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.

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

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: Does one pray missed prayers during a state of traveler in full if making them up while resident?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

No, prayers missed while one was a traveler are made up as they were missed, namely shortened. Therefore, a Dhuhr prayer, for example, missed while a traveler is made up as two cycles even when one is making the prayer up as a resident.

This is based on the fact that:

a. Performing prayers shortened is necessary (wajib) when one is a traveler, and
b. Missed prayers are made up as they were obligated on an individual.

Since the obligation relating to the Dhuhr, `Asr, and `Isha prayers is to pray them shortened in a state of travel, one will make these prayers up as they were obligatoed on one. This is regardless of whether one is a traveler or a resident when making up such a prayer.

[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Fatawa Hindiyya]


Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: If I was a Shafi`i and then became Hanafi, do I need to make-up witr prayers that I prayed as one cycle (rak`at)? Can I follow the Shafi`i position on leaving the sunna prayers when obligated to perform make-up prayers, and if yes then do I have to follow the Shafi`i school in rules of ritual purity (tahara)?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

There is a legal principle that, “An ijtihad is not invalidated by another.” [Kasani, Bada i` al-Sana`i; Abd al-Aziz al-Bukhari, Kashf al-Asrar; and almost every major Hanafi fiqh work, with similar wordings]

From this principle, a derived ancillary principle is that, “Following a valid ijtihad in the past does not need to be rectified by one s following different ijtihad later on.”

As such, if the person prayed 1-rakat witr as a Shafi`i, or even omitted praying it, no makeup would be necessary if one later became a Hanafi.

Of course, if one chooses to make it up, out of caution or taqwa, one is rewarded. It is a sunna to makeup missed witrs in the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools. [Ibn Hajar, Tuhfa al-Muhtaj; Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina`]

Leaving the Sunna to Perform Make-Up Prayers

If one is a Hanafi, It would be best to continue to follow your own school, and to seek the assistance of Allah and simply perform the sunnas. If you seek something for the sake of Allah, with sincerity, Allah will certainly grant you assistance therein.

If you try and still find it unreasonably difficult, then you can follow the Shafi`i position regarding non-performance of current sunnas without having to follow the Shafi`i school in matters of purification and prayer.

Faraz Rabbani

Making Up Missed Prayers: A Point of Scholarly Consensus

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is making up missed prayers necessary?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

The position of all four Sunni schools is that it is obligatory (fard) to make up all missed prayers, regardless of why they were missed. Prayer is the first thing we will be questioned about on the Day of Judgement, as the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) informed us in sound narrations.

Imam Nawawi stated:

“There is consensus (ijma`) of the scholars whose opinion counts that whoever leaves a prayer intentionally must make it up. Abu Muhammad Ali Ibn Hazm differed with them on this, saying that such an individual cannot ever make them up and it is not at all valid to make them up. Rather, he said, one must do much good works and voluntary prayer in order that one s scales be heavied on the day of judgement and one must seek Allah s forgiveness and repent. This position of his, along with being in opposition to scholarly consensus (ijma`), is invalid in terms of the proof.

Among the proofs for the obligation to makeup is: that if makeup prayers are obligatory for the one who left the prayer forgetfully, then doing so for the one who left the prayer deliberately is more obviously incumbent.” [Majmu` Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (3.86)]

Imam Nawawi is referring here to the hadith related by Anas that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

“Whoever forgets a prayer must perform it when they remember it.”  [Bukhari (597); Muslim (684)]

After Imam Nawawi’s time, the aberrant position of Ibn Hazm was embraced by certain individuals and soundly rejected by the scholars in their time and after.

Faraz Rabbani.

