Neglecting prayer out of laziness is Kufr al Akbar or not

It is mentioned in Sahih Muslim Kitab al Iman that Jabir ra heard the Apostle (may peace and blessings be upon him) saying. Verily between man and between polytheism and unbelief is the negligence of prayer.

Imam an-Nawawi quoted the four school of thoughts under this hadith

Imam an-Nawawi said
وإن كان تركه تكاسلا مع اعتقاده وجوبها كما هو حال كثير من الناس فقد اختلف العلماء فيه ، فذهب مالك والشافعي رحمهما الله والجماهير من السلف والخلف إلى أنه لا يكفر بل يفسق ويستتاب فإن تاب وإلا قتلناه حدا كالزاني المحصن ، ولكنه يقتل بالسيف . وذهب جماعة من السلف إلى أنه يكفر وهو مروي عن علي بن أبي طالب كرم الله وجهه وهو إحدى الروايتين عن أحمد بن حنبل – رحمه الله – . وبه قال عبد الله بن المبارك وإسحاق بن راهويه . وهو وجه لبعض أصحاب الشافعي رضوان الله عليه . وذهب أبو حنيفة وجماعة من أهل الكوفة والمزني صاحب الشافعي رحمهما الله أنه لا يكفر ، ولا يقتل ، بل يعزر ويحبس حتى يصلي واحتج من قال بكفره بظاهر الحديث الثاني المذكور ، وبالقياس على كلمة التوحيد . واحتج من قال لا يقتل بحديث لا يحل دم امرئ مسلم إلا بإحدى ثلاث وليس فيه الصلاة . واحتج الجمهور على أنه لا يكفر بقوله تعالى : إن الله لا يغفر أن يشرك به ويغفر ما دون ذلك لمن يشاء وبقوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : من قال لا إله إلا الله دخل الجنة ومن مات وهو يعلم أن لا إله إلا الله دخل الجنة ولا يلقى الله تعالى عبد بهما غير شاك فيحجب عن الجنة . حرم الله على النار من قال لا إله إلا الله وغير ذلك .
If he does not pray because he is lazy, although he believes that it is obligatory – as is the case with many people – then the scholars differed concerning him. Maalik and ash-Shfa’i (may Allah have mercy on them) and the majority of the earlier and later scholars were of the view that he is not a disbeliever; rather he is a sinner who should be asked to repent. If he repents, all well and good; otherwise, he is to be executed as a hadd punishment, like the married adulterer, except that he should be killed by the sword. On the other hand, a number of the earlier generations were of the view that he is a disbeliever. This was narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Tatlib and is mentioned in one of the two reports from Ahmad ibn Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on him). It was also the view of Abdullah ibn alMubarak, Ishaq ihn Raahwayh and some of the followers of ashShafa’i.

Abu Haneefah and a number of the people of Kufah, as well as al-Muzani, the companion of ashShafa’i, were of the view that he is not a disbeliever and is not to be executed; rather he should he given a disciplinary punishment and imprisoned until he start to pray.
And the one who opted for his kufr he acted on apparent meaning of the second hadith mentioned (i.e. hadith of Jabir ra) and qiyas on Kalimah tul tawheed.
And those who say he will not be killed take evidence from the hadeeth which states it is not halal to kill Muslim apart from three things, and salah is not mentioned in that hadith.
The Majority of he scholars who say he has not done kufr take evidence from the verse “Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.”
and from the hadith
“Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said. He who recites There is no god but Allah will enter Paradise, he who died knowing (fully well) that there is no god but Allah entered Paradise.”
and “without entertaining any doubt about these (two fundamentals),and will not be banished from entering Jannah.”
and “Allah prohibited the fire on him who recites There is no god but Allah” and other ahadith like these.
[Sharah Sahih Muslim Kitab al Eeman under the hadith of Jabir ra]

Ibn Kathir said
(And if two parties among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both.) Therefore, Allah calls both opposing groups among Muslims, believers, although they are fighting each other. Al-Bukhari and other scholars relied on this Hadith as evidence that committing a sin does not nullify faith, NO MATTER HOW MAJOR THE SIN IS. This creed contradicts the creed of the Khawarij sect and those who accepted their idea, such as the Mu`tazilah sect. Al-Bukhari narrated that Al-Hasan said that Abu Bakrah said that the Messenger of Allah gave a speech on the Minbar while Al-Hasan bin `Ali was with him. He was repeatedly looking at Al-Hasan and then at the people; then said,

