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.

Making up Prayers and Fasts

Ustadh Farid Dingle clears up some confusion regarding making up missed fasts and prayers.

I’ve been reading your answers about making up broken fasts. In the Ramadan Reader it says we must fast sixty consecutive days for any deliberately broken fasts. But in the answers section it says no expiation is stipulated, however all broken fasts should be made up? Which is the correct one?

I don’t remember clearly if I have broken fasts. I know I used to have the bad habit and think that due to this I may have invalidated my fasts in the past. What’s the ruling here on figuring out how much were missed and making them up?

Also, I have neglected prayers in the past. I have never properly learned to read namaz and I am now working towards rectifying this, Insha Allah. What’s the ruling in making up the prayers, as I’m starting to learn to pray so I’m not sure if I will immediately be able to read all five prayers. Do I have to calculate how many were missed and whilst learning, if any are missed, add these to the overall number that need to be made up, too?

I feel embarrassed asking these questions, but I would like to know what I need to do to make up in these areas.

Jazak Allah khayr.

Expiation for missed or broken fasts

In the Hanafi school, no expiation needs to be paid if you simply don’t fast. The expiation is due for breaking the fast in Ramadan that you did actually start. See When Is Expiation Required For A Fast?

Breaking the fast by intentional ejaculation would break the fast and call for an expiation. You would have to make-up each fast you know for sure that you broke, and expiate for those days.

Praying five times a day

Praying five times a day is an absolute must, even at work or around others who do not pray. Try your utmost to perform all on time from this day forth.

Regarding missed prayers, once you get well established in performing the five daily prayers, start making up the ones that you have missed in the past at a consistent and moderate rate.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said in his farewell sermon: “Fear Allah, your Lord, pray your five prayers, fast your month [of Ramadan], give charity from your wealth, and be obedient to those in authority over you, and you will enter the Paradise of your Lord.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi and others)

I pray this helps.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Sinful to Pray Less Than Two Days’ Worth of Missed Prayers Daily?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I’ve missed 6 years of prayers. I read that if you are not making up at least 2 days worth of prayers every day, you would be considered negligent. But sometimes, on days when I am really tired or sleepy, I only pray 1 day’s worth of makeup prayers. Am I sinning?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

No, it is not sinful to pray less than two days’ worth of missed prayers (qada’) daily.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Anyone who forgets a prayer should pray it when he remembers it and that is the only expiation he has to do for it. ‘Establish the prayer for My remembrance.'” [Bukhari]

Generally, there are two positions regarding the obligation of making up missed prayers: (1) they must be performed as soon as possible, and (2) their performance may be delayed. The former is what most jurists relied upon as the soundest position, yet they permitted delay in the case of legitimate excuses.

It is possible that some scholars may suggest two days’ worth of prayers, for instance, by way of encouragement, setting a standard, and as a particular manner of acting upon the general duty to make up prayers as soon as reasonably possible.

Nevertheless, it is important to be aware that you must strive to complete all missed prayers, including the Witr, during your lifetime. As a consequence, you need to keep track of what you owe so that it can be taken care of by your inheritors in the case of death before completion.

Please note that maintaining the order (tartib) between the makeup prayers is only a condition in the case a person has less than six prayers in their dues. Otherwise, makeup prayers may be made up in any order, even in reverse.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah with Tahtawi’s Gloss (2.34); Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.493)]

Please also see: Sickness and Expiation (Fidya) for Missed Prayers and: A Reader on Missed Prayers and: Do You Have to Pray Make Up Prayers in Order? and: How to Make up Years of Missed Prayers? (Shafi’i)

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.

Should I Make up Missed Prayers or Pray Sunnah Prayers? (Video)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Should I make up missed prayers or pray sunnah prayers?

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).

What Is the Minimum Requirement for the Intention of Makeup Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum

As part of my intention for each makeup prayer, I have been intended to “repeat the last Asr prayer I missed”. Is my intention valid or do I need to be more specific?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, your intention was valid, as were your prayers, because the minimum requirement is specifying a prayer and intending to pray “the last `Asr due,” for instance, fulfils this.

If you can be specific, that is good, yet it is not expressly required of you.

May Allah Most High facilitate all good for you.

Please also see: What is the Proper Intention for Makeup Prayers?

And Allah knows best.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What Can We Do about Missed Prayers of a Deceased?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu’alaykum,

What is the expiation for missed obligatory prayers

If someone passes away and couldn’t make up the missed prayers – can his family members expiate for it? Who is responsible and how can one do it?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The expiation (fidya) is the monetary equivalent of approximately 2kg of wheat, per prayer.

There are six prayers to expiate for, and this includes the Witr which is operationally obligatory.

You should pay the total amount to a needy Muslim.

If a bequest was made by the deceased, the money should be deducted from a third of his estate. Otherwise, anybody can make the payment on his behalf.

