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Search Fatawaa


Subject : Islamic Ruling on Person who Abandons Prayer and on Associating with such Person

Fatwa Number : 3790

Date : 13-08-2023

Classified : Things that doom one to Hell

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa


Question :

I work and live with a group of young men. One of them doesn't pray, so we advised him about the importance of prayer. In fact, I only discuss this matter with him when he brings it up, as my intention is only to give advice. Is it a sin to eat and drink with him?



The Answer :

I work and live with a group of young men. One of them doesn't pray, so we advised him about the importance of prayer. In fact, I only discuss this matter with him when he brings it up, as my intention is only to give advice. Is it a sin to eat and drink with him?

Answer: All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Prayer (Salah) is one of the five pillars of Islam and an individual obligation upon every mature and discerning Muslim. Whoever neglects it commits a major sin. However, not everyone who abandons prayer is necessarily considered to have committed disbelief (Kufr), but there are two scenarios for someone who abandons prayer:

First: When someone abandons prayer while consciously denying its obligatory nature after having knowledge of its significance, they are considered an apostate (murtad). This is for denying basic Islamic Knowledge every Muslim should know. Shaykh al-Islam Imam Zakariya al-Ansari, may Allah have mercy on him, stated: "Chapter on one abandoning prayer……..Someone who denies the obligatory nature of prayer, even if they offer it, is considered an apostate for denying basic Islamic knowledge every Muslim should know. Muslim reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "Between a person and Kufr (disbelief) is abandoning the prayer." This hadith addresses the one who abandons prayer out of denying that it is an obligation. [Asna al-Matalib fi Sharh Rawd Al-Talib/V. 1, P.33]).

Second: When someone abandons prayer out of laziness, considering it burdensome or underestimating its importance, while still believing in its obligatory nature, such person is a sinful Muslim who has committed a major sin. They are in significant danger until they repent, return to the practice of prayer, and make up for the missed obligatory prayers. The Prophet, (PBUH), said: "Whoever forgets a prayer, let him offer it when he remembers, for there is no expiation for it other than that." [Moslim]. Allah also Said (What means): "Establish the prayer for My remembrance." [Taha/14].

Imam Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) explained: "The statement of the Prophet (PBUH), Whoever forgets a prayer, let him offer it when he remembers,' indicates the obligation of making up for the missed obligatory prayer, whether it was missed due to a valid excuse like sleep or forgetfulness, or without an excuse. The restriction to forgetfulness in the hadith is due to its specific context, as making up for the missed prayer is obligatory for someone who has a valid excuse. However, it is even more obligatory for someone without an excuse. This emphasizes the principle of addressing the lowest level of responsibility before addressing the higher level." [Sharh Al-Nawawi 'Ala Muslim/V.5, P.183].

Therefore, someone who abandons prayer out of laziness or indifference commits a major sin and becomes a disobedient believer who is on a grave path. However, if the abandonment is accompanied by denial and rejection of the obligatory nature of prayer, this amounts to disbelief (Kufr), and no good deeds are accepted from them. It's necessary to offer them sincere advice and remind them of Allah's presence and greatness in all situations and opportunities. Furthermore; it's important to invite them to the way of Allah with wisdom and fair preaching. However, this shouldn't hinder you from living with them or sharing meals together. In fact, you should maintain your presence as a positive influence, enjoining good and forbidding evil.

As for the saying of the Prophet, (PBUH): "Do not be in the company of anyone except a believer, and let no one eat your food except a pious person." [Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi/graded as Hasan], its intention is for a Muslim not to become accustomed to bad traits and negative qualities. Thus, it indicates that it is better to choose righteous companionship since the Prophet (PBUH) says: "there is a reward for serving any animate (living being)." [Agreed upon]. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.

 






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