Can I pray Tarawih Prayers If I Have Overdue Obligatory Prayers to Complete?

Shaykh Farid Dingle answers a question related to praying Tarawih salaah when one has overdue obligatory prayers to complete (according to the Shafi school of thought).



Assalamu alaikum.

For the past three years I haven’t been praying salah consistently and sometimes didn’t pray for months on end. I’m now taking my deen more seriously and I am making up these missed prayers. Inshallah it will be easier in the future.

I wanted to ask, since Ramadhan is coming up – am I allowed to pray Tarawih?
Here’s my specific situation: Me and my family sometimes go to a community mosque during Ramadhan, a small place, for iftar and tarawih. We follow behind the imam, as he makes intention for the women behind him too. My family are not aware of me missing prayers for so long and I am too afraid to tell them – I want to keep this
private. I read somewhere that one should not do sunnah prayers when they have fardh to make up, but I don’t know how I’ll be able to wriggle out of Tarawih. In this case, is it okay for me to offer my Tarawih prayer? I could try and make an excuse to go home, but I don’t want to end up having to lie. And praying Tarawih, I feel, would help me become more connected to Allah, and I would really love to participate in it. Ramadan is also during my exam season, so I need all the blessings I can get. I would love some guidance with this.

Jazakallah Khairan.



Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Short answer
You can just make-up prayers behind the imam as he prays Tarawih.

The principle
The issue of praying supererogatory prayers (sunna/nafl) while one has make-up prayers (qada) is nothing particular to do with supererogatory prayers themselves; rather, the issue is delaying making up obligatory prayers without a valid excuse, such as another more pressing obligation.

For example, if one had an obligatory prayer that one had missed without a valid excuse, such as just being lazy or finding it awkward to pray at work, one could not delay making it up for, say, answering a personal email or having a cup of tea. One could only delay it for something obligatory, such as eating main meals, sleeping, going to work if one supports oneself. One such non-obligatory thing is supererogatory prayers.

For this reason, the Shafi’i scholars tell us that one cannot pray supererogatory prayers while one has make-up prayers to perform because it entails delaying an immediate obligation for other than another more pressing obligation.

The practice
Okay, so based on this principle, someone who has years of make-up prayers no longer has any free time whatsoever: it is just them and the prayer mat until the finish. Is that right?

The answer is that Islam is reasonable, and while this principle might apply to one or two make-up prayers that one might well take a day off work or stop a conversation to pray immediately, one cannot apply this for weeks or months on end. To do so would most probably make one go insane, or cause one to lose one’s job or marriage, or the like.

Practically, one should make a realistic schedule of prayers that one makes up a day, and stick to it no matter what, without going to extremes.

For more detail, please see:

A simple solution to praying Tarawih when you have make-ups is to intend praying a missed Fajr for each two rakas that the Imam does. This is acceptable because, in the Shafi’i school, it is valid to pray an obligatory prayer (fard) behind a supererogatory prayer (nafl/sunna).

This way you would not be delaying making up prayers without a valid excuse.

I pray this helps.



Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani



Constantly Skipping Prayers

Shaykh Jamir Meah offers counsel on how to establish prayer, to make up missed prayers, and how to deal with emotional stumbling blocks.



Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have been suffering from this problem for years. It is the worst problem in my life and I’m very scared. I have tried so many times not to skip any of the obligatory prayers but to no avail, even in the month of Ramadan. Sometimes I will write down the prayers that I missed and pay them back, but it will keep piling up. Then I will leave it and start fresh saying to myself, “I won’t skip it again,” but I always do.

I am so emotional and I become easily sad too. When i am sad I feel lazy and don’t offer prayers. I feel bad all the time when I miss or skip prayers, but I still do. I can go a full day without a single prayer. I am so scared because I know the great sin I have been committing by not offering my prayers, and I know if I don’t rectify this problem and die with it, then I will be in serious trouble on Judgement Day. Please what do I do? Please help me.



Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

While the prayers are serious obligations, they are also meant to be the “comfort” of the believer’s eyes. They are by no means meant to be torturous!

