Is it permissible to unite the intention (niyyah) for a supererogatory prayer and a missed prayer? That is, is it permissible to make intention for both a missed prayer and a supererogatory prayer while starting a prayer?

The Details of the Question
Is it permissible to unite the intention (niyyah) for a supererogatory prayer and a missed prayer? That is, is it permissible to make intention for both a missed prayer and a supererogatory prayer while starting a prayer?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is not accepted by Hanafi mujtahids and fiqh scholars except some catechism books like "Najatu'l-Mu'minin", whichare not regarded as resources, and some scholars who quote from them that one prayer can be performed by two intentions (niyyahs), one being a for missed prayer and the other for a supererogatory one.     

As it is known, sheer intention for prayer is enough for the validity of sunnah and supererogatory prayers; however, it is necessary to determine the name and type of the prayer (for instance, "the fard of today's noon prayer", "the fard of yesterday's missed afternoon prayer", etc) for the validity of fard and wajib prayers. (1) Therefore, it is regarded permissible to have two intentions for the same prayer as a sunnah and a supererogatory prayer like tahiyyatu'l-masjid and duha prayers. However, uttering two different intentions for a fard prayer is not permissible whether it is a missed prayer or a prayer performed in time. In that case, the intention is accepted for the stronger prayer.

Look at the following examples:

a. When one intention is made for two different fard prayers one of which is fard al-ayn, the other is fard al-kifaya, it becomes valid for fard al-ayn.

b. When one intention is made for two different prayers one of whose time has not started, the other has started, it becomes valid for the one whose time has started.

c. When one intention is made for two fard prayers one of which is a missed prayer, the other is a current prayer, it becomes valid for the current prayer.   

d. When one intention is made for two missed prayers, it becomes valid for the previous one if the person is sahib at-tartib (a person who has not missed more than five prayers); otherwise, this intention is invalid.

e. When one intention is made for a supererogatory prayer and a janazah prayer, it becomes valid for the supererogatory prayer because it is a complete prayer with ruku and prostrations. 

f. When one intention is made for a fard (for instance, a missed prayer) and a sunnah or a supererogatory prayer, it becomes valid only for the fard prayer according to the Imam Abu Yusuf. According to the Imam Muhammad, it does not become valid for any of them for the latter case. (2)

As it is seen, according to the statements of the most reliable resources mentioned in the footnotes, a prayer performed with the intention of "both a missed prayer and a current sunnah prayer" does not become valid as a fard, sunnah or supererogatory prayer according to the Imam Muhammad. According to the Imam Abu Yusuf, it becomes valid only as a fard prayer; no reward is given for the intention of the sunnah or supererogatory prayer. Since the ijtihads of two mujtahids are like that, it is insignificant to say, such and such a statement exists in the book of a person who is not regarded even as a fiqh scholar.

Doubtlessly, the Muslims who abandon sunnah prayers by performing missed fard prayers instead of them do not become sinners. The prayers they perform as missed prayers are valid. However, they will be deprived of the rewards of sunnah prayers; besides, they will cause harm due to negligence by abandoning sunnah al-muakkadah prayers without excuse. In addition, they will be exposed to the scolding and reprehension of the Prophet (pbuh). (3)

Footnotes:

1. Ibn Hümam, ibid, 1/186-187; Ahmad Tahtawi, ibid., p. 179; Haskafi, ad-Durru’l-Mukhtar, 1/279-280; Ibn Abidin, ibid., 1/279-280; Hacı Zihni Ef., ibid, p. 84.

2. Ibn Hümam, ibid, 1/187; Ibrahim al-Halabi, Ghunyatu'l-Mutamalli (Halabi Kabir), p. 249-251, İst., 1325; Halabi Saghir, p. 121-122, Ist., 1309; Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbah wa'n-Nazair, p. 39-43, Damascus, 1403/ 1983; al-Bahru'r-Raik, 1/296-297, Beirut, n.d.; al-Fatawa'l-Hindiyya, 1/65; Ahmad at-Tahtawi, ibid, p. 174; Ibn Abidin, ibid, 295-296; Zihni Efendi, ibid, 84-86; Ö.N. Bilmen, ibid, p. 118-119.

3. Babarti ibid, 1/13; Abu Ghudda, Taqdimatu Fathi Babi'l-Inaya bi Sharhi Kitabi'n-Nuqaya, 1/14-15, Halab, 1387/1967.

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