What is the correct method of offering Qada Prayer? In what way is it beneficial?

The Details of the Question
What is the correct method of offering Qada Prayer? In what way is it beneficial?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Performing an obligatory prayer (salah) in time is called execution, performing it after its specified time has elapsed is called compensation (qada); performing a prayer again that has been spoiled is called repetition.

A binding prayer (salah) is either intentionally not performed in its specified time, or it isn’t performed in time because of an excuse. It is a great sin not to perform intentionally a daily prayer in time. Man must stay away from such an act. If such a mistake was made, the prayer must be compensated at once to be completed with the duty. Because, death can come at any moment. If death comes and catches man unprepared, man will go to the hereafter under obligation.

Although one gets free from the obligation when he compensates the prayer that he has failed to perform in time, he must ask Allah for His forgiveness for the sin he has committed. So one must both compensate that prayer and also ask for Allah’s forgiveness. 

Prayers that haven’t been performed owing to forgetting, sleeping or a legitimate excuse must be performed later at once when they are remembered or must be performed after the legitimate excuse terminated.

There are some excuses such that the prayers that weren’t performed in these times aren’t to be compensated later. Women’s menstruation and period of confinement after childbirth; epilepsy or insanity enduring in five prayer times are from these kinds of excuses. In fact, it isn’t religiously permissible for the women menstruating or for the women in the period of confinement after childbirth to perform prayers; it is forbidden for them.

Compensating later the five daily prayers that haven’t been performed in time is obligatory, the salat al- witr is compulsory and the sunnah is sunnah. Only the compensation of the salat al- fajr’s sunnah is sunnah. In case salat al- fajr (the morning prayer) haven’t been performed in time, then its sunnah is also performed with its fard if it is performed before noon time. If the compensation is left after noon time, then sunnah isn’t performed anymore, but only the fard is performed.

Some sunnah of the daily prayers that couldn’t been performed in time are compensated by performing them later. For example, in case the former sunnah of the salat al-zuhr (the prayer of the midday) couldn’t be performed to catch the congregation, then it is performed separately after fard and the latter two rak’ats of sunnah. If the former sunnah of the Friday prayer couldn’t been performed before the Friday sermon, then it is compensated by performing it after the two rak’ats of fard of the Friday prayer. The former sunnahs of the mid-day prayer and the Friday prayer that have been half finished by being performed as two rak’ats are also compensated later as four rak’ats in the same way. The sunnahs of the daily payers except these two sunnahs aren’t performed later if they haven’t been performed in time. For example, the sunnahs of salat al- asr (the mid-afternoon prayer) and salat al- isha’ (the prayer performed two hours after sunset) aren’t performed later if they haven’t been performed before fard.

The prayers of compensation will be executed like the daily fards. Compensation for the prayer of morning is performed as 2, of mid-day as 4, of mid-afternoon is as 4, of evening as 3 and of isha’ as 4 and of witr as 3.

There is no particular time or place for any of the compensation (qada) prayers. This is, there is no restriction that the compensation prayer of mid-afternoon is to be performed in the mid-afternoon. It can be performed when ever you want. When performing the compensations of prayers, there is no provision that compensation of mid-afternoon must be performed before compensation of isha’ or compensation of mid-day must be performed after the compensation of morning.

However, one must be careful not to perform the compensations prayers during the times called kerahat. It isn’t tolerated to perform a prayer in these times: 45 min. of duration after the sun has risen, the 45 min. of duration prior to the sunset and when the sun is just at the top (the 30 min. duration of time prior to mid-day prayer). Compensation prayers can be performed in any time except these times.

How are the compensation prayers (qada prayers) performed?

One, whose prayers that he hasn’t performed in time are 6 times or more, doesn’t regard a sequence in performing them and also he doesn’t regard a sequence between his compensation prayers and his daily prayers. He can perform his compensation prayers in any time he wants and is convenient except the three kerahat times when performing a prayer is religiously reprehensible. Because, compensation prayers have no particular times. For example, a mid-afternoon prayer that hasn’t been performed in time can be performed after the prayer of isha’, and a prayer of isha that hasn’t been performed in time can be performed after the prayer of noon. 

When performing compensation prayers, there is no need to determine to which date they belong. Since this is very difficult, it is convenient to apply the easier one. A compensation prayer is performed by intending (making the niyyah) as the following:
For example: “I have intended to perform the first mid-day prayer I couldn’t perform in time for the pleasure of Allah” or “I have intended to perform the last mid-day prayer I couldn’t perform in time for the pleasure of Allah.” Then, in this way the compensation prayers are begun to be performed from the first one that hasn’t been performed in time or from the last one that hasn’t been performed in time; in both ways, the previous prayers are diminished by compensating them in an order.
Since it is easier, it is also adequate to intend as “I compensate a mid-day or a mid-afternoon prayer on me”.
When performing a compensation prayer, first the adhan (the call to prayer) and then kamet (a phrase recited before the fards indicating that the prayer is beginning) are recited and then the prayer is performed. If more than one compensation prayers will be performed, one adhan is sufficient for all of them, but it is Sunnah to recite separate kamets for every distinct fard.
One who doesn’t know precisely how many compensation prayers he has to perform behaves according to his superior prediction. If he can not predict the number of his compensation prayers, he continues to perform compensation prayers until he believes that he has no compensation prayers on him any more.

Ones who have the same prayers to be compensated (for example, all of them have to compensate a mid-day prayer) can perform this prayer with congregation. But, ones who have to compensate different prayers can not constitute a unique congregation; they have to perform their prayers separately.

Compensation prayers must be preferred to be performed at home if it is possible. If these prayers were disregarded without an excuse, since this is a sin, it is inconvenient to expose this.

Mehmed Paksu

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