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Making up 10+ years of Salah – Prioritize Qadha or Sunnah?

Fatwaa ID: 2151

Question:
Assalam Alaykum mufti,

I have missed over 10 years of prayers. I have started making up one qadha up after each fard prayer (e.g. 4 rakat zuhr, 4 rakat zuhr qadha). However, I am unsure if in instances I can only pray one extra salah besides my fard, should i pray the sunnah salah or the qadha? Most times i only have enough time to do the fard and maybe one other quick prayer. I’m not sure which to prioritize in this instance. If i prioritize the qadha, I fear i will rarely ever pray sunnah prayers again.

Also, if i plan on visiting Madinah and Makkah, while there, will your answer change? Should i prioritize the sunnah prayers while over there?

Thanks!

Answer:
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

May Allaah Ta’aala bless you and keep you steadfast upon the Deen. It is a blessing of Allaah Ta’aala that He has given you the tawfeeq to rectify yourself and connect with Him.

It is necessary to make up the missed prayers. It is of utmost importance to also being punctual with your sunnah muakkadahs. One should not be prioritized regularly over the other. Rather, an active balance must be set between the two. You mention that you are able to perform sunnah and one qadhaa salaah. Continue with that. If you get the chance to do more, then choose the latter.

This ruling is applicable in the blessed lands as well. Maintain a balance. It should be noted that while the qadhaa salaahs are past due obligations on you, they serve to bring you closer to Allaah Ta’aala. Be diligent and eager when praying both. We advise you as well to keep your outstanding prayer count documented and advise your heirs to pray fidyah on your behalf if you pass away before completing them.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
https://askthemufti.us/

08/05/1445 AH – 02/15/2024 CE | 862

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين

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