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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.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Saying the Final Salams in Prayer behind an Imam

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat answers doubts about saying the final salams behind an imam.

I have suffered from OCD in religious matters for over a year now. I used to repeat my salah and wudu due to confusion, doubts, etc., but I am getting better and your website has helped a lot. I am also receiving professional help for this. Recently, when I went for Friday prayer in congregation, I fell behind in the last sitting recitation and when imam said first salam, I was still reciting durood.

As a female, I couldn’t see the imam but I am guessing, I would have started saying my salams three seconds after he finished saying his. I am usually very anxious in the prayer about making a mistake and I got confused at that point between wajib and confirmed sunna. Later I realized that I have done something prohibitively disliked and I have repented to Allah for it.

I converted to Islam over 13 years ago and have only recently started going in congregation for jumu‘a with my husband. I know from your website that if you do something prohibitively disliked then you should repeat prayer within its time and it’s recommended to repeat the prayer after its time.

I would like to do what is recommended but I am not sure whether it’s waswas from shaytan as I have repeated salahs in the past which I know now that I should not have. If I repeat it, do I pray two rakas as in jumu‘a or four as in dhuhr?

Also, once I and my husband were praying together in the house while he was the imam and I said salam by mistake just before he said it. I don’t remember at all which salah it was. What should I do in that case?

Jazak Allah khayr.

I pray you are well.

You do not need to repeat any of these prayers. Please take a course on the rulings of purity and prayer. Learning with a skilled and experienced teacher will go a long way in helping you deal with OCD issues related to the prayer.

What occasionally happens to people with OCD is that they give excessive importance to certain details when learning by themselves, or with some someone who is not experienced. Sound knowledge is an essential step towards recovery, as the intense urges to do something can be dismissed much more easily when one knows how it should be done properly.

The Closing Salam

The dominant position in the school is that you say the closing salam at the same time as the imam. There is another position which states that it is done once the imam has concluded his.

The detail you mentioned about repeating the prayer only applies if someone deliberately did something disliked in the prayer – not if it was done by accident. Based on this we have three scenarios for the final salam:

  1. Saying the salam before the imam. This is excused, as any mistakes behind the imam are compensated for by his presence.
  2. Saying the salam at the same time as him. This is the proper way to end the prayer. If, however, one joined late and has units to make up, then this salam would require a sujud of forgetfulness to compensate. If you started your prayer at the same time as the imam there is no issue here at all.
  3. Saying the Salam after the imam. This is a valid position, and doing such a thing would not have a consequence on the prayer. The same detail for the latecomer applies here too.

As a general rule, if you have not finished the tashahhud when the imam says the salam, finish it and end your prayer, even if it takes a bit longer. If you have finished your tashahhud, say the salam with the imam. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al Muhtar)

This is an area where people frequently get confused. Don’t worry about it. Keep going with your treatment, take the course, and ask Allah for relief.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Have I Sinned for Missing a Day of My Daily Schedule of Makeup Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

1. A few months ago I made the intention to makeup the prayers I didn’t prayand I had been praying at least one day’s worth of make up prayers everyday since. For the last two days, I couldn’t bring myself to pray that amount. Have I sinned?

2. The reason was because of severe waswasa about everything (intention, wudu and prayer). I also have a lot of wind coming from the front end (I’m a woman) and I’m constantly doubting whether it came from the back end. What should I do?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

1. It is not sinful to miss a day of your daily schedule of makeup (qada’) prayers. But it is inadvisable to do so, unless you have an excuse. Some scholars would recommend that you plan and pray ahead so that you don’t fall behind when exigencies occur.

2. The basis is that your ritual ablution (wudu) and prayer are both valid and sound, unless you are certain otherwise. Doubts, feelings and sensations are of no legal consequence, even if they are strong. We act on certainty and nothing else.

3. Wind which passes out from your front private organ does not affect the validity of your ritual ablution. Hence, even if it is actually happening, and it isn’t simply feelings, there is no need to worry.

If you’re encountering misgivings on a regular basis, I’d recommend reading the section on scrupulosity from the book by Dr. Bruce Hyman et al.: The OCD Workbook. Ask Allah Most High for relief and ease, and don’t give up.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.131); Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.92)]

Please also see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and: A Reader on Missed Prayers

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[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.

How Should I Make up Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

1 – From what age is one accountable for missing prayer and must make them up ?

2 – For a period I stopped believing. Must I make up only the prayers I missed when I was a believer?

3 – When I first began praying I did my prayers in English. Do I have to make them up?

4 – For a long time I didn’t know about witr prayer. Do I have to make up those missed witr prayers?


5 – Say for example I have to make up 3 months of missed prayers. How do I go about doing this and how do I make the intention?

6 – Can I make up all 5 prayers at one time one after the other at night before sleeping?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

1. You are responsible for your prayers from puberty. Puberty is minimally nine lunar years for women, and twelve lunar years for men.

2. Technically, somebody who leaves the faith entirely, by rejecting belief in Allah Most High or the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and then returns to the faith would not need to make up the prayers during his period of disbelief. But merely not caring, not being religious enough, or not knowing about the obligation is normally insufficient; and similarly, misgivings don’t take a person outside of the faith. Thus, you should confirm what exactly the issue was and if this ruling is applicable.

3. Yes, you need to make these prayers up if you were able to recite a single verse in Arabic.

4. Yes, you need to make up the Witr prayer as it is operationally obligatory.

5&6. Please see: A Reader on Missed Prayers and: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Halabi, Multaqa al-Abhur]

And Allah Most High alone 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.

