Qada (missed) Prayers

Qada' is the Arabic word for fulfilling those duties that you missed due to some reason, so qada' prayers is a compensation for those prayers that were not performed in their proper time. For example, you slept in, and missed your obligatory Fajr prayer. Now that Fajr has passed its proper time, you have to perform it with the intention of qada', meaning a missed prayer.

One should make up these qada' prayers as soon as they can; however, to re-do a lot of prayers in one go can be difficult, especially when a person has other commitments like work and family. One easy way of performing missed prayers is that after each obligatory daily prayer, perform one missed prayer of the same kind. For example, after performing the daily Fajr prayer, perform one Fajr prayer with the intention of qada. After the obligatory Dhuhr prayer, perform the qada of Dhuhr, and so on, we will show you a quick way of performing the actual prayer.

We will use the Maghrib prayer as an example. So after performing your wudhu and maintaining the preconditions of prayer, you first make your intention. For example, I am performing the missed prayer of Maghrib seeking closeness to Allah. Perform takbirat ul-Ihram, "Allahu Akbar", recite Surat al-Fatiha, and then a short Surah, like surat al-Ikhlas.

For ruku'. Instead of saying the usual dhikr, you can say Subhana Allah three times. In Sujood, instead of saying the usual dhikr, you can say Subhana Allah three times. In the second rakah, you can perform it exactly as the first rakah. As for Qunoot, you can skip it or just say Subhana Allah once and it will be okay. Do the ruku' and the two Sajdas as the first rakah. Say the tashahhud as normal: "ashhadu al la ilaha illa Allah. wahdahu la sharika la, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ʿabduhu wa Rasuluh, Allahumma salli ʿala Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad".

Now, since we are showing a demonstration of a missed Maghrib prayer, you have to stand up for the third Rakah. Now say "Subhana Allah, wa Al-Hamdulil-Lah, wa la illaha illa Allah, wa Allahu Akbar" once, perform the Ruku' and the Sujoods as the previous Rakahs. Now perform the Tashahhud as normal. Now, for the taslim, you can just say "Assalamu alaykum wa Rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh" and the prayer is finished.

Here are some notes.

You must perform the qada prayer on your own, but if you die, someone else can perform it on your behalf. There is no specific time for qada' prayers. That means you can perform them at any time, but you must perform them in the same way that you miss them. For example, if you are a traveler and your prayer has to be shortened from four rakahs into two rakahs and you missed it, you pray it as two Rakahs, even if you are not traveling and vice versa.

If you missed a four Rakah prayer, you pray it as four Rakahs, even if you do travel. Similar is the rule of reciting in a high or low voice. So if Maghrib prayers and Isha' prayers are performed qada' during the daytime, you still say them in a loud voice. And if the qada' of Dhuhr and 'Asr prayers are done during the night, you still recite them in a soft voice.

Also, if someone is praying qada' for Dhuhr and 'Asr, or Maghrib and Isha' of the same day, they should be prayed in the same order. So that means you shouldn't pray 'Asr before Dhuhr, and you shouldn't pray Isha' before Maghrib of the same day. In these cases, if you missed an obligatory prayer, you don't need to pray them as qada'. Prayers missed by menstruating women, or women with postnatal bleeding do not need to pray the missed prayer as qada'.

If a person converts to Islam, they do not need to perform the prayers they missed before their conversion. If a person has missed several prayers without knowing the exact number, they can perform the lower number. For example, let's say you need to do three to five years of qada' prayers, but you not sure, you just do the three years. Obviously, a person can pray extra prayers as a precaution if they like.