Qada Of Salats

Performing any salat in its prescribed time is called ada . When you begin to perform a supererogatory prayer, it will be its time. Performing any salat for the second time before its time is over is named iada. If a salat is not performed in its time, performing it after its prescribed time is over is named qada. It is fard [1] to make qada of a fard. It is wajib [1] to make qada of a wajib. We are not commanded to make qada of a sunnat [3]. If a person makes qada of a sunnat the salat that he has performed becomes supererogatory and he does not get the blessings of the sunnat.

There are two justifiable reasons for leaving a salat that is fard or wajib to qada knowingly. The first one is based on your being confronted by an enemy. The second one applies for a travelling person – a person who is on a journey even if he has not intended to go a distance of three days – who fears a thief, a wild animal, a flood, or a storm. When such people cannot perform salat even with signs, by sitting, by turning towards a direction, or on an animal, they can leave it to qada.

It is not sinful to leave the fards to qada for one of these two reasons or to miss them as a result of falling asleep or forgetting. After stating that it is mustahab [4] to delay night prayer until one-third of the time allotted for it has passed, they (scholars) add, "It is not haram [5] to go to sleep after a prayer time has begun and thus to miss the prayer, yet it is tahrimi makruh [6]. If you ask someone to wake you up or set the alarm clock, it will not be mekruh [7] to go to sleep after the prayer time has begun. It is written in the explanation of Ashbah by Kara Çelebizade, "It is acceptable to perform salat after its appointed time in order to save those who are about to drown or the like." But it is fard to make qada of it [as soon as the excuse ceases to exist].

Only, with the exception of the three times during which it is haram to perform salat, it is permissible to delay the prayers of qada long enough to earn sustenance for your household and to supply your indispensable needs provided you will perform the qada prayers in your free time. You become sinful if you delay them any longer. As a matter of fact, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) performed the four prayers, which they had not been able to perform because of the severity of the war of Handak (Trench), in jama'at [8] on the same night though the Sahaba [9] (radiyallahu anhum) were wounded and very tired.

[1] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in the Qur'an al-karim. Fard (or fard) means (any behaviour or thought or belief which is) obligatory. Islam's open commandments are called fard (pl. faraid).
[2] wajib: (act, thing) never omitted by the Prophet, so almost as compulsory as fard and not to be omitted. Wajib al-wujud: Being whose existence is indispensable and nonexistence is impossible.
[3] sunnat: i) act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta'ala, done and liked by the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) as an 'ibada (there is thawab if done, but no sin if omitted, yet it causes sin if continually omitted and disbelief if disliked; the Sunna; i) (with fard) all the sunnas as a whole; ii) (with the Book or Qur'an al-karim) the Hadith ash-sharif; iii) (alone) fiqh, Islam.
[4] mustahab: (act, thing) deserving thawab if done but no sin if omitted, nor disbelief if disliked.
[5] haram: an action, word or thought prohibited by Allahu ta'ala.
[6] makruh-tahrima: The omission of a wâjib (obligatory performance), and it is close to harâm (prohibited). It is a venial sin to do an act which has been declared to be makrûh tahrîmî.
[7] makruh: (act, thing) improper, disliked and abstained by the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam); makruh tahrima: prohibited with much stress.
[8] jama'at: a congregation of Muslims. One person performs namaz in the front; the others, behind him, preform it like him by adapting themselves to him. The person who performs it in the front is called the imam. Those who perform it behind him are called the jama'at.
[9] Sahaba: if a Muslim has seen the Prophet, or talked to him, at least once when the Prophet was alive, he is called Sahabi. Plural form of Sahabi is Sahaba or As'hab. The word Sahaba-i kiram includes all those great people each of whom has seen the Prophet at least once. The lowest of the Sahaba is much higher than the highest of other Muslims. If a person has not seen the Prophet but has seen or talked to one of the Sahaba at least once, he is called Tabi'. Its plural form is Tabi'in. In other words, the Tabi'in are the successors of the Sahaba. If a person has not seen any of the Sahaba but has seen at least one of the Tabi'in, he is called Taba'i Tabi'in. The Sahaba, the Tabi'in and the Taba'i tabi'in altogether are called the Salaf-i salihin (the early savants).