Making up Past Prayers

Published on September 10, 2015 by admin

Making up Past Prayers

The Prescribed daily prayers have to be made up later if they are not performed during their allocated times.

Muslims are responsible to pray them as qada to save themselves from the responsibility in the afterlife.

It is not obligatory to make qada for Sunnah prayers. However, if an optional prayer is nullified and not completed it becomes wajib (necessary, which means) to make it up.

One must offer the missed prayers before the current one if they are  sahib- al-tartib. I think this terminology is important to clarify what such terminology referring to in Islam. Sahib- al-tartib is the one who hasn’t missed more than five obligatory prayers to qada in their lifetime. This is wajib, necessary, for this type of person to maintain a sequential order between a missed prayer and the current one. It is necessary for them to pray on their allocated time.

Making qada for past prayers in order is only between obligatory prayers.

For example, if anyone misses the Maghrib and ‘Isha prayers they cannot pray the Fajr prayer before praying Maghrib and ‘Isha as qada. The following incident evidence for this ruling;

So where is it coming from? What’s the evidence? What’s the basis of such ruling?

It’s related there are some evidences. I’ll just mention one of them.

‘Umar ibn Khattāb was angry with the unbelievers of Mecca during the battle of the trench, khandak in Islamic terminology. He said,

O Messenger of God, I couldn’t pray Zuhr until it was almost sun set.

The Prophet (pbuh) told him,

I swear to God, you didn’t pray Zuhr.

We came to the valley of Buthan. The Prophet (pbuh) and we made ablution and the Prophet (pbuh) led ‘Asr then Maghrib after sunset. (This hadith is narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

In this hadith, what’s important, when Umar said “I couldn’t pray Zuhr until Asr” which means he did not pray Zuhr first then Asr, he prayed Asr first then performed Zuhr. This indicates Prophet (pbuh) did not accept his practice since he performed Asr first and made qada Zuhr. It has to be done in sequential order. That’s the order of such rule.

If the order between missed prayers and current ones was not wajib, the Prophet (pbuh) wouldn’t postpone the Maghrib prayer, because postponing the Maghrib prayer is disliked. I think that’s one of the reason why we perform the fard of Maghrib prayer first and then the sunnah. Maybe it might be related to another hadith that the qiyamah, end of days will happen during Maghrib. So in order to carry out responsibility, Muslims, they are required to perform fard first and then they perform sunnah. So similarly as soon as the time of Maghrib starts, Muslims, they have to perform Maghrib prayer immediately to save themselves from the responsibility.

So here however, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he did not pray Maghrib first, rather he made up all the missed prayers then performed Maghrib. So this is an evidence that if a person is sahib – al- tartib, meaning he did not miss more than five prayers in his lifetime, he has to follow sequential order between fard prayers. So first he prays Zuhr, then Asr then Maghrib if they are left to qada or they are combined.

During the Battle of the Trench, the Prophet (pbuh) was unable to perform the prayers in their correct times or allocated times due to engaging with the unbelievers. Unbelievers came and sieged Madinah. So there was no time to perform those prayers. On four occasions, the Prophet (pbuh), he postponed prayer until the night time and then made up the prayers as qada. But he performed them on their sequential order.  So this is the basis of such ijtihad or opinion.

A person loses the condition of being sahib al-tartib  if they miss more than five prayers in their life time. In this case they are not required to keep the sequence of the prayers for qada. They can pray the current prayer first and then they can make qada whichever prayer they missed. So it’s not obligatory for them. It’s not necessary, it’s not wajib for them to follow sequential order between the prayers.  If one forgets to make qada for a missed prayer and prays the current one before praying the missed one, the prayers are valid. Because there is a sound excuse here. The person forgot. We know “some Arabic phrases” , the pen is removed from three people. One of them is if a person forgets to do something, he is not responsible. So if he forgets and first he prays the current prayer and then make the qada later, it’s accepted due to his forgetfulness. Similarly, if there is not enough time to perform the missed prayers and the current prayer in the current time prayer he/she should just pray the current one on its time.

Because the Prophet (pbuh) said;

“If anyone forgets to pray, he prays when he remembers it, there is no other compensation for the prayers except qada”.

(the hadith is narrated by Bukhari and Muslim) It’s one of the most authentic hadiths. If a hadith is narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, it’s called muttafequn aley. Both authorities, Bukhari and Muslim, they are authorities in hadith, if they agree on hadith, it’s called muttafequn aley, meaning both scholars or sheykhan, they have consensus on the authenticity of hadith.

In another occasion, the Prophet (pbuh) said;

“If anyone cannot pray because he forgets or sleeps, he compensates for his prayer by making it qada when he remembers or wakes”. (Muslim)

Sunnah prayers are not made up as qada. I need to say something here. Yes, sunnah prayers, they are not obligatory however, as Muslims if we are hoping or expecting the shafaa, intercession of the Prophet (pbuh) in Judgement Day, we have to pray, perform sunnah prayers, one thing, The second, those sunnah prayers will be used to complete what’s missing or what’s deficient in our obligatory qada prayers. So in any case, it’s necessary for Muslims to perform sunnah prayers so they can expect the shafaa, the intercession of the Prophet (pbuh) in Judgement Day. Also those prayers will be used as compensation, the deficiency in obligatory prayers. Yes, sunnah prayers are not made up as qada. However, if the Fajr prayer is missed, both the Sunnah and the fard are made up as qada up until the time of Zuhr. Since there is no, the next prayer has not come yet, so it is necessary, it is advise to pray sunnah as well together with fard. So until Zuhr time,if a person let’s say he sleeps or he can’t wake up, so when he wakes up, he makes wudu, then prays sunnah first, then make the Fajr qada until Zuhr. However if he cannot make qada the Fajr prayer until Zuhr, and he is able to pray after Zuhr, he only makes qada the Fajr, the two rak’ah of Fajr prayer.

Abu Hurayra reports: Once, we were on a journey with the Prophet (pbuh) and we missed the Fajr prayer because we couldn’t wake up until sunrise. When we woke, the Prophet (pbuh) said:

“We must leave this place, Satan is present here and caused us to sleep and miss the prayer”.

We moved to another location. The Prophet (pbuh) then asked for water and made his ablution. He prayed the two rak’ah Sunnah of the Fajr prayer. Then iqama was called and the Prophet (pbuh) led us in the Fajr prayer which we made as qada. (Muslim) This hadith is narrated by Muslim. This is one of the authentic hadiths.

I think the important point in this hadith, even including the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he missed the prayer since he is the role model for his ummah in order to show us his ummah what to do if a person miss a prayer, cannot pray on its time. What happens ? What’s the solution ? So in order to be role model for his ummah, Allah made the Prophet sleep so he couldn’t wake up. So when he woke up, he showed us what to do in this type of situation. So he made up qada. Since this is Fajr, Zuhr time did not come yet, he performs sunnah first, then iqama was called then he led Fajr prayer as Imam for companions.

If a person misses a prayer when traveling and decides to make it up on returning home, he/she is to offer it as two rak’ah. Similarly If a resident misses a prayer and decides to make it up while traveling, it must be offered as four rak’ah. So according to your situation, if you are a traveller, and you missed a prayer, you have to make it up as two rak’ah as traveller even if you make it up when you are resident, when you are home, so it doesn’t matter. Or if you missed the prayer when you are resident, and you have to make it up while traveling, you have to make it up as resident even though, or in spite you’re traveling in that moment. So that’s important.

Thank you very much.


Category Tag