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Irsyad al Fatwa 5



Do we have to qadha’(replace) the obligatory or sunnah prayers that were left because of one’s laziness or negligence? What about prayers that were left since someone reached puberty? Is it only commanded for him to repent or should he replace all of the past prayers that he had left?


Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Allah SWT state:

إِنَّ ٱلصَّلَو‌ٰةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَـٰبًا مَّوْقُوتًا

“Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.”

Surah al-Nisa’ (103)

The above verse states that prayer is an obligation for every Muslim and it is decreed with its own specified time.

Before we answer this issue, we would like to state the ruling of leaving a prayer. The author of al-Fiqh al-Manhaji states: Those who leave their prayer disobeying the obligation or mocking the commandment will be considered as a disbeliever who have renounced Islam.

The authorities are obligated to ask him to repent and should not let him be until he repented and starts praying again. If he continues to refuse to pray, then he will be sentenced to death as is the sentence of a person who denounces Islam and it is impermissible for his body to be bathed, shrouded and prayed for. It is also impermissible for him to be buried in a Muslim graveyard for he is not a Muslim.

Whereas for a person who leaves his prayer because of his laziness or negligence but he believes in its obligation, then the authorities should force him to replace his prayers and repent from his transgressions. If he refuses to qadha’ his prayers as a form of disobedience, then he will be sentenced with the death penalty as sanctioned for those who commit sins. The reason is, the punishment for those who leaves an obligation is the declaration of war on them and after the sentence, they are still considered as Muslims. Thus, their bodies are managed just like a Muslim’s body and the division of inheritance are done according to the Islamic law.

Regarding the above question, the popular opinion in madhhab Syafi’e states that any prayer left should be replaced even if it is not left because a person fell asleep or forgot. The reason is, it is prioritized to pay off the debt of Allah SWT. As for prayers that were left since a person has reached puberty, then they should be replaced according to the person’s capability even if it is done gradually and he must also repent to Allah SWT. He should calculate the amount of prayers he had left with Ghalib zan or certainty so that he is able to replace all the prayers he had left.

However, we believe in the forgiveness of Allah SWT and His acceptance of repentance as well as His statement:

لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.

Surah al-Baqarah (286)

Regarding the replacement of sunnah worship, it is sunnah as has been done by the Prophet PBUH. Repentance is necessary but just repentance is not enough, the left prayers must be replaced according to the commandment of the Prophet PBUH.