Please also see: How To Make Expiatory Payments (Fidya) To Compensate For the Missed Fasts and Prayers of a Deceased?

And Allah alone gives success.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How To Make Expiatory Payments (Fidya) To Compensate For the Missed Fasts and Prayers of a Deceased?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
I know that if the deceased has missed fard fasts or prayers, their family (or friends) should make expiatory payments (fidya) to compensate for this, according to the rules of fiqh.
Would you kindly elaborate further on how the family can go about handling this?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
The expiation for one missed fast is the monetary equivalent of approximately 2kg of wheat. The same applies for each missed prayer, including the Witr. [`Ala’ al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]
Thus, one day’s worth of missed prayers and one missed day of fasting would require the equivalent of approximately 14kg of wheat in expiation.
As for the specific monetary equivalent of wheat in your country, consult your local mosque or Islamic centre. At the present time, a rough estimate of the figure would be between two and three dollars per missed prayer or fast.
For details on how to pay, please see: Sickness and Expiation (Fidya) for Missed Prayers
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

What is the Proper Intention for Makeup Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: My current intention for my make up prayers is for example: “i intend to pray 4 fard of dhuhr salat al qada, for all the prayers i have missed this is 57th, for Allah, facing Al Ka’ba”. Is this okay?


Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, the intention you have mentioned is fine.

An intention is a condition for the validity of the prayer. Thus at an absolute minimum, you should intend that it is [1] a makeup and, [2] which prayer it is (i.e. Dhuhr, `Asr, Maghrib etc.)

Practically, it would be simpler to intend that the specific (e.g. Dhuhr) makeup prayer is the most recent one you missed. This is easier to sustain than mentioning a specific number (e.g. 57th) which is likely to become very cumbersome if you have a large number of prayers to make up.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

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

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

A Reader on Missed Prayers

Intention: Validity And Sincerity

Must Fajr Be Prayed While It Is Dark?

Answered by Ustadha Shaista Maqbool

Question: This morning I did not wake up when my alarm went off for fajr prayer. I was taught some time ago that fajr must be prayed in the dark so it is better to wait until the next day to offer the missed fajr qada’. However, I have a girlfriend who misses praying fajr on time quite often and says it is acceptable to pray a missed fajr upon rising. Are both acceptable? Is one more pleasing to Allah than the other? Please advise me.

Answer: Wa’alaikum assalaam warahmatu Allah,

It is best to make up any missed prayer as soon as possible.

With regards to Fajr, there is nothing that says it must be prayed in the dark. Rather, it is best that you make it up the same day before midday so that you can make up the sunnah of Fajr as well, as it is one of the strongest sunnah prayers; after midday, one only makes up the fard of Fajr.

Shaista Maqbool

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Dealing With a Terminal Illness and Impending Death

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I have a family member who is suffering from a terminal illness and does not have long to live. I would like to know what a person in this situation should focus on with regards to their Islamic worship during the last months of life e.g seek forgiveness, making up fasts???


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

As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Thank you for your question. I ask Allah Most High to make it easy for your loved one and the family.

A person with a terminal illness should prepare to meet Allah. This means rectifying themselves and their life by doing whatever Allah has enjoined on them that they had not been doing thus far, and refraining from what He has prohibited against that they haven’t yet left off. They should keep up what good they were doing with even more sincerity and focus as best they can.

They should take account of and fulfill any outstanding duties owed to Allah (such as making up missed prayers, compensating for missed fasts, zakat, Hajj, etc) and to people (debts, trusts, borrowed items, etc). If these cannot all be fulfilled, they should still intend to do so while striving their utmost, and seek forgiveness for what remains from Allah, and from the people they owed to.

Such a person should make tawbah (repentance) from all previous sins and resolve never to return to them. They should make peace with everyone around them, apologize to those they ever hurt, and completely forgive those who ever hurt them. Not a grain of negativity against any human or selfish desire from the world should remain in their heart.

They should prepare inwardly by increasing in remembrance (dhikr), gratitude and intimate discourse with Allah. They should work to free their hearts of any bitterness or complaint against what Allah had decreed for them in life, thinking only the best of Allah, and hope for the best from Him in what is to come. They should strive to understand the wisdom behind what they are going through, and approach Allah with serenity and peace of heart.

If possible, they should not leave off being productive in their daily lives: they should continue to pursue constructive endeavors with excellence, maintain a good appearance and diet, and enjoy Allah’s blessings. We are only on this earth for some time to please Allah in whatever we do.

Finally, we must remember that everyone’s life is terminal: the end is near for all of us. Allah Most High says, “Every soul shall taste death,” [Quran 3:185] and so this is a reminder for each of us. I ask Allah Most High to make things easy for your loved one, and your family, and keep everyone strong.

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

How Do We Deal With the Death of a Loved One?

How to Deal With a Non-Muslim Relative’s Death

Advice to a Young Cancer Patient