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Missed Prayers


My Question is if a Muslim man or a woman has not prayed his/her daily 5 obligatory Salah for 13 to 25 years since becoming mature (baleegh), after they have done Taubah do they still have to make up all their missed salah?

Final Question: Would salah be valid if a person is praying Sunnah and Nafl salah after reciting Surah Fatiha if they did not read another Surah?


Wa alaikum Salam wa rahmatullai wa barakatuhu,

1. The position of all four schools of Sunni law is that it is obligatory (fard) to make up all missed obligatory prayers, regardless of why they were missed. And prayer is the first thing we will be questioned about on the Day of Judgement, as the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) informed us.

As for Witr, it is necessary (wajib) because of the many hadiths emphasizing it. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Witr is a duty, and whoever refuses to perform it isn’t of us” (Abu Dawud and Ahmad). However, because it is a less emphatic duty than the obligatory prayers, you can first make up your obligatory prayers, and make up your witr prayers after. However, both must be made up nonetheless. According to the Hanafi school, one would still have to stick to one’s confirmed sunna prayers (sunna mu’akkada) daily, because they remain strongly enjoined such that missing them even once without excuse is blameworthy, and making this a habit is sinful [Ibn Abidin, Hashiya]

2. Reciting a Surah after Surah Fatiha is wajib (compulsory) in the first two rakaats of the Fardh salaat. As for the second two rakaats of a Fard salaat, it is not wajib (nor sunnah) to recite a Surah after Surah Fatiha.

If a person forgets to recite a Surah after Surah Fatiha in the first two rakaats of a Fardh salaat, it becomes wajib (compulsory) on him to recite it (a Surah) in the second two rakaats (or the third rakaat in the case of Maghrib) after Surah Fatiha. It is also wajib to do sajdah sahwu at the end. If the person forgets to recite a Surah in the second two rakaats (or third rakaat in the case of Maghrib) as well, then by doing sajda sahwu his salaat will be valid. In both cases, if he did not do sajdah sahwu, he must repeat his salaat.

And Allah knows best

Mufti Umer Farooq Saleem

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