Making up missed prayers in Hanbali school
Fatwa No: 351946

Question

I just have two clarifications with reference to fatwa no. 334915:
a) You mentioned the Hanbali view with regards to Qadaa’ (making up for missed) prayers, though I was under the impression that the Hanbalis viewed the one who misses prayers intentionally (even if out of laziness) as a disbeliever. Is the Mu‘tamid (relied upon) opinion within the Hanbali School of Thought that a person who misses a prayer intentionally (out of laziness) is a disbeliever, or did the School of Thought consider such people as believers, albeit sinful ones?
b) You mentioned that “you are not negligent if what prevents you from reaching the mentioned limit is work that you need to do or a harm that you fear for yourself.” Can being psychologically exhausted be considered as harm on oneself? What I mean is that the person prays a certain number of Qadha prayers but after a certain point feels too exhausted to do more and is thus unable to perform more out of psychological exhaustion. Would this be considered a valid reason?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The relied upon opinion of the Hanbali school is that the person who abandons the prayer is not declared a disbeliever by merely forsaking the prayer; rather, he is declared a disbeliever if he insists on forsaking the prayer after the Muslim ruler or his deputy or whoever is acting in their stead calls him to observe the obligation of prayer. If he persistently refused, he is killed and declared a disbeliever.

Al-Mardaawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book Al-Insaaf, “The person who calls him to pray is the ruler or his deputy. If he had missed many prayers before being called to pray, it is not incumbent to kill him and he is not declared a disbeliever according to the most likely correct view in our school (Hanbali) ... Al-Aajurri mentioned that he is declared a disbeliever for abandoning prayer even if he is not called to it (by the ruler). Al-Furoo’ (by Ibn Muflih) reads, ‘This is the apparent indication of the opinion of a group of scholars.’

He also said, “The relied upon view of our school (Hanbali) is that he is not declared a disbeliever for merely abandoning the prayer, even if he neglects many prayers; rather, he must be asked to observe it first.

The Hanbali view is that if he is killed after insisting on abandoning the prayer, then he is killed for apostasy and not as a Hadd (corporal punishment prescribed for certain crimes set by the Shariah). Al-Mardaawi said in Al-Insaaf:

There are two views in this regard; one is that he is killed for his disbelief, and this is the main opinion of our school and it is held by the majority of our scholars... The second is that he is killed as a Hadd... Shaykh Taqiyy Ad-Deen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, ‘The late scholars of Fiqh suggested an impossible hypothetical case: that a man acknowledges the obligation of the prayer and is called to it thrice but refuses to comply. He is threatened with death but still refuses to pray until he is killed. Did he die as a disbeliever or as a Faasiq (impious Muslim)? Scholars held two different views in this regard. And this hypothesis is false, because it is inconceivable that such a person is convinced that Allah, The Exalted, made prayer obligatory and still refrains from praying and even accepts to be killed for that. This is something that no one would ever do.’

I say: Reason attests decisively to what he said. This is the correct view beyond any doubt. He is not killed except as a disbeliever. According to our school, his ruling is that of non-Muslims: he is not to be washed (after death, in preparation for burial), the funeral prayer is not to be offered for him, he is not to be buried in Muslim cemeteries, his Muslim heirs do not inherit from him, and he does not inherit from a Muslim. He is just like the apostate.” [Al-Insaaf]

As for the question of exhaustion when making up for the missed prayers, then whoever performs what he can of prayers and then feels exhausted, we hope that there is no harm on him in not making up for more prayers on that day. Verily, Allah does not burden a soul beyond its capacity.

Allah knows best.

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