The case of one who could not recall the number of missed solah.What is be done in accordance to syari'ah ?
If one could not remember the number of solat he had missed, how should he make over them?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All the praise and thanks is due to Allah, the Lord of the al-`alameen. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
The case of missed solat in syari’ah
The five daily solat is a mandatory tenet of Islam. Thus it is not permissible for a Muslim to delay it until its time expires without the excuse permitted by the rule of Allah, syar’ie.
In syar’ie, Solat may have been missed were due one of the following three scenarios:
1. The Solah was missed due to such as overslept or forgotten.
In this case it could be made up as the Prophet s.a.w said:
“Whoever forgets a solah or sleeps and misses it, the expiation for that is to pray it when he remembers.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 572; Muslim, 684]
One should offer these Solah in order of sequence as enjoined in a hadith.
In the hadith of Abu Qatadah r.a there was a situation of how the Prophet s.a.w and his companions slept and missed Fajar prayer when on a journey, and (they did not wake up) until the sun had risen.
Abu Qatadah r.a said:
“Then Bilal gave the call to prayer, and the Messenger of Allah s.a.w prayed two raka’ahs (of Fajar naafil) then he prayed Fajar, and he did the same as he did every day.” [Muslim (681)]
Jabir Ibn ‘Abdallah reported that ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab r.a after the sun had set on the Day of Al-Khandaq started blaming the kuffar of Quraish for unable to do solat ‘asar and saying:
“O Messenger of Allah! I could hardly pray ‘Asar until the sun had almost set.” The Prophet s.a.w replied: “By Allah! I did not pray it either.” We went to Bathaan and he (the Prophet s.a.w) took the wudhu’ for prayer and so did we, then he s.a.w prayed ‘Asar after the sun had set, then he s.a.w prayed Maghrib after that. [Narrated by Al-Bukhari (571) and Muslim (631)]
2. Omitted solah due to unaware of it because of unconsciousness.
In this case the solah is waived for him and he does not have to make it up.
[Fatawa Al-Lajnah Al-Da’imah, 6/21]
3. He missed the Solah for no valid reason.
One of two scenarios applies in this case:
3.1. Either he denied and refused to accept that the solah is obligatory.
In this case there is no dispute that this is kufur and he has nothing to do with Islam. He has to enter Islam and then do all the duties and obligations of Islam, but he does not have to make up the prayers he missed when he was a kafir.
3.2. He did not observe the solah because he was negligent and lazy.
In this case the prayers are not valid if he makes them up, because he had no excuse at the time when he missed them.
The five daily solah is a mandatory tenet of Islam. Allah s.w.t has enjoined Solah at a certain, clearly-defined times. It is not permissible for a Muslim to delay it until its time expires without a valid excuse permitted by the syar’ie.
Allah says: “Verily, As- Solah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours”[An-Nisa’, 4:103]
The Messenger of Allah s.a.w said: “Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2697; Muslim, 1718]
Shaikh ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz Ibn Baaz r.h said:The one who missed prayers deliberately does not have to make them up, according to the correct scholarly view. Rather he has to repent to Allah, because prayer is the foundation of Islam, and failing to pray is the greatest of sins. In fact, failing to pray constitute major kufur according to the evidence is from ahadith narrated.
The Messenger of Allah s.a.w said: “The covenant that stands between us and them is prayer; whoever does not pray is a kafir.”[Narrated by Ahmad and others: sahih isnad from Buraidah r.a]
“Between a man and syirik and kufur there stands his giving up prayer.”[Narrated by Imam Muslim reported by Jabir Ibn ‘Abdallah r.a]
And there are other ahadith which indicate the same thing.
One has to repent sincerely to Allah by regretting what you have done in the past, resolving not to go back to it. You do not have to make up anything, either with every prayer or otherwise. Praise be to Allah, whoever repents, Allah accepts his repentance.
Allah says: “And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”[An-Nur, 24:31]
Allah says: “O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)”[At-Tahrim 66:8]
Ibn Kathir said, [the phrase] ‘it may be’ in the case of Allah means that He will definitely [do that].
And it says in the hasan hadith which was narrated by Ibn Majah from Abu ‘Ubaidah Ibn ‘Abdallah from his father that he said:
“The Messenger of Allah s.a.w said: ‘The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.’”
[Al-Zuhd, 4240; classified as hasan by al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, no. 3427)]
Sincere in the repentance entails to take stock of yourself, one has to ask Allah to forgive what you have done, strive to offer prayers regularly on time in congregation. And to embark in a lot of righteous deeds and as well as performing a lot of naafil solah (supererogatory prayers), and be optimistic, for Allah says:
“And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)” [Ta-Ha, 20:82]
After mentioning syirik, murder and zina (adultery) in Surah Al-Furqan, Allah says:
“..and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace. Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful”[Al-Furqan 25:68-70]
[Majmu’ Fatawa Al-Shaikh Ibn Baaz, 10/329, 330]
Concerning forgiveness, Allah s.w.t emphasizes His generosity and kindness, in that He forgives whoever repents to Him from whatever evil they commit:
“If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks God's forgiveness, he will find God Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”[Surah An-Nisa’, 4: 110]
Ibn Abbas r.a commented about this verse saying that Allah informs His servants of His forgiveness, forbearing generosity and expansive mercy. So, whoever commits a sin, whether major or minor, ‘but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful’ even if his sins were greater than the heavens, the earth and the mountains.
Abu Hurairah r.a reported: Messenger of Allah s.a.w said:
“Allah, the Exalted, smiles at two men, one of them killed the other and both will enter Jannah. The first is killed by the other while he is fighting in the Cause of Allah, and thereafter Allah will turn in mercy to the second and guide him to accept Islam and then he dies as a Syahid (martyr) fighting in the Cause of Allah.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Even the greatest sins, including those which one has committed before embracing Islam, are forgiven by repentance. Thus one has to repent sincerely to Allah by regretting what you have done in the past-for not doing the solat, resolving not to go back to it. One do not have to make up anything, either with every prayer or otherwise. Praise be to Almighty Allah, the Oft-Forgiving, whoever repents, Allah accepts his repentance. Sincere in the repentance entails that one to take stock of himself, one has to ask Allah to forgive what you have done, strive to offer prayers regularly on time in congregation. And to embark in dong a lot of righteous deeds and as well as performing a lot of naafil solah, and be optimistic.
[Excerpted from Islam QA ]