Vowed never to miss a prayer but did so
Fatwa No: 82109

Question

I am 19 years old. I have many problems: first, I did not pray on time yesterday. I took oath to never leave any prayer but I could not pray Isha at the specific time because I slept. I do not know what I should do. Should I fast three days or what?

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

Performing the prayer at its prescribed fixed time is one of the best actions in the sight of Allah, the Great and Almighty, and it is the most beneficial action to His servants. In a sound Hadeeth, 'Abdullah Ibn Mas'ood asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) about the most beloved action to Allah and he (the Prophet) replied: “Performing the prayer at its beginning time”. 'Abdullah asked: 'Then what?' The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “To treat parents righteously”. Abdullah asked: 'Then what is next? The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Making Jihad for the sake of Allah”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] In the same vein, Allah Says (what means): {And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.} [Quran 4:103]. According to our revered scholars, this verse refers to those who delay the prayer. Therefore, dear brother, you should observe the prayer at its prescribed fixed time and not be preoccupied by the matters of this world because  the prayer gives comfort to the believers as mentioned in sound Hadith.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The delight of my eye lies in performing the prayer”. [Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i]

Another narration reads: “Comfort us (with the prayer) o Billal! (i.e. by calling to the prayer”. [Abu Dawood].

As regards the oath that you made, if your intention was to perform the prayer in congregation and you did not, then you are obliged to expiate even though you were ignorant or forgetful. But, if your intention was to perform the prayer at its prescribed fixed time, then nothing would be imposed upon you.

Anyway, you can expiate for your oath by: (a) Feeding ten needy people, or (b) clothing them, or (c) Freeing a slave. However, if you are unable to do any of the above, you are allowed to fast for three days as an atonement.

Allah knows best.

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