Making Up Missed Prayers – Everything You Need to Know

  • May 28, 2024

Missed one of the five obligatory daily prayers and worried about it? Then you are at the right place. Sometimes due to circumstances or situations, you may unintentionally miss your prayers. But, you are not alone in this. Even devout Muslims face such challenges which prevent them from fulfilling this sacred act every day. However, this guide outlines some wonderful ways of making up missed prayers. So, read on to know all about it to grow more in your spiritual journey!

What is the Importance of Making Up Missed Prayers?

The five daily prayers i.e., Salah are some of the most important prayers mentioned in the Quran. These prayers serve as a means of:

  • Spiritual purification
  • Strengthen our connection with Allah
  • Reinforce discipline in our lives

That is why, missed prayers is very important. It also showcases our commitment to fulfilling this obligation towards Allah.

The Quran clearly states the importance of prayer, with Allah stating:

“Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (Quran 4:103)

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad stressed the grave consequences of neglecting prayers, likening it to committing a major sin.

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Common Reasons for Missing Prayers in Islam

Common Reasons for Missing Prayers in Islam

While unintentionally missing prayers is discouraged, various circumstances can lead to this happening. Here are some common reasons:

1). Falling Asleep or Forgetting Your Daily Prayers

One of the most frequent reasons for missing prayers, especially Fajr (dawn prayer), is oversleeping or forgetting the prayer time.

This can happen due to being preoccupied with daily activities. Islam recognizes human forgetfulness, and making up missed prayers is a means to rectify this unintentional lapse.

2). Missing the Prayer with No Excuse

In certain cases, individuals may miss prayers without a valid excuse, such as negligence or laziness. While this is undoubtedly a sin, Islam encourages repentance and making up missed prayers as a way to seek forgiveness from Allah.

Do I need to make up missed Fajr prayers first?

According to Islam, there is no specific order in which missed prayers must be made up.

However, many scholars recommend making up the most recently missed prayer first, as it is the one closest to the present time.

For instance, if you missed both Fajr (dawn) and Zuhr (midday) prayers, it is advisable to make up:

  • Zuhr first
  • Followed by Fajr

This approach is based on the principle of giving priority to what is more immediate and current.

Making up Missed Prayers for Previous Years – Is it Possible?

The matter of making up missed prayers from previous years is a subject of scholarly debate. While some scholars advocate making up all prayers, regardless of how far back they go, others suggest a different approach.

As per religious obligations, you should make up all the missing prayers. But instead of doing this, other scholars suggest:

  • Repentance
  • Seeking forgiveness from Allah
  • Engaging in good deeds

You can do this as a better way to seek Allah’s mercy and grace. So, what is the reasoning behind this view?

The burden of making up an overwhelming number of prayers from years ago can become an:

  • Arduous
  • Potentially discouraging task

A better approach to making up missed prayers is to:

  • Focus on the present
  • Perform current prayers with utmost sincerity
  • Strive to lead a righteous life moving forward

Dua for Forgiveness for Missed Prayers

Dua for Forgiveness for Missed Prayers

Regardless of the stance taken on making up prayers, seeking forgiveness from Allah is of paramount importance.

One of the Duas (supplications) for forgiveness that can be recited is:

“Rabbana zalamna anfusana wa-in lam taghfir lana wa-tarhamna la-nakunanna minal-khasirin”

This Dua translates to:

“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we will certainly be lost.”

You should recite this Dua with sincere repentance and a firm resolve to fulfil your obligations. Such a reverent attitude can help you seek Allah’s forgiveness and blessings.


Unintentionally missing prayers is a reality that many Muslims face due to various life circumstances. The good news is that Islam provides a path for making up prayers and seeking forgiveness from the Almighty.

While making up prayers is crucial, seeking Allah’s mercy through repentance and good deeds is equally important. This is especially true when dealing with missed prayers from years ago.

Remember, the essence of your faith lies in your sincerity and unwavering determination to please Allah. Start by prioritizing current obligations, seeking forgiveness, and striving to lead a righteous life.

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Why is it important to make up missed prayers in Islam?

Making up missed prayers is crucial as it reflects a believer’s commitment to fulfilling their religious duties. It serves as a spiritual purification, strengthens one’s connection with Allah, and instils discipline in life.

What are some common reasons for missing prayers?

Common reasons include falling asleep or forgetting due to busy schedules. Islam acknowledges human forgetfulness and allows for making up missed prayers to address such unintentional lapses.

Is it possible to make up for missed prayers from previous years?

Yes, it is possible to make up missed prayers from previous years. However, the method of making them up varies among scholars. Some advocate for making up all missed prayers, while others recommend focusing on repentance, seeking forgiveness, and engaging in good deeds as a more feasible approach.

What is a Dua for forgiveness for missed prayers that can be recited?

A recommended Dua for seeking forgiveness for missed prayers is: “Rabbana zalamna anfusana wa-in lam taghfir lana wa-tarhamna la-nakunanna minal-khasirin,” which translates to “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we will certainly be lost.”

How should one recite the Dua for missed prayers?

The Dua should be recited with sincere repentance and a firm resolve to fulfill one’s religious obligations. Such an attitude is essential to effectively seek Allah’s forgiveness and blessings.

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