Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2: Making (Qada’) for missed salah


The scholars agree that it is obligatory for one who has forgotten the salahor slept through its time to make up the missed [qada’) prayer. This opinion isbased on the hadith of the Prophet mentioned earlier: “There is nonegligence while one is asleep but forgetfulness occurs when one is awake. Ifone of you forgets the prayer or sleeps through its time, then he shouldperform the salah when he recalls it.” If one falls unconscious, then heneed not repeat the salah, unless he regains his consciousness with enough timeto purify himself and perform the salah within its proper time.

‘Abdurrazaq relates from Naf’i that Ibn ‘Umar once fell sick and becameunconscious and missed the prayer. When he regained his consciousness, he didnot make up the missed prayer.

Ibn Juraij reports from Ibn Tawus on the authority of his father that if asick person becomes unconscious, he is not to make up the prayers he missed .

Mu’ammar relates: “I asked az-Zuhri about one who becomes unconscious,and he said that he is not to make up the salah he missed.”

Hamad ibn Salamah relates from Yunus ibn ‘Ubaid that both al-Hassan al-Basriand Muhammad ibn Sireen said that a person who falls unconscious is not to makeup the prayers he may miss.

Concerning missing a salah intentionally, the majority of the scholars saythat it is a sin and the missed salah must be made up for. Ibn Taimaiyyah says:

Volume2, Page 99a: In law, there is no way for one who leaves a salah intentionallyto make its qada’
He may however, resort to increasing his voluntary and supererogatory acts.Ibn Hazm has thoroughly discussed this question. The following is a summary ofwhat he says on this subject:

Concerning one who leaves a salah intentionally until its time expires, hewill never be able to make up for that salah. Such a person should turn toAllah and ask His forgivness and increase his good deeds and nawafil in orderto increase his weight [of good] on the Day of Resurrection. Abu Hanifah,Malik, and ash-Shaf’i say that he can make up the prayer after its time hasexpired, and Malik and Abu Hanifa even say that if a person intentionallymisses a prayer or a few prayers, then he is to make up those prayers before heprays the present salah, even if he has missed all five prayers and should,while making them up, miss the present salah. They say that if he missed morethan five prayers, he is to begin by praying the salah whose time is present[and then he is to make up the prayers he missed]. The proof for our position[i.e, the position of Ibn Hazm] is found in the words of Allah, the Exalted:”Woe unto the worshippers who are heedless of their prayers,” and:”And then there succeeded them a later generation who wasted the prayersand followed their own lusts, but they will meet with destruction.” If onewho intentionally misses a salah could make it up later, then why is itmentioned with affliction or transgression? Of course, there is no afflictionor transgression on one who delays the salah. But the case of one whoprocrastinates until the last portion of its permissible time expires is quitedifferent. Allah, the Exalted, has appointed certain times for the fard salah;both the beginning time and the ending time for the salah have beenestablished, and there is no difference between praying a salah before its timeand praying it after its proper time elapses because, in both cases the salahis not performed within its prescribed time. This is not to draw an analogybetween one and the other but it is applying the same rule to them as they bothmust be performed within the limits set by Allah. Allah, the Exalted, says:”Whoever transgresses the limits set by Allah has verily wronged his ownsoul!” : The principle of making qada’ must be established by the propersources of Islamic law. Legislating [in shari’ah] is not permissible, save byAllah’s authority as evidenced by His Prophet.

We ask those people who say that one may make qada’ for a salah which hemisses intentionally: “Tell us about this salah that you want him toperfom, is it the same salah that Allah ordered him to perform or is it adifferent one?” If they say it is the same one, then we may say to them:”Then one who misses it intentionally is not guilty of being disobedient[to Allah, the Exalted], as he has done what Allah had ordered him to do, andthere is no sin upon him according to your statement and likewise there shouldbe no blame upon one who intentionally delays a salah until its time expires,but that is not an acceptable position for any Muslim.” If they say thatit is not the salah which Allah ordered, we may say: “You have told thetruth,” and this is a sufficient confession from them. Then, we may askthem: “Is one who intentionally leaves the salah until its time expiresbeing obedient or disobedient to Allah?” If they say obedient, they willbe differing from the consensus of the Muslims and the Qur’an and the confirmedsunnah. If they say he is being disobedient, they are speaking the truth and itis not valid that an act of disobedience should replace an act of obedience.Also, Allah, the Exalted, has set specific limits, through the tongue of HisMessenger, for the times of the salah. Each salah has a specific beginningtime, and no one may perform the salah before that time, and each prayer has aspecific ending time, and no one may perform the salah after that time. No oneof this ummah will dispute that point. However, if one is allowed to pray afterthe time set by the Messenger of Allah, then setting an ending time for thesalah has no meaning to it. Such an opinion is nonsense and may Allah, theExalted, keep us from it. Every action is connected with a certain time and itis not valid outside of that time; if it was valid outside of that time, whatwould be the purpose of that time being specifically singled out for that act?[The logic of this argument] is clear and Allah, the Almighty, is ourSupporter.

Ibn Hazm discusses this point at great length, and adds: “If making upa salah is obligatory for one who has left a salah, even after its time hasexpired, why is it that Allah and His Messenger have chosen not to mention thatfact as (surely) they did not forget it: “And your Lord is notforgetful!” Any law that is not based on the Qur’an or the sunnah is notvalid. It has been authentically reported that the Prophet said: “Whoevermisses the ‘asr salah, it is as if he has lost his family and hisproperty.” It is correct to say that if one “misses” something,he cannot make it up, for if he makes it up or could make it up, the act wouldnot be “missed.” The entire Muslim ummah is in agreement with thestatement and ruling that if the time of the salah has elapsed, then the salahis “over” [i.e., “qada” in Arabic], but if one can make itup, the statement that the salah is “over” becomes false and untrue;therefore, there is no way that it could ever be made up. The people who agreewith us on this include ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, his son ‘Abdullah, Sa’d ibn AbiWaqas, Salman al-Farsi, ibn Mas’ud, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, Budailal-‘Uqaili, Muhammad ibn Sireen, Mutraf ibn ‘Abdullah, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdulaziz,and others. Allah has left no excuse, for anyone required to perform the salah,to delay the salah from its proper time for any reason whatsoever, not evenduring times of fighting, fear, extreme illness, or travelling. Allah says: “Andwhen you are among them and arrange them for salah, let only one party be withyou” And: “But if you are in danger, then walking or riding.”Allah, the Exalted, does not permit even the extremely sick person to delay thesalah. In fact, such a person has been ordered to pray sitting, if he cannotpray standing, and if he cannot pray sitting, then he may pray on his side.Also, if one cannot make ablution with water, he may make tayammum; and if hecannot find soil to make tayammum, he may still pray. Whence has the permissionbeen obtained that one may intentionally leave the salah until its time isfinished and who has ordered that it be performed after its time and how is itthat the belated salah would be sufficient? None of this is derived from theQur’an, Sunnah, Qiyas (analogical reasoning), and so forth.

Ibn Hazm further says: “Concerning our statement that the one whointentionally leaves a salah until its time expires is to repent to Allah, theExalted, ask for His forgiveness, pray an increased number of nawafil, and dogood deeds. This statement is based on Allah’s words: “Then theresucceeded them a generation who missed prayers and followed after lusts. Butthey will meet destruction save him who repents and believes and does right.Such will enter the garden and will not be wronged,” and: “…thosewho, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and imploreforgiveness for their sins – who forgives sins, save Allah – and will notknowingly repeat the wrong they did,” and: “Whoever does an atom’sweight of good shall see it and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil shall seeit,” and: “…We set a just balance for the day of resurrection so nosoul shall be wronged.”

This [Muslim] ummah is in agreement, and there are texts that state thatvoluntary acts are a type of good deeds and Allah knows how much they arereally worth. It necessarily follows that a number of voluntary works may beequivalent in merit to an obligatory deed and may even amount to a greatermerit. Furthermore, Allah has informed us that He does not waste the action ofany person and that the good deeds erase the evil ones

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