(Verily, this son of mine is a Sayyid (chief or master), and may Allah make peace between two great groups of Muslims through him.) What the Prophet said, occurred. Al-Hasan brought peace between the people of Ash-Sham and `Iraq, after they fought tremendous wars and frightening battles. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir under al Hujuraat verse 9]

Ibn Qudama al Hanbalee said
وَلِأَنَّ ذَلِكَ إجْمَاعُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ، فَإِنَّا لَا نَعْلَمُ فِي عَصْرٍ مِنْ الْأَعْصَارِ أَحَدًا مِنْ تَارِكِي الصَّلَاةِ تُرِكَ تَغْسِيلُهُ، وَالصَّلَاةُ عَلَيْهِ، وَدَفْنُهُ فِي مَقَابِر الْمُسْلِمِينَ، وَلَا مُنِعَ وَرَثَتُهُ مِيرَاثَهُ، وَلَا مُنِعَ هُوَ مِيرَاثَ مُوَرِّثِهِ، وَلَا فُرِّقَ بَيْنَ زَوْجَيْنِ لِتَرْكِ الصَّلَاةِ مِنْ أَحَدِهِمَا؛ مَعَ كَثْرَةِ تَارِكِي الصَّلَاةِ، وَلَوْ كَانَ كَافِرًا لَثَبَتَتْ هَذِهِ الْأَحْكَامُ كُلُّهَا، وَلَا نَعْلَمُ بَيْنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ خِلَافًا فِي أَنَّ تَارِكَ الصَّلَاةِ يَجِبُ عَلَيْهِ قَضَاؤُهَا، وَلَوْ كَانَ مُرْتَدًّا لَمْ يَجِبُ عَلَيْهِ قَضَاءُ صَلَاةٍ وَلَا صِيَامٍ.
It is consensus of Muslims (that the Janazah of taruk as-salah will be prayed), and I don’t know any era where ghusl of the deceased was abandoned, or his Slat al Janaza was not prayed or he was not buried in the Muslim`s graveyard, or his household were stopped to take from the inheritance or Taruk as-salah was stopped to take inheritance or neither the nikah is affected if anyone among the husband and wife are taruk as-salah, If this type of person is Kafir then these rulings would apply on him, and I don’t know any difference of opinion among the Muslims that it is Wajib on Taruk as-salah to do qadha, if taruk as-salah was a kafir then qadha of salah and siyaam wouldn’t be wajib on him. [al Mughni 2/33]

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyah said
ولهذا لم يعلم انم أحدا من تاركي الصلاة ترك غسله والصلاة عليه ودفنه مع المسلمين ولا منع ورثته ميراثه ولا إهدار دمه بسبب ذلك مع كثرة تاركي الصلاة في كل عصر والأمة لا تجتمع على ضلالة
It is not known that the ghusl of Taruk as-salah was abandon up till today or his salat al janazah was abandoned, or he was not buried in Muslim`s graveyard or his relatives were not given his inheritance.. When there are many taruk as-salah in every era, the Ummah can not unite on misguidance. [Shrah Umda tul fiqh p 91]

Ibn Abdul Bar
He said while explaining the Word “Kufr” as appears to be in the Hadith of Abandoning Salah :

أن تارك الصلاة إذا كان مقرا غير جاحد ولا مستكبر ، فاسق مرتكب لكبيرة موبقة من الكبائر الموبقات ، وهو مع ذلك في مشيئة الله – عز وجل – إن شاء غفر له ، وإن شاء عذبه ، فإنه لا يغفر أن يشرك به ، ويغفر ما دون ذلك لمن يشاء ، وقد يكون الكفر يطلق على من لم يخرج من الإسلام ،
If the one who Abandons Prayer if he affirms in it doesn’t deny it and doesn’t not arrogantly (rejects it), is a Faasiq (transgressor) committer of the Major Graveious Sin amongst the Major Graveious Sin and along with this he is under the Will of Allah swt if he wants he could punish him or he could forgive him, and He doesn’t forgive who associates partners with him except that he forgets to whom he wants.

And The Kufr Sometimes Applied on the things from which a person doesn’t get out the fold of Islam. (end quote)

Then he said:
فيحتمل – والله أعلم – إطلاق الكفر على تارك الصلاة أن يكون معناه أن تركه الصلاة غطى إيمانه وغيبه حتى صار غالبا عليه ، وهو مع ذلك مومن باعتقاده
And its likely to be possible – And Allah Knows Best – that the Kufr applied on the abandoning Salah has the meaning that the one who abandons salah his Emaan is covered and unseen until this becomes very often on him, and along with this he is a Momin with his Belief. [at-Tamheed li Ibn Abdul barr]

Hafidh Ibn Hajr al asqalani
He said under the words of Prophet peace be upon him ” I have been given the right of intercession” [Sahih al-Bukhari 335]

He commented
فالظاهر أن المراد بالشفاعة المختصة في هذا الحديث إخراج من ليس له عمل صالح إلا التوحيد
Apparently the meaning of intercession specified in this hadith (is) bringing out who doesn’t have any good deed except Tawheed.
(Fath Ul Bari 13/503)

The opinion of al Albani.