قال الإمام النووي في المجموع شرح المهذَّب:  (3/76)     ( فَرْعٌ ) أَجْمَعَ الْعُلَمَاءُ الَّذِينَ يُعْتَدُّ بِهِمْ عَلَى أَنَّ مَنْ تَرَكَ صَلَاةً عَمْدًا لَزِمَهُ قَضَاؤُهَا وَخَالَفَهُمْ أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ عَلِيٌّ بْنُ حَزْمٍ فَقَالَ : لَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَى قَضَائِهَا أَبَدًا وَلَا يَصِحُّ فِعْلُهَا أَبَدًا قَالَ : بَلْ يُكْثِرُ مِنْ فِعْلِ الْخَيْرِ , وَصَلَاةِ التَّطَوُّعِ لِيَثْقُلَ مِيزَانُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى وَيَتُوبُ , وَهَذَا الَّذِي قَالَهُ مَعَ أَنَّهُ مُخَالِفٌ لِلْإِجْمَاعِ بَاطِلٌ مِنْ جِهَةِ الدَّلِيلِ , وَبَسَطَ هُوَ الْكَلَامَ فِي الِاسْتِدْلَالِ لَهُ , وَلَيْسَ فِيمَا ذَكَرَ دَلَالَةٌ أَصْلًا . وَمِمَّا يَدُلُّ عَلَى وُجُوبِ الْقَضَاءِ حَدِيثُ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه { أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَمَرَ الْمُجَامِعَ فِي نَهَارِ رَمَضَانَ أَنْ يَصُومَ يَوْمًا مَعَ الْكَفَّارَةِ } أَيْ بَدَلَ الْيَوْمِ الَّذِي أَفْسَدَهُ بِالْجِمَاعِ عَمْدًا . رَوَاهُ الْبَيْهَقِيُّ بِإِسْنَادٍ جَيِّدٍ وَرَوَى أَبُو دَاوُد نَحْوَهُ , وَلِأَنَّهُ إذَا وَجَبَ الْقَضَاءُ عَلَى التَّارِكِ نَاسِيًا فَالْعَامِدُ أَوْلَى

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

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: I converted to Islam about a year and a half ago. However, I have been studying Islam for years, and I knew I wanted to become a Muslim for a while. Since I was living with my parents earlier and they absolutely forbade me from converting, I did not pray, fast, or say the shahadah out loud, even though I believed it. This went on for a a few years until I entered college and finally had the freedom to start practicing Islam. Do I need to make up the prayers and fasts that I didn’t do during those three and a half years? I wasn’t officially Muslim yet in that I hadn’t said the shahadah, and I didn’t know how to pray properly. Some say that I have to make up these prayers and fasts, while others say that because I wasn’t really Muslim then (since I didn’t say shahadah) I don’t need to make them up since my sins have been forgiven through repentance and me taking my shahadah. Please advise.

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I pray you are well and in the best of spirits.

May Allah bless you with your new found faith and grant you success in this life and the next. It is beautiful to hear how you persisted in your faith despite all the obstacles and difficulties.

As for your question, it would be best to make up the prayers you had missed, if you are able to do so, and to do so in the most effective of ways.

There is a difference of opinion between the scholars regarding the testimony of faith (shahada) and its relation to faith (iman). There are three major opinions:

1. It is a condition (shart) for the soundness of one’s faith (iman).
2. It is an actual part (shatr) of faith, which would render it similar to the first position, namely that faith without it is not valid.
3. It is a condition for worldly rulings to apply to a person, not for faith itself.

[Bajuri, Jawharat al-Tawhid]

According to the first two positions, an individual who believed but did not pronounce the testimony of faith to enter into Islam never entered it to begin with. According to this position, since the individual never entered Islam there would be no obligation to make up missed prayers as they were missed while the individual was still a non-Muslim.

According to the third position, having conviction and accepting Islam in one’s hearts would suffice for one to be considered a Muslim with Allah. However, the testimony of faith is a condition for worldly Islamic rulings to apply to the individual, such as issues related to marriage, burial, giving Zakat, and so forth. This is because though inward conviction suffices in the knowledge of Allah, the Muslim community requires an outward indicator of an individuals Islam before applying the laws of Islam to them.

