Q: I traveled to
the United States of America
in 1396 A.H. to study, and I spent five years there until I got my Bachelor's degree. While I was there, I did not observe Sawm (fasting) in Ramadan for five years, because I was a Fasiq (someone openly and flagrantly violating Islamic law). Given that I did not even try to observe Sawm in those five years and I did that on purpose, out of disobedience, what is the ruling on this? Praise be to Allah for guiding me. Please advise regarding this matter. I would also like to inquire about how to make up for missed Salah (Prayer) if it is abandoned on purpose and not out of forgetfulness, as I did not offer Salah during that period. How do I make up for Salah and Sawm?
If the case is as you mentioned, that you have shown Tawbah (repentance) and followed the way of (Part No. 6; Page No. 42) guidance,
you do not have to make up for Salah and Sawm that you neglected on purpose, because abandoning Salah is considered major Kufr (disbelief that takes the Muslim out of Islam) and Riddah (apostasy), even if the person does not deny its obligation, according to the strongest opinion of scholars. If an apostate embraces Islam, they are not asked to make up for the missed Salah and Sawm during the period of their apostasy, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated,
Islam wipes out all that has gone before it (previous misdeeds); and Tawbah also wipes out all that has gone before it.
You should continue to offer congregational Salah on time in the Masjid (mosque) and observe Sawm in Ramadan. You should perform pious deeds and Nawafil (supererogatory) acts frequently, whether of Salah or Sawm, maintain the ties of kinship, Sadaqah (voluntary charity), and other good deeds as much as you can, as Allah stated,
And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them, (till his death).
(Surah Taha, 20: 82). May Allah support you and us in the truth and keep us on the right path.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.