Did the Prophet (pbuh) ever miss any prayers and perform qada (missed) prayers?

Details of the Question

Did the Prophet (pbuh) ever miss any prayers and perform qada (missed) prayers?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Prophet performed qada (missed) prayers. During the Battle of Khandaq, the polytheists prevented the Muslims from performing four daily prayers; even some part of the night past. Finally, the Messenger of Allah ordered Bilal al-Habashi to call adhan and iqamah and they performed the noon prayer. Then, he called iqamah again and they performed the afternoon prayer. Then, he called iqamah again and they performed the evening prayer, and finally the night prayer after iqamah again.

According to Abu Bakr Ibnul-Arabi, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) performed the morning prayer as qada three times with the Companions while travelling because they could not wake up. One of them was while returning from the Battle of Khaybar. According to what is reported from Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah went to sleep in the place where they stopped on the way because he felt sleepy and told Bilal to awaken them for the morning prayer. Bilal performed nafilah prayers but fell asleep leaning on his animal toward the morning. Neither the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) nor the Companions woke up due to being exhausted; they woke up when the sun shone on their faces. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) woke up first and warned Bilal. The army proceeded for a while. Then, the Prophet ordered the Companions to make wudu; the Prophet performed a prayer of two rak’ahs first. Then, Bilal called iqamah and they performed the morning prayer in congregation as qada. Then, the Messenger of Allah said,

"If a person forgets to perform a prayer, let him perform it as soon as he remembers it. For, Allah said, ‘establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise.’” (Taha, 20/ 14)  (Muslim, Masajid, 309; Abu Dawud, Salat, 11; Tirmidhi, Tafsiru Sura, 20; Ibn Majah, Salat, 10; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, IV, 47).

According to what Abu Qatada and Imran b. Husayn narrated separately, in another journey, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) performed the morning prayer as qada after the sun rose and became white due to falling asleep. Those who reported the incident did not mention which expedition it was; therefore, hadith scholars said it could be Khaybar, Tabuk, Hudaybiyyah or Jayshul-Umara expeditions. (see Bukhari, Tayammum, 6; Manaqib, 25; Muslim, Masajid, 311, 312; Sahih Muslim Translation and Explanation, IV, 1955-1963)

QADA (MISSED PRAYER)

A prayer that is performed after its determined time.

Qada means to decree and to judge, to fulfill. It means to fulfill a duty after its determined time; it also means the realization of qadar determined by the pre-eternal knowledge of Allah Almighty when its time is due. In the latter sense, “qada” is a kalam term. “Qada” in the sense of performing a prayer after its time determined by the shari’ah is a fiqh term. A prayer performed within its prescribed time is called “ada” and performing a prayer again due to incompleteness is called “iada”.

In Islam, certain times for performing deeds of worshipping like prayer, fasting and hajj have been determined. If those periods of times are missed, qada, not ada, is in question. It is fard to perform fard prayers within their determined periods of time. It is regarded among major sins to pass the time of a prayer without any excuse. When a person performs a prayer as qada, the debt of that prayer is removed but the sin caused by missing it continues. It is necessary for such a person to repent of that sin and beg Allah for it. An accepted hajj is atonement for major sins; it is hoped that the previous sins of hajjis caused by not performing prayers in time without excuse will be forgiven. A fard prayer can be delayed due to serious excuses like the fear of enemy or by a pregnant woman due to the fear that her baby might die. The fear of a traveler from thieves and robbers is included in the scope of fear of enemy. (Ibnul Humam, Fathul-Qadir, Egypt 1389/1970, I, 485 ff; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, Beirut 1400/1980, I, 121 ff; Ibn Abidin Raddul-Muhtar alad-Durril-Mukhtar, Istanbul 1984, II, 62).

Daily chores, jobs, occupations, working for the livelihood of the family and travelling are not regarded as excuses to delay fard prayers. The following is stated in the Quran: "By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah, nor from regular Prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: Their (only) fear is for the Day when hearts and eyes will be transformed (in a world wholly new)." (an-Nur, 24/37).