All three of these positions are strong and have been held by great scholars throughout our tradition.

As such, the more cautious approach would be to make-up such missed prayers. You should try to do this gradually, viewing it as an opportunity that Allah has given you to draw closer to Him. There is no need to overburden yourself. Rather, the best actions in the eyes of Allah are the ones that are consistent, even if small.

May Allah facilitate you to do what is best for He is the best of facilitators.


Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Does One Perform the Prostration of Recital?

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: How does one perform a recital prostration in the Hanafi school? Is salam upon completion needed and if not is it disliked/sinful to do salam upon completion? Also, Is it permissible to perform make-up prayer during the disliked times – so if one is trying to perform make up prayers with the corresponding salah, one would pray Asr make up after Asr salah?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious

I pray you are well.

1. No, in the Hanafi school one does not exit the prostration of recital with taslim and nor is it considered a sunna to do so.

The only integral of the prostration of recital is the very act of postrating itself. The validity of such a prostration is also dependent on all the conditions (shurut) of prayer being fulfilled, such as being in a state of ritual purity, facing the direction of the Qibla, having one’s nakedness covered, and so forth.

The sunna method of performing the prostration of recitation is:

[a] One recites the takbir al-tahrima without raising one’s hands and performs the prostration.
[b] Within the prostration one recites the specific invocations conveyed from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), such as subhana rabbi al-a`la, and
[c] One says the takbir al-tahrima again and rises up.

Again, to clarify, everything mentioned above is considered a sunna act except for the prostration itself. Thus, if one merely prostrates, while fulfilling the conditions of prayer, the obligation to prostrate will be fulfilled. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

Benefit: Ibn Nujaym mentions in his Bahr al-Ra’iq that there is a difference of opinion regarding what exactly should be recited during the prostration of recital. The soundest position, he states, is to recite “subhana rabbi al a`la” as it is recited in normal prayers. This was also stated by Imam Haskafi in his Durr al-Mukhtar and mentioned by Shurunbulali in the Imdad al-Fattah, quoting Imam Sarakhsi’s Mabsut, the Mi`raj al-Dirayah, and Ibn Humam.

However, Ibn Humam mentions that one has a choice to recite other supplications conveyed from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) within the prostration of recital if such a prostration is being performed in a supererogatory prayer or outside the prayer itself. These include:

اللَّهُمَّ اُكْتُبْ لِي بِهَا عِنْدَك أَجْرًا وَضَعْ عَنِّي بِهَا وِزْرًا وَاجْعَلْهَا لِي عِنْدَك ذُخْرًا وَتَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّي كَمَا تَقَبَّلْتهَا مِنْ عَبْدِك دَاوُد

“Oh Allah, for this prostration write down reward for me with you, and in return for this prostration forgive my sins, and make it [the prostration] a reposit for me with you, and accept it from me like you accepted it from your slave Dawud (Allah bless him).” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Khuzayma]


سَجَدَ وَجْهِي لِلَّذِي خَلَقَهُ وَصَوَّرَهُ وَشَقَّ سَمْعَهُ وَبَصَرَهُ بِحَوْلِهِ وَقُوَّتِهِ

“My face prostrates to the one who created it and shaped it and gave it the ability to hear and see by His might and Power.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]

2. It would be valid to pray make-up prayers after `Asr if it is not during the disliked time.

It is not permitted to make-up prayers during three times:

a. When the sun is rising,
b. When the sun is at it’s zenith, and
c. When the sun is setting.

At all other times, make-up prayers will be valid to perform. Therefore, if you pray your make-up prayers after `Asr but before the sun begins to set, defined as the time when one is able to look at the sun without it overwhelming and dazzling one’s eyes (roughly the last 25-30 minutes of `Asr time), then it would be valid. Otherwise, it will not be considered valid. [Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

And Allah Knows Best


Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani