Neglecting Salaah (Prayers)

Posted on February 21, 2014

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The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“The difference between us and them is salaah.
Whoever neglects it is a kaafir.”
(Reported by Imaam Ahmad and the authors of Sunan with a saheeh isnaad)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
“(Nothing stands) between a man and kufr and shirk, except prayer: (whoever neglects it becomes a kaafir and a mushrik).”
(Reported by Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh, with other similar ahaadeeth).

The majority of scholars said that if a person denies that prayer is obligatory, he is a kaafir and an apostate from the religion of Islam.
The ruling concerning such a person is as described above.

If he does not deny that it is obligatory, but he neglects it because of laziness, for example, then he is guilty of a major sin (kabeerah), but he is not considered to be beyond the pale of Islam.
He should be given three days in which to repent.
If he does, then al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allaah);
if he does not, then he should be executed, but this is a punishment, not because he became a kaafir.
In this case, he should be washed (ghusl, after death) and wrapped in a shroud (kafn).
The funeral prayer should be offered for him, prayers can be offered for forgiveness and mercy for him, and he should be buried in the Muslim graveyard. He can inherit and be inherited from.
In general, all the rules concerning Muslims who are sinners apply to him, in life and in death.

(From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 6/49)

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