QUESTION

Assalamualaikum ustaz, I wish to ask in regards to Qadha of my missing prayers. Since my baligh at the age of 15, till at least the age of 28, I have not been paying attention to my prayers. Totally jahil and not knowing the significant reason behind having the need to perform my prayers. I was not even practicing the other obligatory rituals of Islam, then. Alhamdulillah with God’s blessings, I returned to He’s path just about 5 years ago. I started donning the hijab, covering my aurat and leaving my past lifestyle behind. And since my initial transition back then, I have started going for basic solat classes etc. And also have tried repaying back my missing prayers. However, at that time when I was still a “newbie” and was trying to diligently perform my Qadha prayers after my fardhu, stress and frustration took the best of me. I ended up not praying the fardhu even. Started taking out my hijab and was almost back to my old lifestyle. Alhamdullilah, yet again, Allah loves me and gave me taufiq and hidayah was glad to be back on the right track some 3 years ago. So now, as I tried to take it slow, and been listening to many talks, I have the most humble question to ask of you. Do I have to repay back all my missing prayers? I have heard some ustaz said, it is not necessary and I have to sincerely repent while another said, I have to. If your answer is yes, can I take my time in doing this, as I do not wish ended up like the previous time? Also, before I could repay all my missing prayers, am I not able to do any sunnah prayers, eg rawatib, witir etc? I understand that the sunah rawatib helps in “menyempurnakan” my fardhu prayers. And what is the consequences that I have to bear should one day, I passed on before being able to Qadha back all my missing prayers? Jazakallah Khairan ustaz for your time in reading my lengthy email, but I am really hoping that this will be a new stepping stone for me to be a better Muslim. Looking very much for your reply ustaz.

ANSWER

Wa alaikum salam Sister,
Alhamdulillah, it is good to hear of your concern to change for the better. We pray that Allah bless all of us with his guidance and mercy. Ameen. I would also like to advise you not to give up your struggles in obeying Allah and hid messenger. Make sincere doa that Allah ease your affairs. And Allah will be with those who are patient.
Pertaining to your question on the ruling of making up of prayers and the ways of doing it. Firstly, the ruling on making up of missed obligatory prayers is compulsory (wajib). The opinion of the four schools (mazhabs of Imam Shafiee, Maliki,Hanbali, Hanafi) is that making up (qadha) is compulsory.
This is based on the narration in sahih Bukhary from the hadis narrated by Abdullah bin Abbas r.a that the prophet s.a.w said:
“قضوا الله فالله أحق بالوفاءا”
“ Return/pay back the rights of Allah as Allah is more deserving of it”
and also based on the narration by Anas bin Malik r.a. that the prophet s.a.w said
“من نسي صلاة فليصل إذا ذكرها لا كفارة لها إلا ذلك (و أقم الصلاة لذكري)”
“Those who missed prayers out of forgetfulness, has to make it up when he remembers it. There is no expiation for it except by making it up. ‘Establish the prayer for my remembrance (Quran)’ “[Hadis Muttafaqun alaih, narrated by Bukhary and Muslim.] This hadis clearly explain the obligation to make for prayers if someone forgets. If this is the case for those who do not perform prayers out of forgetfulness and that they are forgiven, then certainly those who did not perform it deliberately is more deserving to make it up.
Imam Nawawi said his commentary on sahih Muslim,
وشذ بعض أهل الظاهر فقال : لا يجب قضاء الفائتة بغير عذر ، وزعم أنها أعظم من أن يخرج من وبال معصيتها بالقضاء ، وهذا خطأ من قائله وجهالة . والله أعلم .
“There is a strange opinion from the Zahiriah school of thought (not within the four acclaimed mazhab) that it is not compulsory to make up missed prayers if there are no valid excuses. They claimed that the sin of not performing prayers itself is severe enough than to compensate it by making up.
Imam Nawawi said “This claim is clearly a mistake and ignorance on their part. Allah knows best.”[Sharh sahih Muslim] From here, we understand that making up of missed prayers is compulsory.
It is also incumbent upon those who did not perform prayers to repent to Allah s.w.t and then make efforts to make up for the missed prayers. It is recommended that he/she give preference to making the missed obligatory prayers over the Sunnah prayers. This is because the rewards of performing the obligatory prayers are far much greater than the Sunnah prayers.

As for how to perform them, our prophet s.a.w mentioned in a hadis narrated by Abu Daud from Abu Qatadah r.a.that the prophet s.a.w said
مَنْ أَدْرَكَ مِنْكُمْ صَلَاةَ الْغَدَاةِ مِنْ غَدٍ صَالِحًا فَلْيَقْضِ مَعَهَا مِثْلَهَا
“Those who missed the zuhur prayer and find himself at the time of zuhur prayer the next day, it is upon him to make it up together with the present prayer.”[Abu Dawood] Alkhattabi said that it is recommended to pray a particular make up prayer at the same prayer timings. [Fathul Bari] Our scholars recommended that the making up prayer can be done gradually depend on one’s capacity. One make-up for one obligatory prayer. you can refer to one of our video in AskUstaz Application for further explanations. Wa billahi Taufiq.

Wassalam,