It was narrated from Hudhaifah bin Yaman that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“Islam will wear out as embroidery on a garment wears out, until no one will know what fasting, prayer, (pilgrimage) rites and charity are. The Book of Allah will be taken away at night, and not one Verse of it will be left on earth. And there will be some people left, old men and old women, who will say: “We saw our fathers saying these words: ‘La ilaha illallah’ so we say them too.” Silah said to him: “What good will (saying): La ilaha illallah do them, when they do not know what fasting, prayer, (pilgrimage) rites and charity are?” Hudhaifah turned away from his. He repeated his question three times, and Hudhaifah turned away from him each time. Then he turned to him on the third time and said: “O Silah! It will save them from Hell,” three times.


Ibn Maja no. 4049 Authenticated by al Albani who said:

وقال الحاكم: ” صحيح على شرط مسلم “. ووافقه الذهبي.

‏‏‏‏قلت: وهو كما قالا.

‏‏‏‏وقال البوصيري في ” الزوائد ” (ق 247 / 1) : ” إسناده صحيح، رجاله ثقات “.


“Al-Hakim said: ‘Authentic according to Muslim’s condition.’ And Adh-Dhahabi agreed with him. I say: And it is as they said. Al-Busiri said in ‘Al-Zawa’id’ (vol. 1, p. 247): ‘Its chain of narration is authentic, and its narrators are trustworthy.'”


Silsilah Saheeha no. 87


Shaykh al Albani said:


حكم تارك الصلاة:

‏‏‏‏هذا وفي الحديث فائدة فقهية هامة، وهي أن شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله تنجي

‏‏‏‏قائلها من الخلود في النار يوم القيامة ولو كان لا يقوم بشيء من أركان الإسلام

‏‏‏‏الخمسة الأخرى كالصلاة وغيرها، ومن المعلوم أن العلماء اختلفوا في حكم تارك

‏‏‏‏الصلاة خاصة، مع إيمانه بمشروعيتها، فالجمهور على أنه لا يكفر بذلك، بل يفسق

‏‏‏‏وذهب أحمد إلى أنه يكفر وأنه يقتل ردة، لا حدا، وقد صح عن الصحابة أنهم

‏‏‏‏كانوا لا يرون شيئا من الأعمال تركه كفر غير الصلاة. رواه الترمذي والحاكم،

‏‏‏‏وأنا أرى أن الصواب رأي الجمهور، وأن ما ورد عن الصحابة ليس نصا على أنهم

‏‏‏‏كانوا يريدون بـ (الكفر) هنا الكفر الذي يخلد صاحبه في النار ولا يحتمل أن

‏‏‏‏يغفره الله له، كيف ذلك وهذا حذيفة بن اليمان – وهو من كبار أولئك الصحابة –




‏‏‏‏__________جزء : 1 /صفحہ : 175__________


‏‏‏‏على صلة بن زفر وهو يكاد يفهم الأمر على نحو فهم أحمد له، فيقول: ما

‏‏‏‏تغني عنهم لا إله إلا الله، وهم لا يدرون ما صلاة…. ” فيجيبه حذيفة بعد

‏‏‏‏إعراضه عنه:

‏‏‏‏” يا صلة تنجيهم من النار. ثلاثا “.

‏‏‏‏فهذا نص من حذيفة رضي الله عنه على أن تارك الصلاة، ومثلها بقية الأركان ليس

‏‏‏‏بكافر، بل هو مسلم ناج من الخلود في النار يوم القيامة. فاحفظ هذا فإنه قد لا

‏‏‏‏تجده في غير هذا المكان.

وفي الحديث المرفوع ما يشهد له، ولعلنا نذكره فيما بعد إن شاء الله تعالى.

