I have read some post dealing with praying salat of the day before or just a couple of hours ago. But my question is extended to a longer time period. I want to get more insight about whether or not you should catch up to your prayers before you consistently prayed every salat.

Example 1: Let's say you started to pray consistently when about 7 years of age. Do you need to pray additional salats to reach the total amount of prayers that you have lived on this earth. Or can you just let it slip because you were too young.

Example 2: Let's say you're 20 years old and you started to pray when you were 10 years old but over the years you consciously didn't pray salats for weeks or even months because you had a tough time to go through. Do you then need to catch up with the prayers that you consciously missed?

1 Answer 1


Prayer (salah) becomes obligatory from the age of puberty. Let's say your puberty came at the age of 13 years, and now you are 30 years of age. So you must have 17 years of prayer from puberty.

So if you left prayer for sometime, you need to complete the unfulfilled prayers (with qada salah) totalling 17 years.

Now there is a difference of opinion -

Case A) Hambali madhab:

Imam Ahmed ibn Hambal (Rahimahullah) said one who left salah, left Islam. He (ra) has based this on this hadith,

Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The difference between us and them is salaah. Whoever neglects it is a kaafir." (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, Sahih Hadith)

This is also the position of Hambali madhab. There are few other hadiths to support this.

So that means, if you left salah completely and intentionally for a few years and started to do again at the age of 25, then you basically became Muslim again. So you do not have to do qada salah for all the neglected years.

Case B) Majority Scholars on Scenario-1

If a person denies that prayer is obligatory and so he did not do the salah for years, then he is a kafir, and his case is same as case A above.

Case C)  Majority Scholars on Scenario-2

If a person does not deny that prayer is obligatory, but he missed prayers due to laziness, then he is still a Muslim with grave sin, and he should complete the missed salah.

Variation of Case C based on burden:

If the person has missed many many years of prayer, for example, 15 years of prayer. This can be a huge burden for him, and it maybe said to him - 'repent to Allah with sincerity, and complete from the missed prayer as much as you can, and pray all the sunnah prayers connected to the five obligatory prayers and hope for Allah's mercy to shower upon you for the incomplete prayers on the day of judgement.'

But if the person thinks he can fulfill all the years of missed salah, even if it is difficult, then he has taken a safe path - May Allah make it easy for him. Ameen.

Allah knows best.

  • And what if it is because of laziness and if I didn't pray for a couple of months.
    – user24306
    Apr 2, 2018 at 22:44
  • I've already prayed 1 month
    – user24306
    Apr 2, 2018 at 22:46
  • But I'm not sure how many months in total I missed. I think it was 1 month and a half.
    – user24306
    Apr 2, 2018 at 22:47
  • For a couple of months, it will be easy inshaAllah. You can do 1 extra fajr (2 rakat) after every fajr prayer, 1 extra duhr (4 rakat) after every duhr prayer and so on, just to distribute the load and you will see it all done in a few months, inshaAllah. But you can also do lot of extra salah in the night as you wish. For every salah you must have the niyyah that you are doing the qada of missed fajr or duhr or asr etc. Apr 2, 2018 at 22:49
  • I did it like you said but night salats I never did.
    – user24306
    Apr 2, 2018 at 22:50

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