Making up missed fasts and prayers and rectifying past remissness

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher

I have days of fasting to make up from this year and unfortunately from previous years. 1 – Do I have to pay a certain amount for each fast I missed as well as making up the fast or do I just fast the missed days or do I just pay the amount due? 2- I would like to fast the six days in shawaal as I read this is sunnah and good to do – If however I have these missed fasts to make up can I still do this? Can I fast the days of shawaal with the intention to also make up missed fasts or do they have to be separate, i.e. make intention to only do the missed fast and not intention to fast the days of shawaal? I have missed prayers to make up from when I was not practicing a lot. Unfortunately this is about over seven years of prayers. At the moment I pray five times a day and pray all the sunnah and fard parts of the salah. I would like to make up my missed prayers – 1- Do I just make up the fard part i.e fajr=2,dhur=4,asr=4, maghrib=3 – for esha do I pray 4 rakats or do I pray 4 rakats and the witr 3 as I have heard witr should not be left? 2- should I not pray the sunnah of the prayers I am doing now daily and do the fard missed ones instead? or can/should I continue with the prayers as I am doing them (sunnah and fard) and do the missed fard on top of this? 3 – If I want to pray tahajjud prayer or nafl prayers is it ok to do these seeing as I have fard prayers to make up? Should I not do the nafl/tahajjud prayers until I have made up all the fard ones I missed? will the tahajjud and nafl prayers be accepted if I do them if I haven’t made up missed fard prayers? Jazakallah for you time and patience in answering all questions given by everyone.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to Allah and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray this message finds you well.

May Allah Most High reward you for your concern for this deen. It is always heartening to see people striving to fulfill their religious obligations. As you know, there’s great reward in this, in both the worldly life and eternal life.

To answer your questions:

1. Making up missed fasts:

You do not owe an expiatory payment. However, you are obliged to make up any fasts you missed. If you have a lot of missed fasts, then you need to make up a schedule. You can easily discharge this obligation by fasting on the Sunna days, such as every Monday and Thursday, or the White Days, which are the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month.
Please see Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari’s answer “Does One Perform Make-Ups or Pay Expiation for Days Not Fasted?”

2. Fasting supererogatory fasts when  you have obligatory make-ups to do:

Yes, you can fast the six days of Shawwal and make up days missed from Ramadan. What you should do is on the night before you intend to fast, you should intend to do a Qada fast, and then make a secondary intention to do a Sunna fast. Please see Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s answer “Combining intentions in fasting–make up fasts and six days of Shawwal.

3. What part of missed prayers should you make up:

You need to make up all missed fard and wajib prayers. You do not need to make up missed sunna prayers. So, for missed Fajr prayers, you will pray two raka’at, and for missed Dhuhr prayers, you will pray four raka’at, and so on. You do need to make up missed Witr prayers. So when you pray your Qada Isha, you should follow that up with a Qada Witr.

4. Do you skip current Sunna prayers in favor of making up missed Fard prayers?

No. You make up your missed Fard prayers and keep on praying your current Fard and Sunna prayers. Don’t miss out on the barakah of Sunna prayers. These compensate for deficiencies in your Fard prayers. It’s also blameworthy to deliberately skip Sunna prayers.

Please see Shaykh Faraz’s answer “Make up Prayers: Is it obligatory to pray sunna prayers along with fard?”

5. What about making Tahajjud and other Nafl prayers when you have missed Fard prayers? Will they be accepted?

You should continue to make your Tahajjud and Nafl prayers, while making up your missed Fard prayers. Allah Most High looks at all of these prayers on an individual basis. So you should think well of Allah Most High and ask Him to accept all your prayers.
When you get up at night for Tahajjud, you should take that opportunity to do some make-up prayers. This way, you are taking care of your Qada and getting the reward of Tahajjud.
Please see Shaykh Faraz’s answer “Makeup Prayers: Performing Sunna Prayers When One Has Makeup Prayers.” 

I pray this answers your questions.

May Allah Ta’ala bless your efforts in His way.