What do the Scholars of the mighty Sharī’ah say regarding the case of a bāligh person who has many missed prayers and cannot remember when he reached bulūgh (adulthood). How should he calculate how many missed prayers he has? This is a very common question and I have asked many ‘ulamā` but I haven’t received a satisfying answer. Some say that an estimation should be made on when it was most likely that the person became an adult and that date should be used others say it should be based on 14 years of age. I am impressed by your work and would appreciate if you could clear this matter.
Questioner: Uwais from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
Whosoever has qadā` prayers and someone wishes to offer them and remembers the date when one became bāligh, they should calculate them on that basis. If a person cannot remember when one became bāligh, then precaution is in one calculating the missed prayers on the basis of 9 lunar years for a girl and 12 lunar years for a boy.
Just as my master A’lā Hazrat Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān, may Allāh shower mercy upon him, was asked a question in al-Fatāwā al-Ridawiyyah about a person who has never prayed in his life and has now passed away, then what is the state of the missed prayers of his lifetime and is there anything that can be done to amend this and if so, what? So the Imām replied that if the age of bulūgh cannot be remembered then for a male the calculation should be made from 12 lunar years and for a female from 9 lunar years.
[al-Fatāwā al-Ridawiyyah, vol. 8, p.g. 154]
From the statement of al-Fatāwā al-Ridawiyyah, one comes to know that a girl should calculate her missed prayers from 9 lunar years and a boy should calculate his missed prayers from 12 lunar years.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi
Read the original Urdu answer here – [Q-ID0220] I’ve never prayed in my life, from when do I calculate how many prayers I need to make up [qada]?
NOTE: When calculating the total amount of prayers due, a woman can subtract the days she has been on her menstrual cycle. Also, both a man and woman can subtract the number of prayers they are certain they have prayed from the total amount of prayers they need to make up in their lifetime. (For example, Zayd has not prayed for the last 10 years but knows for sure he has never missed the Jumm’ah prayer. In this case when calculating the total amount of qadā’ prayers, he can subtract 10 years worth of weekly Jumm’ah prayers from the total Zuhr prayers due upon him).