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

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is there anything disliked or impermissible about making up obligatory prayers that it would not be mandatory for me to make up?

Explanation: I was considering praying a few extra prayers every day for a period of time such that I could eventually have prayed enough obligatory prayers for it to be counted as if I have been praying since birth. I cannot recall owing any prayers since the time it has become incumbent upon to me perform my five daily prayers, but this seems like a good thing to do.  Plus, in the interest of scrupulousness, this would compensate if I have ever missed a prayer in the past and have not yet made it up for some reason, or if any of my prayers in the past were deficient.

If there is nothing wrong in pursuing the aforementioned goal, am I allowed to combine intention in my prayers (i.e. intend to pray a past dhur along with the 4 rakats of sunnah after dhur, intend to pray a missed fajr with the 2 rakats of sunnah before fajr, etc.)? Or must I pray the compensatory prayers separately?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

May Allah reward you for your since intentions.

This would not be permissible and should not be done. This can be understood from the statements of `Umar and `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (Allah be well pleased with them), “After performing a prayer, the like of it is not performed.” [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf]

Our tradition has clearly defined rules relating to make-up prayers, as well as aspects of precaution and scrupulousness. One does not make-up prayers that he or she does not have to. Even if we take into account aspects of precaution and scrupulousness, all one does for this is estimate how many prayers would have to be made up due to past remissness and simply perform that amount.

There is really no need to go beyond this. It is not called upon in our tradition and nor is it the way of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Rather, if one considered it called upon, it may even be an act of innovation.

Rather than “making-up” prayers one does not need to, simply pray extra supererogatory prayers about which Allah said, “My slave draws nearer to Me through performing the supererogatory till I love him.” [Bukhari] Make this your intention and then strive to do as much as you can.


Checked & Approved by 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.