Assalamu alaikum, I used not to pray for about 6 to 7 years , but then I started praying ,alhamdulillah, and I try my best not to miss a prayer and always try to pray them on time. However, what should I do about the prayers that I missed? Should I make them all up or would performing as many sunnah prayers as possible make up for them? Also, if I would have to make up those prayers, then can I still continue praying the sunnah prayers and in what order would I have to perform them in? For example,there is 2 raka’as sunnah before fajr prayer,so should I pray sunnah first and then make up for the missed fajr prayer and then pray the regular fajr prayer? Thank you and our feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
The standard ruling of scholars and jurists is that you should make up for the obligatory prayers you have missed. You should waste no time in doing so. If you find yourself hard pressed for time, you may do so before or after every fard salah.
There is another ruling given by Ibn Taymiyyah: If the prayers you have missed are too many as they span a number of years, as you have stated, and you find it hard to make up for all of them, you can simply make sincere repentance and ask Allah's forgiveness: You may follow it up by offering sunan and nawaafil as best as you can and do other good deeds such as charities, etc.; all of these would redeem and expiate for your sins, and thus you can hope to gain Allah's mercy and forgiveness.
You are allowed to follow the second opinion (i.e. the view of Imam Ibn Taymiyyah). But having said this, I must also insist that from now on you should be diligent in praying on time; should you happen to miss any prayer, you must make it up immediately without delay as soon as you are aware of it.
Allah Almighty knows best.