The deeds of a person who does not pray
Fatwa No: 85264

Question

If any body does not perform his/her daily prayer for five times regularly but he/she wants to perform fasting or the other basic three pillars. Does performing the other three pillars of Islam has any value?

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.

People who do not pray are of two kinds:

Firstly, a person who denies that the prayer is an obligation; such a person is an apostate who has deserted Islam. There is a consensus of all Muslim scholars over this opinion. In this case, he is not rewarded for any good acts he does.

Secondly, a person who does not pray out of laziness and negligence although he recognizes that the prayer is obligatory; the scholars differed in opinion about him. The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that such a person is a Muslim but he committed a major sin and he should be beheaded. This is his punishment in this life and Allah will call him to account on the Day of Judgment.

However, Imam Ahmad and some other scholars believe that the person who gives up praying becomes a non-Muslim and should then be beheaded even if he recognizes that the prayer is an obligation.

So, if he refuses to perform it, he is killed as a non-Muslim, regardless of how many good deeds he performs. This opinion is backed by evidence from the Sunnah.

Some scholars differentiate between a person who abandons the prayer completely and so he is considered a non-Muslim, and the one who prays from time to time. They are of the view that the latter does not become a non-Muslim.

So, any person who does not perform the prayer regularly commits a great major sin. No sin is worst than it except Shirk (polytheism). So, this person should hasten to repent to Allah from this abominable sin. If his repentance is sincere Allah will change his sins into good deeds. Allah Says (what means): {Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 25: 70]

Allah knows best.

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