Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Recently I became aware that I was accidentally praying ‘Asr according to Hanafi madhab a bit after its time had passed. So every time I prayed with the niyyah of Ada’, It was qada.
Do I have to perform qada for all of those months? Is there an excuse for my ignorance?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
The ‘Asr prayer window extends from the end of Zhuhr prayer time to the entrance of Maghrib prayer time. It is highly unlikely that you delayed the entire ‘Asr prayer past the door of Maghrib time.
Even if you completed one unit of prayer before the sunset, your ‘Asr is valid and considered a current performance (ada).
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever catches one unit of the ‘Asr prayer before the sun sets has caught it (i.e., the ‘Asr prayer).” [Bukhari]
It is unlikely that you delayed ‘Asr beyond its time without knowing it. When the sun sets, that sky begins to darken, and apparent signs are manifest. Even then, if even one unit of ‘Asr prayer landed within ‘Asr time – the prayer is valid and considered a current performance (ada). [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]
Even If the Sun Sets
Even if the sun sets, your ‘Asr prayer is valid, although considered a make-up prayer (qada). The reason is that the intention is knowledge of the specific prayer that one is praying. This knowledge entails the following:
- Knowing which of the prayers one is praying (i.e., ‘Asr prayer);
- Knowing which specific prayer (i.e., the ‘Asr of today) [Ibid.]
Both of these conditions are found in someone praying ‘Asr, even though the prayer is delayed beyond its window. The same cannot be said of someone who is praying a missed prayer from a month ago or from a year ago, as specifying which prayer (condition number 2) is unlikely without thinking: in your case, such a specification is obvious and intuitive.
Consider your past prayers valid. Be sure to follow the correct ‘Asr prayer time, as explained above, from here on. Using a prayer app or the prayer chart of a local mosque will facilitate praying at the proper times.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani