Are Acts of Worship Valid If Not Performed in a State of Purity?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: [1] Is the salaat or other ibadat (e.g. fasting, zikr) invalidated if offered by a person who thought he was in a state wudu but found out later that he did not have wudu when he performed that act of worship? If invalid, how are such acts of worship made up?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

Being in a state of ritual purity (wudu) is a condition for the validity of the prayer. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; `Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

“O believers, when you stand up to pray wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and your feet up to the ankles. If you are defiled, purify yourselves; but if you are sick or on a journey, or if any of you comes from the privy, or you have touched women, and you can find no water, then have recourse to wholesome dust and wipe your faces and your hands with it. God does not desire to make any impediment for you; but He desires to purify you, and that He may complete His blessing upon you; haply you will be thankful.” [5:6]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah does not accept a prayer without purification.” [Muslim]

Nawawi notes that this narration is explicit in stating the obligation of purity for the validity of prayer. He continues that the umma has concurred that purification is a condition for the validity of the prayer. [Nawawi, Sharh Muslim]

[1] However, the validity of one’s voluntary acts of worship such as recitation, fasting, remembering Allah (dhikr), and other such works are not dependent upon being in a state of ritual purity (wudu). Thus, they would be considered valid and one will get the full reward, insha’Allah.

[2] If one is absolutely certain that one prayed the aforementioned prayers whilst one was not in a state of ritual purity (wudu), one would need to make these up. One would do this by making a reasoned, safe estimate of the number of prayers one prayed in such a manner and then commit to praying them, consistently, until one lifts them from one’s dues.

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Make Up Prayers That Don’t Need to Be Made Up?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is there anything disliked or impermissible about making up obligatory prayers that it would not be mandatory for me to make up?

Explanation: I was considering praying a few extra prayers every day for a period of time such that I could eventually have prayed enough obligatory prayers for it to be counted as if I have been praying since birth. I cannot recall owing any prayers since the time it has become incumbent upon to me perform my five daily prayers, but this seems like a good thing to do.  Plus, in the interest of scrupulousness, this would compensate if I have ever missed a prayer in the past and have not yet made it up for some reason, or if any of my prayers in the past were deficient.

If there is nothing wrong in pursuing the aforementioned goal, am I allowed to combine intention in my prayers (i.e. intend to pray a past dhur along with the 4 rakats of sunnah after dhur, intend to pray a missed fajr with the 2 rakats of sunnah before fajr, etc.)? Or must I pray the compensatory prayers separately?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

May Allah reward you for your since intentions.

This would not be permissible and should not be done. This can be understood from the statements of `Umar and `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (Allah be well pleased with them), “After performing a prayer, the like of it is not performed.” [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf]

Our tradition has clearly defined rules relating to make-up prayers, as well as aspects of precaution and scrupulousness. One does not make-up prayers that he or she does not have to. Even if we take into account aspects of precaution and scrupulousness, all one does for this is estimate how many prayers would have to be made up due to past remissness and simply perform that amount.

There is really no need to go beyond this. It is not called upon in our tradition and nor is it the way of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Rather, if one considered it called upon, it may even be an act of innovation.

Rather than “making-up” prayers one does not need to, simply pray extra supererogatory prayers about which Allah said, “My slave draws nearer to Me through performing the supererogatory till I love him.” [Bukhari] Make this your intention and then strive to do as much as you can.


Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Making Up Prayers Missed Due to Being Unconscious

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Relating to make-up prayers for a person in a coma or state of unconsciousness, who then passes away.

Does the family of the person in this unconscious state need to keep track of all the missed prayers and then make-up for the prayers that were missed on their behalf after they die?

Or is it that in an unconscious state, they are unable to pray, and if they pass away in that state, then their prayer are not owing?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Imam Shurunbulali states: “If one loses consciousness or sanity for a duration of five obligatory (fard) prayers [or less], he must make them up upon recovery; if longer, he does not.” [Ascent to Felicity]

That is, the point at which one becomes absolved of having to make up any missed prayers is by the expiration of the time for the sixth missed prayer. [Maraqi ’l-Falah; Imdad al-Fattah]

Based on this ruling, if the person was unconscious for the duration of five prayers or less, the family should keep track of it as a debt owed. If the person regains consciousness, he would have to make them up. If he passes away without regaining consciousness, then for each missed obligatory prayer (including witr), 2.2 kg of wheat or its equivalent monetary value must be taken out of no more than one-third of his estate and given to the poor.

If, however, the coma lasted for six prayer times or longer, no debt is owed at all.

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Do You Have to Pray Make Up Prayers in Order?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu-‘alaykum, I pray this finds you in the best of iman and health,

Is it true that if one does not pray their witr, then Fajr salah will not be valid? And thus one has to read their witr before they pray their Fajr? If so what if one has a few witr qada salahs to do from the past which may have been missed – does that mean fajr salah will be invalid if they are not performed before one prays their fajr salah?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

According to the Hanafi school, if one has less than six prayers (salat) in one’s dues, it would be obligatory to maintain the order between them. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; `Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

On the other hand, if one has six, or more, prayers (for example: Fajr, Dhuhr, `Asr, Maghrib, `Isha and Fajr) in one’s dues, it would not be obligatory to maintain the order between them.

Practically, if there are less than six prayers between one’s missed prayer and one’s current prayer, it would be obligatory to maintain the order.

Therefore, having makeups (qada) of previously missed prayers in your dues (i.e. and more than six prayers have past) will not affect the validity of your current prayers.

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Questions Regarding Make-Up Prayers and Make-Up Fasts

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I started praying at age of 11. However i was still learning how to pray properly. I have decided to start reading make-up (qada’) salah for the previous years due to making possible mistakes during the past 9 years. I would like to know when is it permissible in terms of time to read qada’ prayers.

My 2nd question is regarding kaffarah (expiation). At age of 12 and 13 I broke a fast and I am in the state of kaffarah at the moment. My question is if one has sinned during this period and repents would his kaffarah be accepted and how should one behave during these 60 days.

: assalamu `alaykum

1. You do not have to make-up prayers due to “possible” mistakes. This is a mere misgiving (waswasa) that should be ignored. You should assume that your prayers were valid and sound for the past years unless you are absolutely certain to the contrary. It would be far-fetched to assume that your prayers were not valid as the requirements for a valid prayer in the Hanafi school are very hard not to fulfill.

With that said, you can make up prayers at any time except the following three: (a) when the sun is rising, (b) when the sun is at its zenith, meaning the mid-point in the sky right before the entry of Dhuhr, and (c) when the sun is setting, which the scholars define as when the rays of the sun do not overwhelm the eyes when looked at, until the entry of Maghrib. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

2. The validity of expiatory fasts (kaffara) is not effected by sins committed during their performance. Their validity is only effected by things that nullify the fast, such as eating, drinking, engaging in sexual intercourse, and the like. As long as one avoided aspects that nullifies the fast, one’s fast will be valid. [ibid]

As for how one should behave during these sixty days, the obvious answer that comes to mind is that one should behave the way he or she should everyday: avoiding sin, working towards fulfilling religious duties, seeking closeness to Allah, engaging in Allah’s remembrance, recitation of the Qur’an, good conduct with relatives and others, and so forth.

It is also specifically recommended to seek Allah’s forgiveness when performing expiatory fasts, as this expiation is only required due to one’s negligence of Allah’s command. One should ask Allah to overlook one’s faults, to accepts one’s acts of worship, and to safeguard one from falling into sin.


Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

If I Left Islam and Later Returned Do I Have to Make Up Missed Prayers During the Time I Left Islam?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I left Islam when I was a teenager but al hamduliLlah Allah guided me back to the deen in my 20s. Do I have to make up missed prayers during the time I left Islam?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Alhamdulillah that Allah guided you back to Islam. May Allah keep us and the entire ummah steadfast on the religion, amin.

