Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Do I need to make up all my prayers in those months if I was in a state of janaba for months without realizing it?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you’re well insha’Allah. Thank you for your question.

One of the conditions of prayer is being in a state of purity. Any prayers performed without a valid purification would not be valid and so must be made up.

Purification

If one is in a state of minor ritual impurity, one must perform a valid wudu for the prayer to be valid.

If one was in a state of major ritual impurity (janaba) one must have performed a valid purificatory ghusl (ritual bath) for the prayer to be valid.

Ghusl

In the Shafi school, for a purificatory bath to be valid the following conditions must be fulfilled:

1. An intention is made when bathing, such as ‘I intend lifting major ritual impurity’ or ‘I intend a ghusl from janaba’ or other similar wording.

2. That water reaches the entire body, meaning all the skin and hair on the body. It also includes the beginning of the inside of the ear canal.

3. That one does not do anything during the ghusl that would normally nullify wudu.

Make-up Prayers

Given that the prayers that you need make-up are only a few months’ worth, then it would be best to adhere to the Shafi’i ruling and make those prayers up.

In regards estimating how many prayers, then evaluate how many months you may have prayed without a valid ghusl, and then add a couple of or a few weeks extra until you feel that you have covered the time period with certainty.

Make a practical timetable for making up the prayers regularly. In the Shafi’ school one leaves all current voluntary and sunna prayers until one has made up all previous obligatory prayers.

[Tuhfa al Muhtaj, Bushra al Karim]

Please also refer to these related answers:

Should I Make up Prayers Missed Because of Religious Ignorance?

Make up Prayer Archives

Learning

I also highly recommend studying fiqh, which will teach you the rulings relating to worship and other subjects. If you can find reliable classes near you, then enrol. If not, then consider taking one of our Shafi’i fiqh course online here.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

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