If a person dies before being able to complete his missed (qada) prayers, will his prayers be completed by his sunnah prayers when he is questioned?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

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 (nafilah) prayers?' If he has supererogatory prayers, his fard prayers will be completed by them. Then, the same thing will be done for the other fard deeds." (1)

As it is seen, it is stated in the hadith that missing fard prayers will be completed by supererogatory 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 "Arizatul-Ahwazi", Abu Bakr Ibnul-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)

References:

1. see Abu Dawud, as-Sunan, 1/200 (Salah, 145, No: 8(i4), cairo, 1371/1952; Tirmidhi al-Jamius-Sahih, 2/270 (Salah, 188, No: 413), Cairo, 1356/ 1937; Nasai, as-Sunan, 1/232 (Salah, 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. see 2/207, Cairo (Matbaatu1-Misriyya), 1350/1951; Azimabadi, Awnul-Mabud, 2/116, Delhi, 1322; Saharanfuri, Bazlul-Majhud, 5/136; Mahmud Muhammad as-Subki, al-Manhalul-Azbil-Mawrud, 5/311, Egypt, 1394; Suyuti, Zahrur-Ruba ala'l-Mujtaba, 1/233 (together with Sunanu Nasai); Hashiyatus-Sindi ala Sharhin-Nasai Lis-Suyuti, 1/232-233 (together with Sunanu Nasai); Baghawi, Sharhus-Sunna, 4/159, Damascus 1390-1400/1970-1980; Haydar Hatiboğlu, Sünen-i İbn Mâce Tercemesi ve Şerhi, 4/248. İst., 1983.

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