When the Prophet was asked what deed was the most virtuous, he said, "the prayer performed in time”. (see Abu Dawud, Salat, 9; Tirmidhi, Mawaqit, 13; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, VI, 374, 375, 440)

During the Battle of Khandaq, the polytheists prevented the Muslims from performing four daily prayers; even some part of the night past. Finally, the Messenger of Allah ordered Bilal al-Habashi to call adhan and iqamah and they performed the noon prayer. Then, he called iqamah again and they performed the afternoon prayer. Then, he called iqamah again and they performed the evening prayer, and finally the night prayer after iqamah again. Abu Said al-Khudri states that the following verse was sent down then: "And Allah turned back the Unbelievers for (all) their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of Strength, able to enforce His Will" (al-Ahzab, 33/25). However, when the Battle of Khandaq took place, the verse about the prayer of fear (khawf) had not been sent down yet. Allah states the following in that verse: "If ye fear (an enemy), pray on foot, or riding, (as may be most convenient), but when ye are in security, celebrate Allah´s praises in the manner He has taught you, which ye knew not (before)." (al-Baqara, 2/239; see an-Nisa, 4/101-103)

In some battles, the Prophet performed “prayer of fear”; and afterwards, the Companions performed it in battles against fireworshippers. They did not prefer to delay their prayers due to the fear of enemy.

According to Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad, prayer of fear is a prayer that can be performed in cases of fear of enemy, flood, fire, etc. and that is valid up to Doomsday. This shows the importance Islam gives to prayer and performing it in congregation. That prayer is demanded to be performed in all cases except very serious conditions like danger of death in any way that is possible like by standing, sitting, lying down and with the gesture of the head aims to ensure that prayer be performed within its determined period of time.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following indicating that a believer will be regarded as excused in two cases when he misses a prayer: "If a person cannot perform a prayer in its determined time due to oversleeping or forgetting, he should perform it when he remembers it." (Tirmidhi, Salat, 16, Mawaqit, 53; Ibn Majah, Salat, 10). Since only sleeping and forgetting are mentioned here, some scholars like Ibn Hazm state that those who miss prayers deliberately without any excuse cannot perform them as qada later and that it will be more appropriate for them to repent to Allah and ask for forgiveness. (Ibn Rushd, Bidayatul-Mujtahid, Translated by Ahmed Meylani, Istanbul 1973, I, 268)

However, according to the majority of Islamic fiqh scholars, it is fard to perform missed prayers as qada later. Since qada is necessary in case of an excuse like sleeping or forgetting, it is definitely necessary for those who do not perform prayers without an excuse. In addition, it is necessary to repent and ask Allah for forgiveness due to delaying the prayer. Repentance without performing the missed prayer will not be valid. For, one of the conditions of repentance is to give up the bad deed. (Ibnul-Humam, ibid, I, 485 ff; Ibn Abidin, ibid, II, 62-67)

According to Abu Bakr Ibnul-Arabi, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) performed the morning prayer as qada three times with the Companions while travelling because they could not wake up. One of them was while returning from the Battle of Khaybar. According to what is reported from Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah went to sleep in the place where they stopped on the way because he felt sleepy and told Bilal to awaken them for the morning prayer. Bilal performed nafilah prayers but fell asleep leaning on his animal toward the morning. Neither the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) nor the Companions woke up due to being exhausted; they woke up when the sun shone on their faces. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) woke up first and warned Bilal. The army proceeded for a while. Then, the Prophet ordered the Companions to make wudu; the Prophet performed a prayer of two rak’ahs first. Then, Bilal called iqamah and they performed the morning prayer in congregation as qada. Then, the Messenger of Allah said, "If a person forgets to perform a prayer, let him perform it as soon as he remembers it. For, Allah said, ‘…establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise.’” (Taha, 20/ 14)  (Muslim, Masajid, 309; Abu Dawud, Salat, 11; Tirmidhi, Tafsiru Sura, 20; Ibn Majah, Salat, 10; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, IV, 47)

According to what Abu Qatada and Imran b. Husayn narrated separately, in another journey, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) performed the morning prayer as qada after the sun rose and became white due to falling asleep. Those who reported the incident did not mention which expedition it was; therefore, hadith scholars said it could be Khaybar, Tabuk, Hudaybiyyah or Jayshul-Umara expeditions. (see Bukhari, Tayammum, 6; Manaqib, 25; Muslim, Masajid, 311, 312; Sahih Muslim Translation and Explanation, IV, 1955-1963)

It is possible to summarize the fiqh decrees related to performing qada prayers as follows:

It is fard to perform the five daily prayers that have not been performed in time and it is wajib to perform a missed witr prayer as qada. As for the Sunnah prayers, if the fard and sunnah of the morning prayer have not been performed in time, this sunnah prayer is performed as qada together with fard after the sunrise and before noon (up to the time of istiwa) on the same day. It is not performed as qada before sunrise or after istiwa. If the first sunnah of the noon prayer is abandoned in order to catch up with the congregation for the fard prayer, it is performed as qada after the fard and before the last sunnah. It can also be performed after the last sunnah. The reason why the word qada is used here for the sunnah prayer is metaphoric. (see Ibn Abidin, ibid, II, 65). The sunnahs that are abandoned are not necessary to be performed as qada. However, if a Sunnah or nafilah prayer is abandoned after it has been started, it becomes wajib to perform it as qada. Women do not perform the prayers that they cannot perform when they menstruate as qada but they perform fasting as qada for the days that they miss in that period.

