Maliki Fiqh QA

Islamic Questions & Answers according to the Maliki School

Is it permissible to pray Taraweeh (or any Nafeela) When You Have Make Up Prayers ? – Imam Al-Akhdari and Shaykh Rami Nsour (Maliki School)

One who owes missed prayers should not perform any nafeela prayers. So it’s haram for a person, it’s prohibited for a person to pray any nafeela prayers, any extra prayers, what are commonly referred to as the sunnahs before dhuhr and ‘asr. And according to the Malikis, those are referred to as the nafeela prayers before dhuhr or ‘asr. After dhuhr, after Maghreb and after ‘isha, those prayers, before and after the obligatory prayers, those are termed as nafeela prayers and it’s haram for a person to pray them because they must make up their obligations before they work on their extra acts. Before a person starts thinking about profit, he has to think about his capital.

Also it’s not permissible for him to pray the mid-morning prayer, the duha, because this is considered a nafeela prayer, nor the night prayers of Ramadan, nor the taraweeh prayers. Because the taraweeh is considered a nafeela, and so for the person that owes obligatory prayers, it’s haram for him to be praying the taraweeh. Instead, he should be making up his prayers.

Also a person should realize that one obligatory prayer is better than praying from now until the day of Judgment nafeela prayers, because leaving a nafeela prayer does not incur a sin, whereas leaving an obligatory prayer does incur a sin. So the reward gained by one obligatory prayer is better than a million nafeelas. So if a person is really looking for the reward, he would leave the nafeela and do the obligation. Whereas if a person is doing the non-obligatory acts before he has made up the obligatory acts, then it might be because he has a nafssee, a selfish desire in that.

Indeed, it is only permissible for him to pray the shaf’, the witr, the fajr ragheebah, both Eids, the solar eclipse and the rain prayers.

So it’s permissible for him to pray the shaf’ and the witr, these are the sunnah prayers. The witr, the two Eids, the eclipse and the rain prayer. Those, according to the Maliki scholars are considered sunnah prayers. All other extra prayers are termed as nafeela prayers. So these sunnah prayers, the witr and the shaf’, although it is considered a nafeela, because it is immediately linked to the witr prayer, it’s given the hukm of the witr, which is the sunnah. So he would pray the witr, he would pray the fajr ragheebah, which is higher than a nafeela and less than a sunnah, he would pray both Eids, the Fitr and the Eid al-Adha. He would pray the solar eclipse prayer but not the lunar, because the lunar eclipse is recommended, it’s a nafeela prayer, and he would pray the rain prayers or the istissqah prayer. So the sunnah prayers, a person that has obligatory prayers to be made up, he can pray the sunnah prayers but he would not pray the nafeela prayers.

Source: FIQH 101 Prayer and Purification (Maliki) Spring 2016: Tayba Foundation (al-Akhdari with its commentary)

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