Estimating the Number of Makeup Prayers

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I want to make up missed prayers. The problem is that I cannot seem to come up with a reasonable estimate. Some years I was good, some I was not. I do not feel I can approximate accurately. Is there any sort of ruling regarding a general number of prayers to make up if an estimate cannot be reached, or something of this nature?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, all you need to do is to make a safe, educated estimate of the number of prayers you missed, and then resolve to pray them consistently until you complete them.

Realize the inspiration that Allah has gifted you to rectify your past shortcomings, and make this a juncture in your life of turning to Allah in love and longing, and with gratitude.

Practically, it may be useful to do the following:

[a] Firstly, determine how many prayers have come into one’s dues (e.g. A 30 year old who hit puberty at 13 will have had 17 years of prayers enter his dues)

[b] Decide how many prayers one performed and missed during those years (e.g. Here, one simply makes a reasonable guess, even if one cannot remember exactly. Thus, one could say something like, “During my teens I didn’t pray much (or often) so I will make up 11 months of prayers for those years…” and so on for the remaining years)

[c] Make a schedule and then strive to complete them.

Please also see:

[1] Making Up Obligatory Fasts and Prayers

[2] Is It Permissible to Make Up Prayers That Don’t Need to Be Made Up?

[3] A Reader on Missed Prayers

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

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