The answer to your question is no, you do not have to make up those prayers missed during the time of apostasy. [Haskafi/Tumurtashi, Durr al-Mukhtar Sharh Tanwir al-Absar]

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

A Reader on Missed Prayers


Making Up Missed Prayers: A Point of Scholarly Consensus

Making Up Missed Prayers In Order?

Does a Convert Have to Make-Up Past Prayers?

Making Up Missed Prayers: I Believed but Did Not Utter the Testimony of Faith

Missed Prayers While Traveling: Does One Make Them Up Shortened?

Does One Have to Make up Missed Prayers in the Times of Similar Current Prayers?

Praying Sunna Prayers Outside of the Prayer Time?

Does a Shafi`i Who Switched to the Hanafi School Have to Make up Missed Witr Prayers?

Is It Permissible to Skip Non-Obligatory and Recommended Acts of the Prayer When One Has Many Make Up Prayers to Perform?

Should One Perform Sunna Prayers When One Has Many Makeup Prayers?

Can I Pray My Missed Witr Prayers as One Rakat Instead of Three?

Should One Perform Sunna and Nafl Prayers When One Has Many Makeup Prayers?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Can one pray salat at-tawbah, salat al-istikhara, salat al-hajah and other specific nafl prayers if one has qadas? If not, can one intend to pray the nafl prayer along with a qada prayer? For example, when one is praying a qada of Fajr after a fard Maghrib, can they intend it to also be part of the six rak`aat of salat al-awwabeen? If intending a qada along with salat al-istakhara would one simply read the dua of istikhara afterwards?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

It is permitted to pray the specific voluntary (nafl) prayers that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) encouraged even when one has makeup ( qada) prayers with one condition: that performing such prayers does not delay one’s schedule of makeup prayers.

Imam Tumurtashi (Allah have mercy on him) stated in his Tanwir al-Absar:

“It is permitted to delay making up missed prayers [Haskafi: even if they are initially immediately obligatory] for the excuse of providing for one’s dependants, and in one’s needs, according to the sounder opinion.”

Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explained:

“(His saying, ‘and in one’s needs’)… Means everything one needs for oneself in terms of attaining benefits and avoiding harm [f: such as seeking religious or worldly knowledge, visiting the righteous, one’s family members, or the sick, for example].

As for voluntary prayers, it is mentioned in al-Mudmarat that:

“Busying oneself with makeup prayers is more incumbent and more important than voluntary prayers, except for: the [f: confirmed and non-confirmed] sunnas prayers related to the obligatory prayers, Duha prayer, Tasbih prayer, and other prayers mentioned in hadiths.”

Such as the prayer for greeting the mosque ( tahiyyat al-masjid), the four rakats before Asr, and the six rakats [f: of the Awwabin prayer] after Maghrib.” [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar Sharh Tanwir al-Absar]

One should take note about how Muslims were in the past from this passage:

a) even the common people performed these sunna prayers;

b) in general, people lived their worldly lives around their religion (instead of squeezing in a little religion around their worldly life).

In our times, with weaker wills, difficult environments, and often years of prayers to make up or repeat:

a) what certainly should not be left (in normal situations) are one’s confirmed sunna prayers;

b) we should make a schedule of making up our missed prayers that is as much as we can commit to and reasonably expect to sustain;

c) with these, one should attempt to perform a little night prayer, though most of one’s night worship should be devoted to making up missed prayers;

d) other sunnas may be performed when there is a need for them (such as the prayer of seeking guidance ( istikhara) or if these do not interfere with making up one’s missed prayers at a reasonable rate.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Skip Non-Obligatory and Recommended Acts of the Prayer When One Has Many Make Up Prayers to Perform?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I read a fatwa from a scholar that mentioned several ways you could shorten your prayer by skipping some of the non-obligatory and recommended actions if you have many make up prayers to perform.  Are you familiar with this fatwa?  Is the method mentioned therein valid?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

In summary, the method outlined in the fatwa is valid.  However, it remains superior to perform confirmed sunnas during make up prayers.  Further details follow.

