Greensville Trust

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    What are my responsibilities towards making up missed prayers if I never knew I had to pray them or if I was not practising? What should I do if the numbers that I have to make up are too much?

    Question 27/02/14

    What are my responsibilities towards making up missed prayers if I never knew I had to pray them or if I was not practising? What should I do if the numbers that I have to make up are too much?

    Answer By Ustadh Haroon Hanif

    Prayer is the most important pillar of the religion and without it there is an essential missing from the life of the believer. It is enough of a warning that the Messenger of God, prayers and peace be upon him, viewed prayer as the distinction between the believer and the unbeliever. Hence, the believer cannot miss a prayer from puberty onwards and must account for every prayer. Consequently, it is obligatory for every prayer that is missed from puberty onwards to be made up and nothing will lift the obligation other than performance of the prayer.

    A person must calculate how many prayers have been missed and then spend all of his time making up those prayers. If the numbers that need to be made up are relatively small, then that person should pray them as normal but if he or she has a large number to make up, such as years of prayers, then there is no harm in performing a truncated prayer in which the sunnas are missed out. 

    The quickest way to do perform a shortened prayer is as follows:

    1. Takbir

    2. In the first unit, read over half of al-Fatiha (up to 'ihdinas siratul mustaqim' is enough) and read a short sura. In the ruku', read one tasbih, stand saying 'sami Allahu liman hamidah' and nothing else, and in both sujuds, read one tasbih.

    3. In the second unit do the same as in the first unit.

    4. In the sitting (assuming it is the first sitting), read the whole of the tashahhud, which  cannot be shortened.

    5. In the third unit, stand for the length of one tasbih without reciting al-Fatiha. The rest is the same as before.

    6. In the fourth unit do the same as the third unit.

    7. In the final sitting read the tashahhud and give salams immediately without reading prayers on the Prophet and without a closing dua.

    When having completed the prayer, ask God's forgiveness for having missed the prayer and for the delay in making it up.

    We ask Allah that He never allows us to miss any further prayers