Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah has allocated specific times for acts of worship for
reasons that are known to Him. We know some of them, but some of them are
hidden from us. Whatever the case, we are enjoined to adhere to them and it
is not permissible to transgress against that except for reasons permitted
If a person misses the prayer, one of two scenarios must
He missed it for a reason, such as falling asleep or
forgetting it. There is no sin on him in this case, but he has to make it up
when he wakes up or remembers it.
It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased
with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “Whoever forgets a prayer, let him offer it as soon as he remembers,
for there is no expiation for it other than that.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari
(572) and Muslim (684); Muslim narrated an additional phrase: “or sleeps and
Muslim also narrated (684): “If one of you sleeps and misses
a prayer, or forgets it, let him offer the prayer when he remembers, for
Allaah says ‘and perform As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑Salaah) for My
remembrance’ [Ta-Ha 20:14].”
He missed the prayer with no excuse; rather he ignored it
until the time for it ended, out of laziness and carelessness. This person
is sinning according to the consensus of the Muslims, and has committed a
It is not valid for him to make it up according to the more
correct of the two scholarly opinions, rather he has to repent and regret
it, and resolve not to do that again, and he should do a lot of good deeds
and offer a lot of voluntary prayers.
Ibn Hazm said:
As for the one who deliberately omits to pray until the time
for the prayer ends, he can never make it up, so he should do a lot of good
deeds and offer a lot of voluntary prayers, so that his balance (of good
deeds) will weigh heavily on the Day of Resurrection, and he should repent
and ask Allaah for forgiveness. End quote.
This is also the view of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab and his son
‘Abd-Allaah, and of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas, Salmaan, Ibn Mas’ood, al-Qaasim
ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, Badeel al-‘Aqeeli, Muhammad ibn Sireen, Mutarrif
ibn ‘Abd-Allaah and ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez. It was also the view of Dawood
al-Zaahiri and Ibn Hazm, and was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn
Taymiyah and al-Shawkaani. Among contemporary scholars it was regarded as
more correct by al-Albaani, Ibn Baaz, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen and others.
They quoted as evidence the following:
The words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the
believers at fixed hours”
They said: There is a set time for prayer and it is not
permissible to do it at any other time except with evidence.
The words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him): “Whoever forgets a prayer, let him offer it as soon as he
remembers, for there is no expiation for it other than that.”
The words “let him offer it as soon as he remembers, for
there is no expiation for it other than that” mean: If he is slow in
offering the prayer after he remembers it, then it is not an expiation, so
how about the one who neglects it deliberately without forgetting or
sleeping? It is even more likely that it will not be an expiation in that
case, and making it up will be of no benefit.
Because Allaah has allocated a specific time for each
obligatory prayer, specifying the beginning and end thereof, so it is as if
it is not valid to do it before that time just as it is not valid to do it
Ibn Hazm said:
Also, making it up should be based on evidence, and it is not
permissible for anything to be prescribed other than by Allaah on the lips
of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). We ask
those who say that the one who deliberately omits the prayer is obliged to
make it up to tell us about this prayer that you are telling him to do – is
it the prayer that was enjoined by Allaah or some other prayer? If they say
it is the one that was enjoined by Allaah, then we say to them: Then the one
who deliberately omits it is not a sinner, because he has done what Allaah
commanded him to do and there is no sin according to what you say, and there
is no blame on the one who deliberately omits to pray until the time for it
ends. But that is something that no Muslim can say. If they say that it is
not the prayer that Allaah has enjoined him to do, then we say: You are
right, and that is enough, because they have admitted that they told him to
do something that was not enjoined by Allaah. End quote.
Those who say that he has to make it up did so by analogy
with the one who forgets or falls asleep, and they said that if the one who
forgets has to make it up, then it is more likely that the one who
deliberately omitted it should do so.
My response is that there is no comparison between the two
scenarios, because the one who omits it deliberately is sinning, which is
not true in the case of the one who forgets, so how can an analogy be drawn
between the one who is sinning and the one who is not sinning?
Al-Shawkaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Ibn Taymiyah said: Those who disagree – i.e., those who say
that he should make up the prayer – do not have any proof to support their
argument. Most of them say that he does not have to make it up unless there
is a clear command (based on evidence), but there is no such command in this
case. We do not disagree that it is obligatory to make it up; rather we
disagree as to whether the made-up prayer will be accepted from him and
whether prayer offered at the wrong time is valid. He discussed this matter
at length and he favoured the view that was mentioned by Dawood and those
who agreed with him, and the matter is as he put it, because I made a
thorough study of this matter and I did not see any reliable evidence that
obliges the one who misses a prayer deliberately to make it up.
Nayl al-Awtaar (2/26).
The more correct view – and Allaah knows best – is that the
one who deliberately omits the prayer should not make it up, rather he has
to seek forgiveness and repent.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) discussed this
issue at length and examined the evidence of both sides in his useful book
al-Salaah (p. 67-109).
Note: Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
The scholars who say that he should make up the prayer do not
say that by making it up he is absolved of sin, rather they say that by
making it up his burden of sin is reduced, but the sin of missing and
delaying the prayer beyond its prescribed time is like any other sin, it
needs either repentance or good deeds that will erase it or other things
that will waive the punishment. End quote.
Minhaaj al-Sunnah (5/233).