A person who has no or fewer than 6 six fard prayers to perform as qada is called sahib at-tartib; such a person has to observe the sequence between the missed prayers and daily fard prayers as well as the sequence among the missed prayers. If the number of the prayers that a person who is sahib at-tartib has missed amounts to six or more, he is no longer a sahib at-tartib. In that case, he does not have to observe the sequence among his qada prayers or between his qada prayers and daily prayers.   A person who is sahib at-tartib has to observe the sequence between his qada prayers and daily prayers. A person who is not sahib at-tartib can perform other prayers before performing his qada prayers.

If a person who is sahib at-tartib does not perform a fard prayer, or according to Abu Hanifa also witr prayer, in time without an excuse or with an excuse other than menstruation and puerperium, he has to perform this prayer as qada before the first fard prayer to come. For, it is necessary to observe the sequence among qada prayers and the sequence between qada and daily fard prayers.

If the prayers that has been missed are more than one and if there is enough time to perform some of them and the fard prayer of that time, it is not necessary to observe the sequence.

If a person has more than six missed prayers except witr or six missed prayer, he can performed daily prayers without performing them as qada because qada prayers are regarded as many when they amount to six except witr and regarded as few when they are fewer than six.

Niyyah (intention) is necessary in missed prayers like the daily prayers. However, if a person has a lot of qada prayers and if it is not possible to determine them, niyyah can be made by saying, "the first missed" or "the last missed" prayer.

If the times and number of the missed prayers are certain, niyyah is made accordingly.

If a person becomes a Muslim in dar al-harb and if he has not performed prayers due to his ignorance about prayers and if he learns his religious duties afterwards, he does not have to perform those missed prayers as qada. It is necessary to know in order to be held responsible. A person who becomes a Muslim in dar al-Islam is not regarded as excused related to the issue. He does not perform the prayers that he missed when he was a non-Muslim; they are forgiven by Allah. However, he has to perform prayers after becoming a Muslim; he has to perform the prayers that he misses due to his ignorance or negligence as qada.

Qada prayers can be performed in congregation if both the imam and the congregation perform the same prayer. If the prayer that is performed as qada is one of the prayers in which qira’ah is aloud like the morning, evening and night prayer, the imam reads aloud; otherwise, he reads silently.

It is better to perform qada prayers at home because a major sin is committed when a prayer is missed; it is necessary not to display that sin.

There are no certain times to perform qada prayers. They can be performed any time except the three time periods of karahah.

It is better to perform qada prayer than nafilah prayer. However, it is not appropriate to abandon sunnah muakkadah and sunnah ghayr muakkadah prayers of fard prayers in order to perform qada prayers.

If a prayer that is missed when a person is resident is performed when that person is a traveler, it is not shortened. If a prayer that is missed during traveling is performed after returning to one’s hometown, it can be shortened.

No fard qada prayers, wajib prayers like witr and janazah prayers can be performed in the following three periods of time. “Sajdah at tilawah” cannot be made due to a verse of sajdah that has been read either:

1. From the sunrise to the time of ishraq.

2. When the sun is at the peak (zawal time).

3. From the time when the sun turns yellow, that is, when it does not dazzle eyes, to sunset.

A qada prayer performed in those time periods has to be performed again. It is possible and permissible to perform qada prayers in any other times except those three periods of time. According to Imam Shafii, qada prayers can be performed any time. It is permissible to perform qada prayers in those time periods of karahah.

A person who quits prayers without any excuse and dies before performing them as qada goes to the hereafter with a big burden of sins. His state is between him and Allah. There is no clear verse, hadith or ijma stating that those prayers can be compensated through repentance, asking for forgiveness and kaffarah (atonement). However, acting upon the decree of atoning for debts of fasting of those who could not perform fasting due to old age and a continuous disease and who died before performing them as qada (see al-Baqara, 2/184), Hanafis regard “fidya for prayer” mustahsan based on analogy or the principle of "caution". It is stated by nass that Allah will forgive the rights between Him and martyrs. (see al-Baqara, 2/154; Aalu Imran, 3/169; an-Nisa, 4/69; Muslim, Imara, 152; Nasai, Jihad, 22; Ahmad b. Hanbal, II, 322, III, 251, 289)

Martyrs can be an exception related to the forgiveness of the prayers they could not perform. (for qada prayers, see Ibnul-Humam, ibid, I, 458 ff; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, I, 121 ff; Ibn Abidin, ibid, II, 62 ff.)

Şâmil İA

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