Current Prayers

Simply pray your daily prayers on time, preferably as soon as the adhan goes off. Pray in congregation at the mosque at each opportunity. If it is overwhelming, stick to the obligatory prayers for now.
Also, when you make wudu, do it with high resolve and remind yourself that you are washing your limbs from sins and heedlessness and preparing yourself to stand in front of your Creator.

Make Up Prayers

While you must make these up, you need to be realistic in how you go about it. Make a daily schedule for them and stick to it, even if you make up one day’s prayer each day.
Please also refer to these answers: Missing Prayers Archives.

State of Mind

In regards your emotions and sadness, it is imperative that this is addressed. Please do consult a therapist that you feel comfortable with to help you work through and resolve the root causes behind these. This will help you with how you get on with prayers, Insha Allah.
Also, seek out good company, stay away from all forms of sins, from distractions; such as too much entertainment, even if lawful. Read the Qur’an daily, get involved in community work, social hobbies, and take care of what you eat, the exercise you get, the amount of sleep you get, and go to sleep early.
I pray the above helps.

Warmest salams,



Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.





Making up Missed Prayers

Ustadh Farid Dingle answers questions on whether making up missed prayers is obligatory.

I hope this finds you well. I have a question with regards to missed prayers.
From the age of 12-15 I never prayed. Between the ages of 16-17 I prayed twice a day. From 18 to now, sometimes I missed one prayer.

All of my missed prayers were out of neglect – no excuses. If I ever missed any prayer for valid reason, sickness, etc., I would pray qada. For the past couple months I have been making up five prayers a day for the previously neglected prayers.

My question is, for all these neglected prayers,do I have to make up for them? If so or if not, what is the evidence? I heard that majority of scholars say it is mandatory to make up for them, but I am still confused as to what the truth is

If you can provide some help, I would really appreciate it, sincerely.

Thank you. May Allah bless you.

According to the relied upon positions of the Four Schools, it is obligatory to make up any and all missed prayers.

The proof is that the five daily prayers are obligatory. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘“Whoever forgets a prayer or sleeps through it, the only expiation is to pray it when he remembers.” (Muslim) Intentionally missing it calls for making it up, a fortiori.

I pray this helps.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

How Can I Make up Several Years of Prayers Despite Being Very Busy?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

1) I am performing my 5 years make up prayers (Qada). I really want to perform them well but I am a very busy person i.e. I am engaged in quranic studies and a college student also. Please give me any piece of advice to perform them because I feel very depressed sometimes. Can I perform them in a short way?

2) While performing multiple qada prayers at one time, can I give single azan and iqamah for all of them?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

1. Pray them with all the sunnas, but as quickly as you can without rushing. Consider shortening the end of the prayer by reciting a brief prayer upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and general supplication. Similarly, recite something brief for the supplication of qunut in the witr prayer. Ask Allah Most High to give you tawfiq.

2. Men should minimally give a brief call to prayer (adhan), and then an iqama for each obligatory prayer. This shouldn’t be deliberately left, but doing so obviously doesn’t affect the validity of the prayer, so you needn’t worry about your prayers prayed without having done this.

Please also see this answer.

And Allah Most High knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Do I Need to Make up Prayers If I Didn’t Know the Rulings Relating to Janaba?

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.


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.


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


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.

Do I Have to Make up Missed Prayers During a Travel? (Hanbali)

Answered by Shaykh Sulayman Van Ael

Question: Assalam alaykum,

While travelling, sometimes it is impossible to offer even the shortened prayers due to the impossibility to perform wudu. Do I still have to make these prayers up?

Answer: Dear questioner about making up prayers,


Before answering your question I have to point out that the absence of water or being unable to perform wudu is not a reason not to perform prayer. If there is water, wudu is obligatory. If it is difficult, then one can just perform the obligatory actions of the wudu, and wash the limbs only once. If one is not able to perform ablution because of a valid reason then he or she prays after doing tayammum.


You have to make up the prayers you have missed. Without regards being still on your journey or after the journey you will perform all of them – apart from Fajr and Maghreb – four raka’at, and should never miss them again and ask Allah swt to forgive you, as this is one of the major sins.


