7969: She missed some prayers in the past – what should she do?


My Aunt ask me to ask you this question,  She asked in past there were Faraj Salat that she missed, now she wants to know  what does sharia say about past missed Salat. I would really appreciate if you could answer this question.  May Allah reward you for evrything

Praise be to Allaah. 

It is not clear from your question whether your aunt missed the prayers because of a reason such as sleeping, forgetting or being unconscious, etc., or whether she missed them deliberately, with no valid excuse. Whatever the case, if she missed them for a reason, she has to make up what she has missed, and also repent for the delay.

 If she did not have any excuse for missing the prayers, but denied that they are obligatory, or thought that they did not matter, or was too lazy to do them, then the correct scholarly view is that if a person who does not pray because he does not think the prayers are obligatory, or he is too lazy or he thinks they do not matter, there is no way that he can make up these prayers. There are deeds which must be done for Allaah at night, and He does not accept them during the day, and deeds which must be done during the day which He does not accept at night. (See the book: I want to repent, but…) The person who deliberately does not pray is a kaafir, if he does not pray at all; but if he repents and prays, he comes back to Islam, and he does not have to make up what he has missed, but he is advised to do a lot of naafil prayers. Islam also wipes out whatever (sins) came before.

 Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) was asked the following question:

 “I am a Muslim woman, al-hamdu-Lillaah. Not so long ago I did not pray and I did not know anything about matters of religion. But now, al-hamdu Lillaah, Allaah has guided me and I have started to pray, fast, read Qur’aan and recite Tasbeeh. I have completed the Qur’aan for the tenth time. Will Allaah forgive me for what I have done in the past and what I will do in the future, in secret and openly in my life? What more can I do so that Allaah will forgive me?” 

The response was: 

Repentance wipes out whatever (sins) came before it. So long as you have repented sincerely – al-hamdu Lillaah – and you are doing the duties enjoined upon you by Allaah and avoiding what He has forbidden, then Allaah will forgive whatever came before that repentance. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: “O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins” [al-Zumar 39:53] – even shirk, if the person who committed shirk then repents from it to Allaah, He will accept his repentance. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past will be forgiven” [al-Anfaal 8:38]. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam wipes away whatever (sins) came before it, and repentance wipes away whatever (sins) came before it.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 4/204). If you have repented sincerely and you do what Allaah has enjoined upon you and avoid that which He has forbidden, this will be sufficient in sha Allaah for your past sins to be forgiven, but you must good deeds in the future, and keep on repenting and obeying the Islamic commandments which Allaah has enjoined upon you.

 And Allaah knows best.

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Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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