What is the ruling of the one who neglects prayers?
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 is His slave and Messenger.
Muslim scholars agreed that whoever abandons the prayer (the obligatory prayer) while denying its obligation, goes out of the fold of Islam. But they differed in opinion about the person who acknowledged the prayer as obligatory, but he abandons it because of laziness:
- Abu Haneefah says that the person doesn't become a non-Muslim (does not go out of the fold of Islam), but he should be imprisoned until he starts to pray.
- Maalik and Ash-Shaafi'i are of the view that he is not a non-Muslim, but he should be executed by Hadd (i.e. corporal punishment determined by the Islamic Law) (because of abandoning the prayer).
- The common opinion is the teaching of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal who says that the person goes out of the fold of Islam, and should be executed because of apostasy. This opinion is transmitted from the Prophet with authentic texts. Al-Munthiri in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb and others reported that Ishaq said: “There is a consensus of opinion among the companions on the last opinion.”
The evidence for this view is that Jabir narrated that the Prophet said: “Between a man and disbelief is abandoning the prayer (obligatory prayer).” [Muslim, Abu Daawood, at-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]
Besides, Umm Ayman narrated that the Prophet said: “Whoever abandons the prayer deliberately, Allah and His Prophet are free from him.” [Ahmad]
Moreover, Buraydah Ibn al-Hussaib narrated that the Prophet said: “The pact between us and them is the prayer, so whoever abandons it is a disbeliever.” [At-Tirmithi, An-Nasaa’I, and Ibn Maajah]
Also, ‘Abdullah Ibn Shaqeeq al’Uqayli said: “The companions of Muhammad () didn’t see abandoning any deed that constitutes disbelief except the prayer.” [at-Tirmithi]
Imam Muhammad Ibn Nasr al-Mirouzi said: ‘I heard Ishaq saying: “It is authentic from the Prophet that whoever abandons the prayer is a non-Muslim. And it was also the opinion of the scholars among the Companions of the Prophet that whoever abandons the prayer deliberately, without excuse, until the time of the prayer ends, he is a non-Muslim.
Imam Ibn Hazm said: “It is transmitted to us from ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab, Mu’ath Ibn Jabal , Ibn Mas’ood and a group of Companions and from Ibn al-Mubaarak, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, and Ishaq Ibn Rahawayh and from exactly 17 men from the companions and righteous predecessors, that whoever deliberately abandons the obligatory prayer and its remembrance until its time expires, he is a non-Muslim and apostate.
‘Abdullah Ibn al-Majashoun (a student of Maalik), and ‘Abdul Malik Ibn Habeeb al-Andaloussi and others have the same opinion.
Allah knows best.
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