Praying 5 times a day is an obligation on all Muslims. Holding daily 5 prayers is one of the pillars of Islam. When we say we are “Muslim” we mean that we believe in Allah Almighty and his last Prophet PBUH, we ought to pray 5 times daily, we ought to fast in the month of Ramadan, we ought to pay zakat and offer Hajj (zakat and Hajj is obligatory when one has enough resources).
What to do if a Salah is missed?
Coming back to the point, Salah is what defines a Muslim. We are obliged to offer 5 times a day. However, there are occasions when our salah is missed. This is something quite natural. Even the Sahabas missed their salah while they were preparing for the battle of Khandaq.
As they were busy in their Jihad preparations, they couldn’t offer the obligatory prayer. So this means that salah can be missed out on ignorance. Yet, missing a salah is a sin and there is a kafara to it. The kafara of a missed salah is salah.
This means that if a Muslims missed his Salah, he has to offer the missed salah (offer qada) in order to repent of his sin. The Prophet PBUH and his companions offered their qada salah once they were done with the battle.
It throws light on the fact that the missed prayers can be offered together. Also, there are certain Hadiths that relate to the very matter.
One should offer the missing Salah immediately
It is stated by Anas Bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet PBUH revealed that if anyone missed his salah because of sleep or just out of ignorance, he is required to offer it as soon as he remembers that his salah is missed. There is no other kaffara to this sin.
In Sahih Muslim, it is also narrated that the Prophet PBUH ordered to offer qada as soon as one remembers. As Allah has asked his believers to offer prayer when they remember Allah. It is clear now that missing a salah is a sin for which you cannot only ask forgiveness of Allah, yet you ought to offer the missed salah.
Only Repentance is not the compensation of a missing Salah
For those who believe that only asking Allah to forgive over the sin, with a pure heart, would not be enough. A Muslim does feel guilty when he misses a salah, yet he shall offer his missed salah as soon as he remembers it, as Tawbah (seeking forgiveness) is not enough!
I also want to clear it to my Muslims brothers and sisters that missing a salah deliberately with an intention to offer qada latter is not acceptable. Some people believe that they can miss their salahs and would offer nawafils on Friday or during Hajj or Umrah to balance out the missed prayers. Certainly, this method is not acceptable.
What to do if you have missed Salah countless times in your life?
As all of us have missed many prayers in our life, one wonders what can we do it to make up for it now? Well, Islamic Scholars advise that you should have a rough estimation of how many prayers you have missed in your entire life.
Let’s say, if you have missed prayers for 5 years i.e. 9,125 prayers, you should pray one or two qada salah with every prayer. While praying Duhr, you should pray 4 additional fard for qada duhr. Continue this practice and Allah will Insha Allah forgive your sins.