Ruling on a Muslim Who Does Not Pray
Fatwa No: 81555

Question

What is the judgement of a Muslim who does not pray?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Prayer is one of the pillars of Islam. According to all the Muslims scholars, whoever gives it up while denying it is a Kafir (unbeliever).

Whoever gives it up and neglects it or does not pray because of laziness; never praying it, is also, according to the chosen correct opinion of scholars, considered as an unbeliever.

This is so, because any person who is asked to choose between performing the prayer or being killed, and chooses the last option is undoubtedly an unbeliever.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The pact between us and them is the prayer. Whoever gives it up becomes an unbeliever.”  [Ahmad and Abu Daawood]

Besides, Jabir  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Between a person and disbelief and polytheism is abandoning the prayer.” [Muslim]

‘Abdullah Ibn Shaqeeq  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

The companions of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did not consider the abandonment of any act, with the exception of prayer, as being disbelief.” [Al-Tirmithi]

But the person who sometimes prays and some other times doesn’t do so is not an unbeliever. He is, however, in a great danger.

Finally, the person who gives up the prayer is asked for three days to repent and pray; if he does so, nothing is inflicted on him; otherwise the Muslim’s ruler kills him. This is so, because Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever changes his religion kill him/her.” [Al Bukhari]

Allah knows best.

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