أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

NOT PERFORMING THE PRAYER

Allah Most High says : Then there succeeded them a generation which neglected prayers and followed lusts. They will meet with destruction (Ghayy), excepting the one who repents and believes and acts righteously. (Maryam 19:59-60)

Ibn Abbas (RAA) explained that neglected here does not mean that they completely abandoned prayers, but that they delayed them to the end of their prescribed times. Sa’id Bin Musayyab, a great Imam following the generation of the Companions, elaborated on this, saying: “A person neglects prayers if he delays the noon prayer up to afternoon prayer time, afternoon prayer up to almost sunset prayer time, sunset prayer up to evening prayer time, and evening prayer up to morning prayer time, while delaying morning prayer until just before sunrise. If anyone dies without repentance while continuing in this manner,Allah has promised Ghayy for him, and that is a valley in Hell which is very deep and has foul food.”

Allah Most High says : “Woe (Wayl) to the worshippers who are unmindful of their prayers (Al Ma’un 107:4-5)
Sa’ad bin Abi Wawwas said “ I asked Allah’s Messenger (SAW) about the meaning of ‘unmindful’ and he replied “It is delaying it (the prayer) up to the end of its prescribed time” (Bazar).

While Allah calls such people “worshippers” they are lazy and perform the prayer very late. He has promised them “Woe” (Wayl), which signifies a great punishment. Some say “Wayl is a valley in Hell, exceedingly hot and that is the place for those who delays or miss the prayer, excepting the once who repent and correct their habits”.

Allah Most High says “ O you who believe, let neither your wealth nor your children distract you from  the remembrance of Allah. And those who do so, they will be the losers. (Al Munafiqoon 63:9)

The commentators says: “The remembrance ofAllah’ in this verse means the five daily prayers. If anyone is so busy in buying and selling, or with his daily work of earning a livelihood or with his children, that he cannot perform prayers on time, he will be among the losers”.

The Prophet (SAW) said in this regard “ The first thing which will be judged among a person’s deeds on the Day of Resurrection is the prayer. If that is in good order, he will pass the test and prosper and if that is defective, he will fail the test and will be a loser” (Tirmidhi).

Informing us about the inhabitants of Hell, Allah Most High says : (The people in Hell will be asked) : What caused you to enter Hell fire ?” they will say “ We were not among those who prayed, nor did we feed the needy. We used to deny the Day of Judgement, until there came to us that which is certain (i.e. Allah’s Judgement)”. Then no intercession by any intercessors will benefit them. (Al Muddathir 74:42-48)

The Prophet (SAW) said “ The covenant between us and them (that is believers) is prayer, so if anyone abandons it he has become and infidel” (Ahmad Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood, Nisai, Tirmidhi). He also said “What lies between a man and infidelity is the abandonment of prayer”. (Muslim).

Allah’s Messenger (SAW) is reported to have said “If anyone abandons the afternoon prayer, his deeds
are of no avail” (Bukhari). And he said “ if anyone abandons prayer deliberately he has no claim upon Allah (Sunah). And he said “ I have been ordered to fight with men till they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad isAllah’s Messenger, observe the prayer and pay the Zakat. When they do that they will keep their lives and their properties safe from me, except for what is due to Islam; and their reckoning will be atAllah’s Hands” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Abdullah bin Amr Bin Al As (RAA) said that “ the Prophet (SAW) mentioned prayer one day saying “ if anyone keeps to it, it will be light, evidence and salvation for him on the Day of Resurrection; but if anyone does not keep to it, it will not be for him light, evidence or salvation and on the Day of Resurrection, he will be associated with Qarun, Pharaoh, Haman and Ubayy bin Khalaf the great enemy of Islam from among the Quraish) (Ahmad, Darimi and Baihqi).

Some scholars have explained that the person who abandons prayer will be raised with such a foursome because his neglect of prayer may be due to his involvement with his property, his county, his administrative work or his trade. Therefore, if he was involved with his property, he will be resurrected with Qarun; if with his country, then with Pharaoh, if with is administrative work, then with Haman, and if with his trade, then with Ubayy bin Khalaf, the trader among the believers of Mecca.

Mu’adh bin Jabl (RAA) reportedAllah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying “If anyone abandons prayer intentionally he has no claim toAllah Most High” (Ahmad).
Umar Ibn Al Khattab (RAA) reported that a man asked the Prophet (SAW) “ Messenger ofAllah, what action is dearest toAllah Most High?” The Prophet (SAW) replied “Prayer at its proper time. The one who does not pray has no religion. Prayer is the main pillar of the religion (of Islam)” (Baihaqi).

After Umar had been stabbed, it was said to him “As-salat ya amir ul mumineen – the prayer, Leader of the Believers! He said, truly! If anyone misses the prayer, he has no share in Islam” and thereupon he prayed while his wounds were bleeding.

