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Making up Years of Missed Prayers

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question:  My question is regarding years of missed prayers. When making up  Isha prayers, is it necessary to pray the Witr prayer right after the Isha prayers? Or can I make up the Witr prayers separately as well?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Assalam’aleykum, I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Jazakum Allah khayr for your question!

Making Up Missed Prayers

Maintaining correct order between a missed prayer and a current prescribed prayer as well as between missed prayers themselves is necessary, meaning that if not performed in order the prayers themselves are rendered invalid.

However, this order is no longer mandatory in one of the three following  situations:

1-If the entire prayer time of the current prescribed prayer is about to expire, in which case one prays the current prescribed prayer before making up the missed prayer,

2-Forgetfulness,

3-If the number of missed prescribed prayers, excluding witr, becomes six or more.

[Ascent to Felicity, Shaykh Faraz Khan]

The Answer to Your Question

Your question indicates that you are in the third situation described above. This means that the order between the missed prayers themselves (including the missed Witr prayers) is no longer necessary. You can make up the missed prayers in any order you wish.

What Is the Basis for This Ruling?

The basis of this is the following verse [See: Badai’ As-Sanai’ ]:

أَنَّٱلصَّلَوٰةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَٰباً مَّوْقُوتاً

“Prayer at fixed times hath been enjoined on the believers.”

An-Nisa’, Ayah 103

The action of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) confirms this as you can see below:

When making up prayers the basis is that we have to maintain the correct order because when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had to make up prayers he did maintain the order and ordered us to pray as we saw him pray [Hidaya].

But when the missed prayers become six or more they are considered to be a lot (because no one would have to make up several prayers of the same type) and thus there is hardship in maintaining the order. And Allah Most High said, “[Allah] did not impose any hardship on you in the religion” [Qur’an, 22.78].  This is why maintaining the order in this situation is no longer mandatory [Laknawi’s Hashiya on the Hidaya].

Final Remark

When the number of missed prayers, after making them up, goes back to a low number (five or less) maintaining the order between them remains non-mandatory [Nur Al Idah]. 

And Allah knows best.

I hope that the above answers your question. If something is unclear please don’t hesitate to ask again.

May  Allah Most High grant you the best of this world and the next. Please keep us in your du’as!

Wassalam

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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