‏‏‏‏ثم وقفت على ” الفتاوى الحديثية ” (84 / 2) للحافظ السخاوي، فرأيته يقول بعد

‏‏‏‏أن ساق بعض الأحاديث الواردة في تكفير تارك الصلاة وهي مشهورة معروفة:

‏‏‏‏” ولكن كل هذا إنما يحمل على ظاهره في حق تاركها جاحدا لوجودها مع كونه ممن

‏‏‏‏نشأ بين المسلمين، لأنه يكون حينئذ كافرا مرتدا بإجماع المسلمين، فإن رجع إلى

‏‏‏‏الإسلام قبل منه، وإلا قتل. وأما من تركها بلا عذر، بل تكاسلا مع اعتقاد

‏‏‏‏وجوبها، فالصحيح المنصوص الذي قطع به الجمهور أنه لا يكفر، وأنه – على

‏‏‏‏الصحيح أيضا – بعد إخراج الصلاة الواحدة عن وقتها الضروري، كأن يترك الظهر

‏‏‏‏مثلا حتى تغرب الشمس أو المغرب حتى يطلع الفجر – يستتاب كما يستتاب المرتد،

‏‏‏‏ثم يقتل إن لم يتب، ويغسل ويصلى عليه ويدفن في مقابر المسلمين، مع إجراء

‏‏‏‏سائر أحكام المسلمين عليه.ويؤول إطلاق الكفر عليه لكونه شارك الكافر في بعض

‏‏‏‏أحكامه. وهو وجوب العمل، جمعا بين هذه النصوص وبين ما صح أيضا عنه

‏‏‏‏صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: خمس صلوات كتبهن الله – فذكر الحديث. وفيه:

‏‏‏‏” إن شاء عذبه، وإن شاء غفر له ” وقال أيضا: ” من مات وهو يعلم أن لا إله

‏‏‏‏إلا الله دخل الجنة ” إلى غير ذلك. ولهذا لم يزل المسلمون يرثون تارك الصلاة

‏‏‏‏ويورثونه ولو كان كافرا لم يغفر له، ولم يرث ولم يورث “.

‏‏‏‏وقد ذكر نحو هذا الشيخ سليمان بن الشيخ عبد الله في ” حاشيته على المقنع “،

‏‏‏‏__________جزء : 1 /صفحہ : 176__________


‏‏‏‏(1 / 95 – 96) وختم البحث بقوله:

‏‏‏‏” ولأن ذلك إجماع المسلمين، فإننا لا نعلم في عصر من الأعصار أحدا من تاركي

‏‏‏‏الصلاة، ترك تغسيله والصلاة عليه، ولا منع ميراث موروثه مع كثرة تاركي

‏‏‏‏الصلاة، ولو كفر لثبتت هذه الأحكام. وأما الأحاديث المتقدمة، فهي على وجه

‏‏‏‏التغليظ والتشبيه بالكفار لا على الحقيقة، كقوله عليه الصلاة والسلام:

‏‏‏‏” سباب المسلم فسوق، وقتاله كفر “، وقوله ” من حلف بغير الله فقد أشرك ”

وغير ذلك. قال الموفق: وهذا أصوب القولين “.

‏‏‏‏أقول: نقلت هذا النص من ” الحاشية ” المذكورة، ليعلم بعض متعصبة الحنابلة،

‏‏‏‏أن الذي ذهبت إليه، ليس رأيا لنا تفردنا به دون أهل العلم، بل هو مذهب

‏‏‏‏جمهورهم، والمحققين من علماء الحنابلة أنفسهم، كالموفق هذا، وهو ابن قدامة

‏‏‏‏المقدسي، وغيره، ففي ذلك حجة كافية على أولئك المتعصبة، تحملهم إن شاء الله

‏‏‏‏تعالى، على ترك غلوائهم، والاعتدال في حكمهم.

‏‏‏‏بيد أن هنا دقيقة، قل من رأيته تنبه لها، أو نبه عليها، فوجب الكشف عنها


‏‏‏‏فأقول: إن التارك للصلاة كسلا إنما يصح الحكم بإسلامه، ما دام لا يوجد هناك

‏‏‏‏ما يكشف عن مكنون قلبه، أو يدل عليه، ومات على ذلك، قبل أن يستتاب كما هو

‏‏‏‏الواقع في هذا الزمان، أما لو خير بين القتل والتوب


“The ruling on one who abandons prayer (due to laziness).