Abdullah bin Shaqiq (RAA) said that the Companions of the Prophet (SAW) did not consider the abandonment of any good deeds to be unbelief excepting the abandonment of prayer.

When ‘Ali (RAA) was asked about a women who did not pray, he replied “The one who does not pray is an unbeliever” Ibn Mas’ood said that the one who does not pray has no religion and Ibn Abbas said “The one who leaves off a single prayer deliberately will find, when he meets Allah Most High, that he is angry with him.”

Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said : “When a person meets Allah after neglecting his prayer, he will meet him as if he had not worshipped him at all, nor done any good deeds”, And Ibn Hazm said “There is no greater sin after polytheism than missing a prayer and killing a believer without a just cause.” Ibrahim Nakha’i said “ The one who has left off the prayer has become disbeliever”. Awn bin Abdullah said “ When a person is buried, the first question which will be asked him will be concerning the prayer, if that is accepted from him, his other deeds will be looked at, but if that is not accepted from him, no other deeds will be looked at”.
 That is to say, if one deliberately delays a prayer until its time has passed, although he was able to pray it on time, without any valid reason, which permits delaying it before its time.

The Prophet (SAW) said “ When a person performs a prayer during the early part of its prescribed time period, his prayer ascends toward Heaven as a light until it reaches the Throne, and there it asks forgiveness for that person until the Day of Resurrection, saying ‘O Allah, preserve him as he preserved me!’ But when a person performs a prayer outside its time period, it ascends toward Heaven covered with darkness. When it reaches there, it is folded up as a garment is folded and thrown back at his face, and it says ‘MayAllah waste you as you wasted me”.

Abdullah Bin Al-As (RAA) reportedAllah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying “There are three (kinds of people) whose prayer Allah will not accept: a leader who is hated by his nation, a master who oppresses his slave after making a contract with him to set him free, and a person observes a prayer after its proper time” Abu Dawood). He also said “ A person who combines two prayers without excuse, enters a gate among the major sins.”

We seek Allah’s guidance and help, for indeed. He is the Generous, the Magnanimous, and the Most  Merciful of all merciful ones!.
WHEN TO ORDER A CHILD TO PRAY
Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said “Tell your children to observe the prayer when they are seven years old, and beat them for (not observing) it when they are ten years old; and do not let boys and girls sleep together in the same bed” (Abu Dawood).
Imam Abu Sulayman Khattabi say “This tradition implies a sever punishment for non-praying adults.

Some followers of Imam Shafi’i argue from this tradition that if, after attaining adulthood (that is after puberty), a person deliberately abandons prayer, he should be put to death. They say that is the punishment for an non-praying child of ten is beating, the punishment for an adult when he abandons prayer deliberately should be more severe than that, and there is nothing more severe than beating except killing.

There are difference of opinion among scholars concerning the (nature of the) punishment for an adult who abandons prayer. Malik Shafi’i and Ahmad Bin Hanbal say that the punishment for an adult who deliberately abandons prayer is to strike off his head with a sword. There is also a difference of opinion whether a person becomes a disbeliever if he lets the time of prayer pass without praying, while he has no excuse. Ibrahim Nakh’i Ayyub Sakhtiyani, Abdullah Ibn Mubarak, Ahmad Bin Hanbal and Ishaq bin Rahwaih says that he has become a disbeliever, and they argue this from the above cited traditions “ The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it, he has become disbeliever, and what lies between a man and infidelity is the abandonment of the prayer”.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

It is reported in a tradition that “Allah Most High will bestow five honors upon a person who guards the prescribed prayers. These are : He removes from him poverty and the punishment of the grave; He gives him his book (of deeds on the Day of Judgement) in his right hand; He takes him over the bridge (across the Hell) like a streak of lightning and He admits him to the Garden without Judgement”. The opposite is the case with a person who abandons the prayer”.

One dayAllah’s Messenger (SAW) said to his Companions “Allah, do not make among us anyone who is wretched and prevented from the good”, he (SAW) then said “ Do you know who is that?” They replied “Who is he, Allah’s Messenger.” He said “ He is the adult who deliberately abandons prayer”.

A story, it is reported that a woman of the Children of Israel came to Prophet Moses and said “ O Messenger ofAllah, I committed a grave sin, but then I repented toAllah and asked His forgiveness. Please pray to Allah that he accepts my repentance and forgives me my sin”. Prophet Moses asked “What did you do?” she replied “ Prophet of Allah, I committed fornication and later gave birth to a baby boy whom I killed”. Then Prophet Moses said : “Go from here, you wicked woman, lest a fire from Heaven consume all of us because of your monstrous sin!” Thereupon she left his presence broken hearted. Then Gabriel descended and told Moses “ Moses, why have you turned away a repentant woman? Have you not found anyone worse that her? Moses asked “Gabriel, who could such a one be?” Gabriel replied “ The one who abandons prayer intentionally and persistently”.

