Can supererogatory (nafilah) prayers be regarded as fard prayers in the hereafter if one's fard prayers are incomplete?

The Details of the Question

Can supererogatory (nafilah) prayers be regarded as fard prayers in the hereafter if one's fard prayers are incomplete?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is fard to perform missed fard prayers. Therefore, it is necessary to perform all of the missed prayers in this world. Otherwise, we will be held responsible in the hereafter.

Yes, Allah is Ghafur (the Forgiver) and Rahim (the All-Compassionate). He forgives our sins if He wishes. However, it is wrong to skip prayers by relying on this. Allah knows when we try to perform missed prayers. Therefore, a person who did not perform prayers for ten years needs to intend to perform those missed prayers. However, if he dies before finishing performing those prayers Allah's mercy and forgiveness will be manifest about this person. As it is understood from the narrations that come from Islamic scholars, Allah will accept the sunnah prayers of those people for the missed fard prayers.

The hadith mentioned in the question is narrated in all of the Kutub as-Sittah books except Bukhari and Muslim, in Musnad of Ahmad b. Hanbal, Sunan of Darimi and Mustadrak of Hakim, having partly different words and chains of narrators. The meaning of the hadith is as follows:

"The first thing a Muslim will be accounted for on the Day of Judgment is prayers. If he performed them fully in the world, there will be no problem for him. Otherwise, the angels will be addressed as follows: 'See if he has supererogatory prayers.' If he has supererogatory prayers, his fard prayers will be completed by them. Then, the same thing is done for the other fard deeds." (1)

As it is seen, it is stated in the hadith that missing fard prayers will be completed bysupererogatory prayers. The scholars who explain hadiths state that it is possible to understand the hadith as both "missed prayers to be completed by supererogatory prayers", which is understood from the apparent meaning of the hadith, and "the missing parts of the performed fard prayers like adab, sunnah, khushu, dua and dhikr to be completed by supererogatory prayers".

In the explanation of Tirmidhi called "Arizatu'l-Ahwazi", Abu Bakr Ibnu'l-Arabi states the following: "In my opinion, the possibility of missed fard prayers to be completed by supererogatory prayers is stronger because it is stated later in the hadith that the same thing is done for the other fard deeds."(2) It will be wrong not to perform missed prayers or skip prayers acting upon this hadith. As a matter of fact, Allah knows the intentions of people and treat them accordingly.


(1) Abu Dawud, as-Sunan, 1/200 (Salat, 145, No: 8(i4), Cairo, 1371/1952; Tirmidhi al-Jamiu's-Sahih, 2/270 (Salat, 188, No: 413), Cairo, 1356/ 1937; Nasai, as-Sunan, 1/232 (Salat, 9) Cairo 1312; Ibn Majah, as- Sunan, 1/458 (Iqama, 202, No: 1425), Cairo, 1372/1952; Darimi, as- Sunan, 1/313, (Salat, 91) Egypt, 1349; Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 1/394 (No:966), Beirut, 1411/1990. (2) 2/207, Cairo (Matbaatu’1-Misriyya), 1350/1951; Azimabadi, Awnu'l-Mabud, 2/116, Delhi, 1322; Saharanfuri, Bazlul-Majhud, 5/136; Mahmud Muhammad as-Subki, al-Manhalu'l-Azbi'l-Mawrud, 5/311, Egypt, 1394; Suyuti, Zahru'r-Ruba ala'l-Mujtaba, 1/233 (with Sunan Nasai); Hashiyatu's-Sindi ala Sharhi'n-Nasai lis's-Suyuti, 1/232-233 (with Sunan Nasai); Baghawi, Sharhu's-Sunna, 4/159, Damascus 1390-1400/1970-1980; Haydar Hatiboğlu, Sunan Ibn Majah Translation and Explanation, 4/248. Ist., 1983.

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