I’m worried I’ll miss my salah, can I pray it early?

I'm worried I'll miss my salah, can I pray it early?

You can’t pray before the prayer time starts. Salah is not about your availability; it’s about the time that Allah ordained for the salah. If the salah has started you can pray, but if it has not started, your prayer will not be counted as a valid salah, it will counted as a voluntary (nawafil) salah. Imagine if you woke up in the middle of the night, you say, ‘Alhamdulillah I’m awake now, so I’ll pray Fajr’ and go back to sleep. It’s not Fajr time, you can’t pray before the time begins.

If you are unable to pray a salah on time because you are a traveller or sick, you have the option to combine dhuhr and asr or maghrib and isha, and in that scenario pray asr early or isha early, or dhuhr late and maghrib late. However if you do not have a valid reason such as being sick or being a traveller, then you cannot combine the salah.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about what is the best deed, he said, ‘prayer on time.’ This is one of the best deeds – to pray on time.

Repaying a missed (qada) salah

If you miss a salah, you should repay the salah. This is a qada salah.

There are two opinions on whether you can make up for missed salah (qadha salah). The Hanafi, Shafi’ and Maliki opinion is that you should make up your missed salah. The Hanbali position is that you cannot make it up and should repent.

According to the majority opinion, it is better to repay a missed fard salah than pray nawafil.

Imam Nawawi stated in his al Majmu,

‘There is consensus of the scholars whose opinion counts, is that whoever leaves a prayer intentionally must make it up.’

Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

Whoever forgets to pray a salah, it is obligatory upon him/her that he/she pray that salah when he remembers. There is no other way that this can be made up.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

 On another occasion, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

Whenever one of you misses a Salah due to sleeping or due to negligence, it is obligatory upon him/her that he/she pray the salah when he remembers it because Allah has mentioned, “Perform salah when you remember Me. (Muslim)

If one has to make up a missed prayer due to forgetfulness, then by extension, one is obliged make up a prayer missed through neglect.

How to make up missed prayers?

When making intention for missed prayers (qada salat), make your intention for the specific salah you missed. For instance, “I am performing such and such day’s Fajr salah (for example)” Then try to make up the salah as soon as possible.

Related post

Making up a missed salah

 Can you combine salah? 

Can you shorten and combine salah while travelling?


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.