There are some people who chop away part of their prayer while bowing and prostrating themselves by not completing them properly, and they are included in the meaning of the verse “Woe to the worshippers who are unmindful of their prayers” (Al Ma’aun 107:4-5).

Abu Hurairah (RAA) said that a man entered the mosque while Allah’s Messenger (SAW) was sitting in it, and he (the man) performed his prayer, he then came and greeted the Prophet (SAW). Allah’s Messenger (SAW) returned his greeting and then said “Go back and pray, for you have not prayed”. He went back and performed his prayer in the same fashion and then came and greeted the Prophet (SAW). The Prophet (SAW) returned his greeting and then said “Go back and pray, for you have not prayed”. After the third time, the man said “ Teach me, Messenger ofAllah” Then the Prophet (SAW) said “ When you get up to pray, say “Allahu Akbar” then recite any portion of the Qur’an which is easy for you, then bow and remain in that position for a while, then raise yourself and stand erect; then prostrate yourself and remain prostration for a while; then raise yourself and sit for a while ; then prostrate yourself again and remain in the posture for a while and do the same throughout your prayer” (Bukhari and Muslim).

The Prophet (SAW) said “If a person does not stretch his spine in bowing and prostrating, his prayer is not acceptable” (Ahmad). He also said that if anyone prays and does not straighten his back properly after bowing and prostrating, his prayer is not valid. Similarly, all the movements in the prayer should be done in leisurely manner.

He said “The worst kind of stealing is stealing from the prayer”. When asked “How is it possible to steal from a prayer” He replied “By not completing bowing and prostrating and not reciting (the Qur’an) in it.

He said” This is how the hypocrite prays; he sits watching the sun until the time it is about to rise or to set. Then he gets up and races through the prayer, not remembering Allah in it except, a little.
 
Ubadah bin Samit (RAA) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying “ If one has made ablution in an excellent manner and then has stood up for prayer and has completed bowing and prostrating and has recited in it, the prayer says to him, “MayAllah preserve you as you have preserved me!” Then it ascends towards Heaven enveloped in light and brightness; the gates of Heaven are opened for it until it reaches the Presence ofAllah Most High, and intercedes with Him for the one who performed it. But if he does not complete bowing and prostrating or reciting in it, his prayer tells him, “MayAllah waste you as you wasted me” Then it ascends toward Heaven enveloped in darkness, but the gates of heaven remain closed. It is then folded up as a garment is folded and thrown at the face of one who performed it” (Baihaqi).
Salman Al Farsi (RAA) reportedAllah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying “The Prayer has a measure. If anyone has completed it, he is given its full measure. But if anyone is miserly with it, you know what Allah Most High says concerning those who are miserly “Woe (Wayl) to the miserly ones!” (Al Mutaffafin 83:1).

The miserly one is the one who gives less than the measure while weighing or measuring something. Therefore,Allah has promised him Wayl, which is a very hot valley in Hell. We seek refuge inAllah from it!

Ibn ‘Abbas (RAA) reportedAllah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying “When any of you prostrate himself, he should put his face, his nose and his hands on the ground for trulyAllah Most High has revealed to me that I should prostrate myself on seven bones: The forehead, the two palms, the two knees and the extremities of the two feet (i.e. the toes) and that I should not hold onto the hair or clothing. If one prays and does not give the proper share to each part of the body, that part curses him until he finishes the prayer. (Bukhari & Muslim)

The Prophet (SAW) said “ The first thing which will be judged among a person’s deed on the Day of Resurrection is the prayer. If that is in good order, he will pass the test and prosper, but if that is defective, he will fail the test and will be a loser”. If there is any deficit regarding the prescribed prayers of anyone,Allah Most High will say (to the angels), [Look for any supererogatory prayers which My slave had observed, so that they would make up what is deficient in his prescribed prayers] then the whole of his deeds will be acted similarly.

PRAYING IN THE MOSQUE
Allah Most High says : “ A day when the truth will be uncovered and they will be called upon to prostrate but they will not be able to; with their eyes cast down, disgrace will overwhelm them. And before, they had been called upon to prostrate while they were whole. ( Al-Qalam 68:42-43)

Ibrahim Taimi (RAA) says, in explanation, that they were called upon to perform the prescribed prayer through the Adhan and Iqama, the second call to prayer). Sa’id Ibn Musayyab says:”They heard, ‘Come to prayer, come to success, and they did not respond. Therefore, on the Day of Resurrection, disgrace and regret will cover them’. Ka’b Al-Ahbar say’s “These verses were revealed concerning those who did not join the congregational prayer. What can be a stronger and more suitable warning than this for those who left off congregational prayer while they were able to attend it?

