Making Up for Salat Missed in a Lifetime: Majority Opinion

By Mufti Taqi Usmani
Posted: 3 Jamad-ul-Awwal 1423, 14 July 2002

Q.) I read the fatwa of Mufti Taqi Usmani Sahib regarding qada prayers, in which he said that this is the opinion of all the four imams that a person who does not offer his prayers will have to make it up later on. He also said that there is no second opinion on this. He also accused "AL-HUDA" of changing a well known command of Allah just on the basis of their own wishes. I have read the fatawas of Mufti Abdullah bin Baz and other Arab Ulema, which differentiate in the left over prayers as follows:-

1. Prayers left over due to some valid reason (e.g., sleeping, illness, unconsciousness etc.). For these prayers they say that they have to be made up when the reason due to which prayer was left is over.

2. Prayers left intentionally or due to laziness. For these prayers they say that the person who has neglected prayers in the past does not have to make them up now, because the time when they were due is now over, and he cannot do anything about it. However, he can compensate for them by sincerely repenting, seeking Allaah's forgiveness and offering as many nafil (supererogatory) prayers as he can, so that Allaah may excuse him. More over they say that who-so-ever leaves the prayer intentionally is a Kafir and when he repents, he actually embraces Islam once again so he does not have to make up the prayers rather he should do Istighfar frequently and offer nawafil as much as he can. They narrate the same point of view of Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal and Imam Shaafa'i and a lot of Sahaba.

I want to know the right opinion in this matter with daleel from Qur'an & Sunnah. Kindly guide me. Jazakallah.

[Abdul Mateen, Flt Lt Pakistan Air Force]

A.) The Fatwa you have enclosed is based on the notion that whoever leaves prayer intentionally is not a Muslim which is one view of Imam Ahmad. If someone is of the opinion that the one who has not prayed for a long time intentionally does not need to make qada of those prayers, he or she should also say that all the Muslims who do not pray intentionally are Kafirs. But it is not correct to announce one thing and remain silent about its very basis. The arguments given in the enclosed Fatwa are based on the interpretation of Imam Ahmad in one of his versions. All other three schools Hanafi, Maliki and Shafiee and a large number of Hanbali jurists are also of the view that the one who avoids performing prayer intentionally is Fasiq and not Kafir. These jurists have given their own detailed arguments that are elaborated in all the books of Hadith and Fiqh. Hafiz Ibn Hajar has discussed this issue in detail in Fathul Bari. Those interested may consult that book as it is not possible to give those details through a letter.