Friday, November 16, 2018 - 9 Rabi' al-Awwal 1440

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The obligation to make up missed prayers

What is the ruling for missing obligatory prayers for some time in life without a valid excuse? Is it an obligation to make up the missed obligatory prayers whenever the person realizes that he has committed a sin by willfully neglecting them?


Establishing prayers is the second most important pillar of Islam after declaring faith in God and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). God Almighty says, "Establish obligatory prayers. Verily, such prayers are enjoined on the believers at stated times" (Quran 4:103).

The five daily prayers form the most important devotional ritual in a Muslim’s life. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Prayer is a pillar of the religion [Islam]. Whoever establishes it, establishes religion and whoever destroys it (i.e. neglects it), destroys religion” (Baihaqi).
Making up missed (obligatory) prayers is an obligation
It is an obligation to make up the missed obligatory prayers based on the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who said, "Whoever forgets to offer an obligatory prayer, let him perform it when he remembers it. There is no other expiation for it" (Bukhari and Muslim).

Prayers missed due to menses or postnatal bleeding are not to be made up. It was reported that a woman asked 'Aisha (may God be pleased with her), "Why does a woman make up her missed fast days but not prayers?” Lady ‘Aisha replied, “Are you strict like the people from Harura` (i.e. the Khawarij who settled in Harura`)?" The woman replied, 'No, I am just asking." Lady ‘Aisha said, "We were ordered (at the time of the Prophet) to make up our missed fast days but not the prayers we missed due to menses or postnatal bleeding" (Muslim).
The ruling
A Muslim can estimate the period during which he missed obligatory prayers based on what he is certain about. Then he is to spend an equal period making up the missed prayers by offering a missed prayer with each current one of its like. He can leave off performing nawafil (voluntary prayers) during this time since making up missed prayers takes precedence over the nawafil.

Related links
» Neglecting religious duties out of laziness
» Using an electronic device to monitor prayer movements
» Using modern devices for educational purposes in mosques
» Missing the Friday prayer due to office hours
» Are menstruating women allowed to enter the mosque?