Urgent: Prayer, Past Sins, and the Hijab

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat gives valuable advice on how to make up prayers and not burn out.

I’m sorry. I sent a question through earlier about making up missed prayers. I also wanted to ask, if I should be including the nafl prayers for dhuhr, maghrib and isha in my makeup prayers, or can these be left out without any further sin?

As I have years of prayers to make up, would it be sinful for me to do anything outside this in my spare time. For instance, would reading a fictional book, watching a film, going out with family, be sinful for me? Should I only be using spare time to make up prayers? I’m feeling overwhelmed because I feel like I will not be able to do anything else without sin or guilt.

Also, I am trying to learn the prayer as I go along if this takes me some time and I miss a current prayer in the process am I making my situation worse?

I am also trying to work towards wearing the hijab, but again I feel overwhelmed. I initially thought covering my hair and wearing loose clothing that fully covers me would be sufficient. I was going to stick to wearing long skirts and loose tops, dresses that fall below my knees with leggings, jeans–trousers with loose tops that fall to my knees or below my knees. But now after reading some things I’m doubting if I’d still be sinning as I’m not wearing a jilbab, and trousers may not be modest enough or even leggings with dresses below the knees.

I’m starting to get depressed, as I feel like I’m going to have to make loads of changes at once. Everything I read makes me find another obstacle. I’ve always kept my hair shorter as I find it easier to manage, and I’ve now read it’s also haram for me to cut it. If my hair is going to be covered by a scarf, can I not keep it short for ease and comfort, as no one will see it?

In the past I had the bad habit, and I think I may have broken some fasts due to this. How do I figure out how many I may have broken, and do I need to fast 60 days as well as making the individual fasts up? If I can’t remember exactly when I started puberty, how do I calculate how many prayers I need to make up?

I work. If I delay a prayer and have to do qada due to this am I digging a deeper hole for myself?

Please advise me on what I need to do. Does the fact I have sinned in the past mean I have to give up all my free time for prayer. I don’t know if that’s something I’ll be able to do.

Jazak Allah khayran.

I pray you are well.

Leaving nafl prayers is not sinful. If you have fard and wajib (witr, for example) prayers to make up it is be best to leave the nafl and focus on the fard and wajib.

It’s best to ask Allah for help, make a routine which you can practically manage daily, and make up your missed prayers methodically. A constant drip of water over time can split a rock; whereas a big splash of the same amount just makes it wet.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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