If a woman stops menstruating and she is not able to perform wudu because of a valid reason then she should clean her intimate parts in the best of ways, remove the traces of blood and perform tayammum and pray if she fears that the prayer-time will pass.

I ask Allah to make us of those who preserve and establish their prayers, amin.

[Shaykh] Sulayman Van Ael

Shaykh Sulayman Van Ael
received ijazah from various luminaries in the ten Qoranic readings, in Ihya ulum ad din, in several books of hadeeth, in Matn abi Shuja’, in several books of Shaykh Abu Ghudda and in many different basic texts in grammar, fundamentals of fiqh, tajweed and other islamic sciences.

Can I Make up Missed Prayers in the Mosque? (Video)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Can I make up missed prayers in the mosque?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

Is Missing Prayers Due to Impurity Shirk?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: My friend missed a prayer because while he was urinating he had an erection, which led him to release prostatic fluid. Has my friend committed shirk?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

No, what you have described is not shirk. But the right thing to so would have been to ignore the misgivings (waswasa) and pray before the time exited. In order to compensate for the error, he needs to sincerely repent for his mistake and perform a makeup (qada’) for the missed prayer. If he does another good deed, such as a voluntary prayer (nafila) or gives some charity, this too would be good as good deeds wipe out bad ones.

Please see the following articles for future practice: Ritual Purity Urine Leakage and Misgivings and: A Reader on Waswasa Baseless Misgivings

And Allah Most High alone knows best.


[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Should I Make up Prayers Missed Because of Religious Ignorance?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I am 20 years old and I started prayer when I was 16. I should’ve started when I was 13. My parents never really taught us to pray and I wasn’t really religious at that time. When I was 16 I started to look into Islam myself and that’s when faith really entered my heart. So I didn’t miss my prayer out of laziness but because of ignorance. Do I still need to make up the years of missed prayers?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

You would have to make up any obligatory prayers you missed after attaining puberty even if they were missed due to ignorance.

Ignorance was deemed an excuse by some scholars for those who were newly converted to Islam in non-Muslim lands who did not perform the obligatory prayers due to lacking knowledge of its obligation. This related back to the notion that moral obligation to the divine law depends upon it reaching one (bulugh), namely the knowledge of the obligation of specific acts. However, what is of consideration is not actually possessing knowledge of an act being obligatory but the possibility of attaining this knowledge. In Islamic lands, this possibility is assumed to exist, while in non-Muslim lands it is not or is deemed insufficiently present.

In addition to the fact that this ruling would likely be difficult to apply to one born in a Muslim household, the reality of non-Muslim lands today is not the same as conceived by classical jurists. Indeed, Muslims are well-established and settled in these lands; many of them are indigenous peoples. There are mosques, religious institutions, and easier access to knowledge as well. All of this could effect the original ruling mentioned in the classical texts.

My advice to you would be to make an estimate of the obligatory prayers you missed and make them up gradually. It is not important for you to think about the number and duration it will take to complete these prayers but to simply begin performing them seeking the pleasure of God through the fulfillment of what He has obligated on us. Keep in mind the words of the Prophet (God bless him) that the most beloved of actions are those that are consistent even if small in number. So, take on a reasonable load and make these extra prayers a means to draw closer to God.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

How Should I Go About Making up a Lot of Missed Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salamu alaykum,

1. If I pray the minimum oblgatory requirements for the making up prayers will they be valid and accepted?

2. Can I make up prayers after Fajr (before sunrise), and after Asr?

3. Can I skip the Sunnah prayers and instead make up prayers?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

(1) Yes, they would be valid, yet it would be sinful because the necessary (wajib) actions are operationally obligatory to perform.

(2) Yes, you can pray your makeups after both Fajr and `Asr, yet not during sunrise and sunset. [see: Prohibited times for Prayers and Makeup Prayers]

(3) No, you should pray your sunna prayers as well. Previous mistakes don’t relieve us of current responsibilities, and the sunna prayers are prayers that need to be prayed daily.

Do the best you can, whilst maintaining all you other current duties, and ask Allah Most High to give you strength, determination and facilitation.

Please also see: A Reader on Missed Prayers and: Making up Obligatory Fasts and Prayers

Consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.