This hadith has an important jurisprudential benefit, which is that testifying that there is no god but Allah will save the one who says it from eternal punishment in the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, even if they don’t perform any of the other five pillars of Islam, such as prayer and others. The scholars have disagreed on the ruling of one who abandons prayer, despite believing in its obligation. The majority opinion is that such a person does not become a disbeliever, but rather a sinner. Ahmad, on the other hand, held that such a person becomes a disbeliever and should be killed for apostasy, without being asked to repent. It has been narrated through Tirmidhi and Hakim that the Companions of the Prophet did not consider the abandonment of any good deed as disbelief, except for prayer. I believe that the correct opinion is that of the majority, and what has been narrated about the Companions is not a clear text indicating that they considered abandonment of prayer as disbelief that would lead to eternal punishment in the Fire, and it’s not possible that Allah would forgive it. How can that be, when this is the opinion of Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman, one of the senior Companions, He (Hudhayfah) was asked about Silah bin Zufar, who almost understood the matter as Ahmad (ibn Hanbal) did, saying: ‘What benefit is the testimony that there is no god but Allah to them, when they don’t even know what prayer is?’ Hudhayfah replied after turning away from him: ‘O Silah, it (the testimony) will save them from the Fire, three times.’ This is a clear statement from Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, that one who abandons prayer, and likewise the rest of the pillars, is not a disbeliever, but rather a Muslim who will be saved from eternal punishment in the Fire on the Day of Resurrection. So remember this, as you may not find it in any other place. And in the Marfu’ Hadith there is evidence that supports this, and we may mention it later, God willing. Then I came across ‘Al-Fatawa Al-Hadithiyyah’ (84/2) by Hafiz As-Sakhawi, where he says after mentioning some hadiths that are well-known and widely accepted regarding the excommunication of one who abandons prayer: ‘However, all of this is understood on its apparent meaning in the case of one who abandons prayer while denying its existence, despite being raised among Muslims. For in that case, he would be considered an apostate by consensus of the Muslims, and if he returns to Islam before it’s too late, he will be spared. Otherwise, he will be killed. As for one who abandons prayer without an excuse, but rather out of laziness while still believing in its obligation, the correct and explicit opinion of the majority is that he is not considered a disbeliever. And according to the correct opinion, if he misses a single prayer beyond its designated time, such as delaying the Dhuhr prayer until sunset or the Maghrib prayer until dawn, he will be called to repentance like an apostate, and if he doesn’t repent, he will be killed, washed, prayed over, and buried in the Muslim cemetery, with all other Muslim rites applied to him.

And the label of disbelief is applied to him because he shares some of the characteristics of a disbeliever, such as the obligation to work. This is a reconciliation between these texts and the authentic hadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘Five prayers are written by Allah’ – and he mentioned the hadith. And in it, he said: ‘If He wills, He punishes him, and if He wills, He forgives him.’ And he also said: ‘Whoever dies knowing that there is no god but Allah will enter Paradise.’ And so on. That’s why Muslims have always inherited from one who abandons prayer and considered him an heir, even if he was a disbeliever, because forgiveness would not be granted to him, and inheritance would not be given or taken away. Sheikh Sulaiman bin Sheikh Abdullah mentioned something similar in his commentary on ‘Al-Muqni’ (1/95-96), and concluded the research by saying: ‘Because this is the consensus of the Muslims, we do not know of anyone in any era who abandoned prayer and was not washed and prayed over, nor was his inheritance withheld, despite the many who abandon prayer. If he were truly a disbeliever, these rulings would be established. As for the previous hadiths, they are meant to emphasize and liken him to a disbeliever, not to say that he is actually a disbeliever, like the Prophet’s saying (peace be upon him): ‘Insulting a Muslim is disobedience, and fighting him is disbelief.’ And his saying: ‘Whoever swears by other than Allah has associated (with Him).'”

The author is discussing the ruling on one who abandons prayer and how it is understood by Muslims. He argues that the label of disbelief is applied to him because he shares some characteristics with a disbeliever, but this does not mean he is truly a disbeliever. He cites various hadiths and scholarly opinions to support his argument, including the consensus of Muslims that one who abandons prayer is still considered a Muslim and is entitled to inheritance and other rights.

“And so on. Al-Muwaffaq said: ‘And this is the most correct of the two opinions.’ I say: I quoted this text from the aforementioned commentary to make it clear to some of the Hanbali extremists that what I have concluded is not an opinion that we have come up with on our own, but rather it is the position of the majority of scholars, including the meticulous and expert scholars among the Hanbalis themselves, such as Al-Muwaffaq, who is Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi, and others. This is sufficient evidence against those extremists, and it is hoped that they will be guided to abandon their excessiveness and be balanced in their judgments.

However, there is a subtle point that few have noticed or pointed out, and it is necessary to clarify and explain it. I say: The one who abandons prayer out of laziness is only considered a Muslim as long as there is no evidence to reveal what is hidden in his heart or indicate his true intentions, and he dies without being called to repentance, as is the case in this era. But if he is given the choice between being killed and repenting.”

Silsilah Saheeha no. 87