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In this post there's a quote of a maliki point of view regarding how to make up at least fajr prayer (malikis distinct between the sunna and fard of fajr by calling the fard sobh). I also know that some schools a allow making up witr, but don't exactly know the limitations.

My Question is:

What are/is the view(s) of scholars on performing qada' for nafl/sunna prayers, is it recommended, if yes how and are there any limitation (for example can I do qada' when ever I recall it as the case for fard according the sahih hadith:

"He who forgets the prayer, or he slept (and it was omitted), its expiation is (only) that he should observe it when he remembers it."

. or can I only make up the prayers I missed actually).

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  • 1
    I think "allowed" is not the correct word to use in this context. Nafl/sunnah prayers are voluntary actions. So whether you make a niyyah for a make up or another (new) nafl/sunnah prayer does not change it's degree - either way that's going to be a voluntary prayer at most. That's "allowed" is not the correct word here.
    – ozbek
    Jul 15, 2016 at 5:54
  • 1
    Maybe "recommended" would fit?
    – ozbek
    Jul 15, 2016 at 8:00

2 Answers 2

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Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. Alhamdulillahi rabbil-'alamin. Was-Salatu was-Salam 'ala Sayyidina wa Azimina, Wa Habibi Qulubina wa Shafii Nufusina, Abul Qasim Muhammad. Wa 'ala Ahli Bayti tayyibina tahireen.


Is it recommended to perform Qada' of nafl/sunna prayers?

Yes. It is strongly recommended to perform Qada' of nafl/sunna prayers. Following Hadith narrations are proof for it

‘I went over to Abu Ja’far (asws) and I was a youth, so he (asws) described the voluntary (Salāt) for me, and the Fasts. So he (asws) saw the heaviness of that in my face, and he (asws) said to me: ‘This is not like the Obligatory (Salāt) which if one were to neglect it, would be destroyed. But rather, it is the voluntary. If you were too busy from it or neglect it, MAKE UP FOR IT. They (the people) would be disliking if their deeds were to be Raised as complete one day, and one day - deficient. Allah (azwj) Mighty and Majestic is Saying (in Quran)

[70:23] Those who are constant at their Prayer,

and they were disliking if they were to pray Salāt until the day declines, and that the gates of the sky are open when the day (starts to) decline’.

Al Kafi V 3 – The Book Of Salāt CH 84 H 1 (page 18)

The following hadith narrations specify the total number of rak'ahs, both obligatory and optional, that must be prayed a day.

(It has been narrated) from Abu Abdullah (asws) having said: ‘The Obligatory and the optional (Salāts) are fifty one (51) Rak’at – from it are two Rak’at after the night (to be prayed) seated, counted as one Rak’at prayed while he is standing. The Obligatory from these are seventeen Rak’at, and the optional are thirty four Rak’at’.

Al Kafi V 3 – The Book Of Salāt CH 84 H 2 (page 18)

‘I asked Abu Abdullah (asws) about the most superior of what the Sunnah has flowed with, from the Salāt. So he (asws) said: ‘The complete fifty (Rak’at and one while sittingso 51 in total)’.

And it is reported by Al-Husayn Bin Saeed, from Muhammad Bin Sinan – similar to it.

Al Kafi V 3 – The Book Of Salāt CH 84 H 4 (page 19)

In following narrations Imams of Ahlul-Bayt are strongly recommending to fulfill missed optional prayers

‘Abu Abdullah (asws) said: ‘Fulfil whatever is lost by you from the Salāts of the daytime, at daytime, and whatever is lost by you from the Salāts of the night, at night-time’. I said, ‘Can I fulfil two Al-Witr (Salāt) during a night?’ So he (asws) said: ‘Yes, fulfil Witr (Salāt), always’.

Al Kafi V 3 – The Book Of Salāt CH 85 H 3 (page 30)

‘Ismail Bin Jabir asked Abu Abdullah (asws), so he said, ‘May Allah (azwj) Keep you (asws) well! Upon me are a lot of (outstanding) optional (Salāts). So how should I deal with these?’ So he (asws) said: ‘Fulfil them’. So he said to him (asws), ‘They are more numerous than that’. He (asws) said: ‘Fulfil these’. I said, ‘I cannot (even) count them’. He (asws) said: ‘Be at it’.

Al Kafi V 3 – The Book Of Salāt CH 85 H 4 (page 30)

Conclusion

Total number of daily rak'ahs is 50 (51 or 52). This includes obligatory and optional (nafl/sunna) rak'ahs. And performing Qada' of Optional (nafl/sunna) rak'ahs is strongly recommended (Mustahab).

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Only obligatory prayers (Fard) have Qada, for Nafl/Sunnah prayer you don't need Qada.

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    That's simply wrong
    – Sassir
    Jun 25, 2019 at 8:55
  • For whoever is reading this comment, just to clarify: In Sunnah, that's the right thing. "Only obligatory prayers (Fard) have Qada". In Shia, according to previous answer, Nafl/Sunnah prayer need Qada too.
    – user54322
    Apr 14, 2023 at 3:02

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