When Should I Pray the Zuhr Prayer If I Have Delayed It up to the Disliked Time of the Asr Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

If one missed Zuhr and delayed Asr to its disliked time for whatever reason, should one still perform the Zuhr prayer before the Asr prayer?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, if you have missed a prayer, yet at the same time, delayed praying `Asr until the disliked time, then you would pray the day’s `Asr prayer only.

This is because: (1) makeup prayers (such as Zuhr, in this case) aren’t valid during sunset, and (2) the order (tartib) is excused when sunset begins, until Maghrib time.

If you had delayed the prayers, however, until only enough time remained before sunset to pray either Zuhr or `Asr, then you would pray Zuhr, and thereafter, `Asr during sunset.

In any case, the person would be sinful for such a delay without a valid and legally acceptable excuse.

[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.488)/Minhat al-Khaliq (2.89)]

Please also see: A Reader on Missed Prayers

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[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 Have to Make up the Confirmed Sunna Prayers?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Do I have to make up the confirmed sunna prayers?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah..

No, confirmed sunnas are not made up after their time. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

No Make Ups for Missed Sunnas—But the Sunna of Not Losing Out

However, it is a general sunna to perform an equivalent amount of voluntary sunnas to “make up for” the lost reward of recently missed sunnas.

This also has the benefit of

(1) not breaking one’s spiritual routines completely—as routines are the key to attainment;
(2) making one’s wayward self (nafs) uphold discipline, in order to restrain it; and
(3) not to lose out on the opportunity for reward and going good—in affirmation of our commitment to seek Allah, to love Allah, and to always seek His closeness and presence in our life.

While this is not expected—nor considered a substitute nor actual make up (qada’) for missed sunnas—it is understood from the Prophet’s personal habit (peace and blessings be upon him). Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him and his folk) said, “Whoever sleeps through their routine (hizb) of night worship—or any part of it—and performs it between Fajr prayer and Zuhr prayer shall have it recorded as if they actually performed it at night.” [Related by Muslim]

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and translator of several Arabic works to the English language. After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersGuidance to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner.

Do I Repeat Prayers in Which a Necessary (Wajib) Action Was Omitted?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: In many instances I have recited out loud in the Dhuhr and Asr prayer when praying alone. I recently read that it is wajib to recite silently in these prayers when praying alone. Do I have to make up these prayers? Also, is it necessary to make up missed witr prayers?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate

Walaikum assalam,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

Prayers are invalid if obligatory (fard) actions—whether conditions or integrals—are omitted.

However, if necessary (wajib) actions are omitted, then (1) it is necessary to repeat the prayer within the time—not because it is invalid, but to redress the deficiency; but (b) after the time, repentance is required, but it is merely recommended (not necessary) to repeat the prayer.

[ref: Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; our teachers, including Shaykh Adib Kallas]

This facilitates matters when repeated errors related to necessary actions took place in past prayers. These do not have to be repeated.

What if Witr prayer was not prayed?

If you have unperformed past Witr prayers, these are necessary (wajib) to make up. However, finish making up your obligatory (fard) prayers first, as these are more incumbent. [Shaykhzada, Majma` al-Anhur Sharh Multaqa al-Abhur]

Please find related answers in the SeekersHub Answers. Jazakum Allah khayr.

Take a SeekersHub online course. All courses are completely free.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and translator of several Arabic works to the English language. After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersGuidance to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner.

How Can I Achieve a State of Purity Despite a Lack of Time and How Should I My Make up My Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaykum.

I have in staying in a state of purity. I am always in a hurry to get out of the bathroom. This leads be to be impure. How can I remember to slow down?

Since my purity is not on point, I am missing a lot of prayers. How should I make them up?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

When in the bathroom, you should follow the limits laid out by the lawgiver, perform your ritual ablution (wudu) and pray whenever the time has entered. Everything else beyond that is misgivings, and merely the devil’s whisperings. Ask Allah Most High to give you strength, and pray all of your prayers on time, keeping in mind that it is the first thing that you will be asked about when you die. Thus, you must also make up the prayers you have missed.

Please see the following resources for further guidance: A Reader on Ritual Purity, Urine Leakage and Misgivings and: Making up Obligatory Fasts and Prayers and: Estimating the Number of Makeup Prayers and: A Reader on Missed Prayers

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Does Performing Hajj Remove the Duty to Make up Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Does performing Hajj remove the duty to make up prayers or fasts because it is forgiven?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, generally such traditions (hadith) are referring to minor sins (sagha’ir). Major sins still need to be compensated for by repentance, and unfulfilled duties need to be made up. However, some scholars did hold that tremendous acts such as the Hajj can be a means of Allah Most High forgiving a person’s major sins. [see: What is the Difference Between Major Sins and Minor Sins? and: Forgiving Major Sins and the Hadith of the Prostitute Who Gives Water to the Thirsty Dog]

Please see: A Reader on Missed Prayers

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Fadi El Binni of Al Jazeera English

Can I Make up Prayers by Praying Voluntary Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Is it true that the only way to make up missed obligatory prayers is by offering voluntary prayers?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

What you have been told is incorrect. Missed prayers must be specifically made up, namely, by intending that you are making up the last missed Fajr prayer you owe, for instance. [see: What is the Proper Intention for Makeup Prayers?]

Please see: A Reader on Missed Prayers

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Hendrik Terbeck