Prayed 2 Years Without Ritual Purity
Fatwa No: 408883

  • Fatwa Date:11-12-2019 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 14, 1441
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Question

As Salamu alaykum wr wb,
this issue has been bothering me for some time. I'm a revert and started praying my salah maybe 2 years ago. In the beginning there were some things I did wrong during salah like not covering my head properly and not pronouncing the Arabic correctly, however I was still learning.
There was this one period of time I would do masah on my socks, even though I had not previously performed wudu before putting my socks on (I did not know that did not count as a valid wudu!). I don't even know how long I did this for (maybe 3 months). Later on, I found out that I must have performed full wudu (with washing of the feet) and then put socks on. If I break my wudu, THEN I can do masah on them.
It's been maybe 2 years since this happened. Should I repeat 3 months of prayers? And should I repeat prayers for the time I did not pray properly before that?
Also, I suffer from waswasa and I over think things. Please do reply soon.
May Allah reward you immensely.
Jazakallah

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.

First of all, we praise Allah, The Exalted, for guiding you to Islam, and we ask Him to grant us and you steadfastness on the truth until we meet Him.

As for repeating those prayers, you should know that ritual purity is one of the pre-conditions for the validity of the prayer. The majority of jurists held that it is obligatory to repeat the prayer on the person who offered it without due ritual impurity, whether he did so intentionally or out of ignorance or forgetfulness.

However, some other jurists held that if a person did not fulfill one of the pre-conditions or obligations of the prayer out of ignorance, it is not obligatory on him to repeat the prayer that he had performed in that state. They based their view on the fact that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did not command either ‘Umar or ‘Ammaar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them to repeat their prayer when they were in a state of Janaabah (the state after ejaculating semen – regardless of the means – which requires a ritual bath) and ‘Umar did not pray while ‘Ammaar prayed after having rolled himself in dust. Likewise, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did not order Abu Tharr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him to repeat the prayer when he was in a state of Janaabah and did not pray for days. In addition, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did not command the Companions to make up for their fast when they ate in Ramadhaan after the break of dawn mistakenly, assuming that the verse [Quran 2:187] literally referred to a white thread and a black thread.

This view that repeating the prayer is not obligatory was one of the two narrations attributed to Imam Ahmad, and it was the view chosen by Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon both of them.

Based on the above, since you were a new revert to Islam, and you were still in the learning stage, there is no blame on you for acting upon this latter view – that it is not obligatory to repeat the prayer – because those who held it used considerable evidence to support it.

However, if you follow the view of the majority of scholars – that it is obligatory to repeat the prayer – it is more prudent and safer in terms of clearing your liability from the obligation in this regard.

Since the duration you mentioned in the question is not very long, our advice for you is to repeat those prayers. You can perform as many prayers as you can during the day according to your ability without overburdening yourself. If every day you make up for the prayer of two days, that would be sufficient.

We also advise you, dear Sister, to strive in seeking religious knowledge so that you worship Allah, The Exalted, with insight and perform the acts of worship in the proper manner that clears your liability from the obligation and earns you greater rewards.

Finally, we would like to warn you against the whispers of the devil and the danger of letting oneself get carried away with them; this is one of the tactics that the devil uses to gradually lead a person towards feeling burdened by religious duties and thinking that they are hard and unbearable, so that he would eventually stop doing them.

For more benefit on how to make up many missed prayers, please refer to Fataawa 86918, 84403, and 83727.

Allah knows best.

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