Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)
Sometimes I am busy and unable to read my awrad at their appointed times. Can I read them before the set time or make them up after?
Yes, if you are busy can read some of your awrad before or after the set time. Awrad should always be made up if you are unable to read them at their set time. Someone who is usually busy at the set time should choose another time to read them.
If you do this, then the wird is likely to coincide with the appointed time somewhere else in the world. If, for example, you read your morning wird at night, then it will at least be morning somewhere in the world and so it will be on time somewhere else.
If you are unable to do that you should read them in your heart at work at the set time without saying them out loud.
You should also persist in your awrad and endeavour to have presence of heart, as this is the foundation of attaining benefit. Imam al-Haddad said: “Performing regular acts of devotion/awrad without presence does not benefit (the seeker), and doing them without persistence and consistency does not have an effect (upon his heart).”
You should strive and persist in your awrad. Doing so is a sign of your concern for your spiritual progress and will lead to much benefit, whether you recite them at their set time or at other times.