The Issues Mentioned in the Fatwa

1. One can miss Surah Fatiha in the last two rakats of a four-cycle prayer and in the last rakah of the maghrib prayer, and read Subhan Allah three times in the qiyam position instead.

2. Instead of reading the tasbihs three times in ruku and sujud, read them only once.

3. At the end of the prayer, instead of reading the full durood sharif, one can just read “Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin wa ala aalayhi” and do the salaam.

4. In the witr prayer, instead of reading dua-e-qunoot, one can read “rabbighfirli” again three times.

It appears from how scholars deal with make ups that there are two approaches:

(a) to finish them as soon as possible, taking all valid shortcuts, even if it means leaving sunna acts within;

(b) to pray them quickly, but without haste and without leaving any confirmed sunnas.

Approach (b) rests on the idea that the makeup prayer (qada’) is obligatory by that which the current performance (ada’) was obligatory, the only difference being that it was delayed (generally sinfully) beyond its appointed time. As such, the makeup too is due for acceptance or rejection from Allah, and should therefore be performed in a way pleasing to him, though quickly, in order to clear one’s debts.

The Preferred Position

The position of my teachers, including Allama Adib Kallas (Allah preserve him) of Damascus, is that one should still perform the confirmed sunna actions within the prayer–as they remain confirmed sunna; and one’s prayer is still up for judgment, and these sunnas are means for one’s make up prayers to be acceptable and pleasing to Allah Most High.

Shaykh Adib also emphasized that if one repents from one’s non-performance or invalid performance, and then has a strong resolve, and a systematic, consistent makeup schedule one sticks to, then even if one dies, Allah will forgive one for any remaining makeups. [This is different from one who does not resolve to do this, or does not consistently make up their prayers.] There is a difference between the rights of Allah and the rights of His creation, for Allah is free of all need, while the latter are needy. As such, Allah has promised to forgive truly repentant slave, whereas we have no such assurances about that which is due to others.

A Few Key Points

1) One should note that Imam Kamal ibn al-Humam and other great Hanafi scholars considered the Fatiha to be wajib even in the final rak`as. Allama al-Maydani, author of the Lubab, notes this too, and it is certainly more precautionary, even in makeups, given that other schools deem it obligatory (fard). However, the transmitted position (dhahir al-riwaya) from our Imam (Allah be pleased with him) is that both reciting the Fatiha and doing three tasbihs are a confirmed sunna in the final rak`as, though the former has more reward. Shaykh Adib al-Kallas of Damascus, and other Hanafi fuqaha’ I have asked, emphasized that it is best to make up one’s prayer in a way that is unquestionably sound, and said it is therefore better to recite the Fatiha when making up prayers too.

2) Ibn Abidin concludes in his Hashiya, after presenting the proofs and positions on the issue, that according to the principles of the Hanafi school, it would appear that reciting the tasbihs three times would be a wajib; however, the transmitted position of our Imam and the school’s scholars is that it is a confirmed sunna.

3) A reminder: We should not forget that we are not to leave our confirmed sunna prayers (2 before fajr, 4 before Zuhr and 2 after, 2 after both Maghrib and after Isha), even when making up prayers. Leaving a confirmed sunna even once without excuse is blameworthy and deserves reproach (from Allah), while leaving it repeatedly or making it a habit to leave it is sinful, for it is considered turning away from the Sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), who said, “Whoever turns away from my Sunna is not of me.”


Faraz Rabbani

Does a Convert Have to Make-Up Past Prayers?

Answered by Ustadha Umm Ihsan

Question: Is it necessary to make up missed prayers of all the years for a new convert?

Answer: Upon converting to Islam, all previous sins are forgiven, alhamduLlilah. Additionally, one does not have to makeup any prayers or fasts missed for the duration that one was non-Muslim. The Sacred Law rulings related to worship only apply to Muslims.

After one converted to Islam, if one subsequently missed any obligatory fasts or obligatory prayers, then one is obliged to make them up.

Please see this related link:

Making Up Missed Prayers: A Point of Scholarly Consensus

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Umm Ihsan is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.