Prayers: Time range and the prayer called "Qazai Umri"

Q491 :Could you please clarify if there is a prayer called "Qazai Umri"? In India, this is strongly recommended by people after obligatory prayers. It is a collection of the obligatory prayers of one whole day. People claim that this makes up for the prayers which one may have not offered in the past years.

A491 : Allah defines prayer in the Qur'an as "a time-related duty incumbent on believers." The phrase "time-related" is highly significant. As you are well aware, each obligatory prayer has a time range during which it must be offered. Dawn, or Fajr prayer, for example must be offered after the break of dawn but before sunrise. This means that we have approximately one and a half hours when we must offer Fajr prayer. When the sun has risen, the time for this particular duty has lapsed and this prayer cannot be offered. There are two reasons which justify offering Fajr prayer after the sun has risen, namely, oversleeping (and this includes loss of consciousness), or forgetfulness. The Prophet says: "Anyone who sleeps through a particular prayer or forgets it should offer it as soon as he is conscious of it. This is the time when it falls due (in his particular case)". This applies to every obligatory prayer. Thus, for Dhuhr, we have the time range extending from noon until roughly half the time span between noon and sunset. Asr may be offered at any moment after the Dhuhr time has lapsed and before sunset. Maghrib has a time range of roughly one and a half hours starting at sunset. Isha follows immediately after Maghrib time is over and its time range extends until two thirds of the night have gone (according to most scholars). Once the time range for any particular prayer is gone it cannot be offered. There are certain cases, when two prayers i.e. Dhuhr and Asr or Maghrib and Isha, may be offered at the same time, such as during travel. Apart from that every prayer must be offered within its time range. If one neglects offering a prayer on time, then he cannot compensate for it by offering it later. A person who had neglected praying for a period of his life need not start offering his missed prayers with the ones he offered now. What he should do, however, is to repent sincerely and pray for Allah's forgiveness. If he mends his ways and attends regularly to his prayers, Allah is certain to forgive him. Another action which may help him attain Allah's forgiveness is to offer as many voluntary prayers as possible. This method of compensating for prayers missed during a whole year which you call "Qazai Umri" is certainly not recommended. One cannot redress his past negligence in this way. The only way Allah accepts is sincere repentance and a resolve not to miss a single prayer in future.

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