and also had normal baths and showers, which consisted of washing the entire body and rinsing the mouth and nose.
Do I need to make up prayers, and if so, how do I know which ones, as some were valid after showers, for example, but some were not?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
You said you performed a necessary bath (ghusl) by rinsing the mouth and nose. Therefore, it was a valid bath. However, you mention you were unaware of performing a necessary bath for several years; the question is, did you perform any prayers after puberty without a bath? You will have to rejig your memory and estimate the possible prayers you performed without a bath, or if you did not pray at all, in that case, you will estimate your makeup (qada) prayers.
It is obligatory to make up missed prayers from the past even though you have forgotten exactly when you missed them. When making them up, you intend to make up the earlier Zuhr prayer that is still due to you, for example. By doing this for each make-up prayer, your intention will be valid. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]
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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.
He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.
He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.
He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.