Abu Huraira (RAA) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying “By him in Whose Hand is my soul, I consider giving orders for fuel and having it gathered; then giving orders for prayer and having the Adhan called for it; then ordering a man to lead the people in prayer; then going to the people who were not present at the prayer and burning down their houses over them!” (Bukhari and Muslim).

A blind man came to Prophet (SAW) and said “Messenger ofAllah, I have no one to guide me to the mosque” he therefore askedAllah’s Messenger (SAW) for permission to pray at home and the Prophet (SAW) granted it. Then, when the man turned away, he called him back and asked “Can you hear the Adhan (from you house)?” he said “Yes”. Thereupon the Prophet (SAW) said “Then respond to it (by coming to the mosque)”. (Muslim)

Amir bin Umm Maktum (RAA) said “ Messenger ofAllah, there are many poisonous creatures and wild animals in Medina and I am blind and live at a distance. Therefore, do I have permission to pray in my house?” The Prophet (SAW) asked “Do you hear the Call (Adhan)?” he replied “Yes” The Prophet (SAW) said “Then respond to it (by coming to the mosque), you have no such permission”. (Abu Dawood).

We see that there is a blind man with no one to guide him to the mosque, but the Prophet (SAW) did not give him permission to pray at home as long as he was able to hear the Adhan. How, then can there be any excuses for a healthy man who is able to see?

Someone asked Ibn Abbas (RAA) about a man who fasted during the day and prayed during the night but did not come to the congregational prayers. He replied that if that person were to continue in this way until his death, he would end in the Fire.

Ibn Abbas (RAA) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying “If anyone hears the Adhan and is not prevented by some excuses from responding to it, his prayer (prayed at home) will not be accepted”. When asked about the (nature of) excuse, he replied that it consisted of fear (of danger) or illness.

Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RAA) said “ There is no prayer for the neighbour of a mosque except in the mosque” When he was asked, who is the neighbour of a mosque?” He replied “Anyone who hears the Adhan (issuing from it)”

Rabi Bin Khaitham, even though half of his body had become paralyzed due to stoke, used to come to the prayer supported by two people. He was told ‘Aba Muhammad, you are an invalid and you have permission to pray at home’. He replied “That is what you are saying, but the Caller to prayer is saying, ‘Come to prayer, come to success”. Therefore, anyone who can respond to it, even if he has to creep or crawl (to the mosque), should do it”.

Hatim Asam said “ Once I missed a congregational prayer, but only Abu Ishaq Bukhari offered me condolences (for such a tragedy), whereas if a child of mine had died, more than ten thousand people would have offered me condolences. Indeed, a misfortune in religion is less in the eyes of people than a worldly misfortune!”

Ibn Umar (RAA) said “ One day, Umar went to a palm grove of his, and when he returned, the people had already performed the afternoon prayer. Thereupon “Umar said, ‘Inna lil-Lahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon – truly, we belong toAllah, and truly unto him is the return!” I have missed praying the afternoon prayer in congregation! All of you be my witnesses that I give my palm grove in charity for the needy, and may this be the atonement for what ‘Umar has done’.

In particular, attending the morning and evening prayers at the mosque is very strongly emphasized because the Prophet (SAW) said “These two prayers are difficult for hypocrites. If people knew what reward there is for them to these two prayers, they would even come crawling (to the mosque) for them”.

A story, Ubaidullah Bin Umar Qarwriri said “ I never missed the evening congregational prayer. But once a guest came to my house and I remained in his company until late. I went out looking for any mosque in the city of Basra at which I could catch the congregational (evening) prayer, but to no avail. The people had (all) prayed and gone home. I returned to my house, saying to myself, ‘it is reported in tradition that congregational prayer is twenty seven times more excellent than individual prayer’. So I prayed the evening prayer twenty seven times over and then slept. I saw in a dream that I was with a group of people who were racing on horses, and I was also racing with them on my horse but I was falling behind them. I kicked my horse to catch up with them but I could not. One of them (the riders) turned towards me and said “Do not urge your horse, for you will not be able to catch up with us”. I said why not? He replied,’ we prayed evening in congregation and you prayed it alone!” Therefore, I learned a lesson and was deeply grieved”.

We ask Allah Most High guidance. Truly, He is the Generous and the Magnanimous!.
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5 Responses to “4. Not Performing the Prayer”


  1. 1 Samia December 9, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    What punishment is ascribed in the world for the one who does not perform the prayer by Islam?

  2. 2 Rashed Khan November 16, 2015 at 10:52 am

    “If anyone abandons prayer deliberately then he has no claim upon Allah.”
    Please give the exact reference (hadith number).. I need it

  3. 4 Hafeez hami Wazir February 19, 2017 at 2:11 am

    I want to know about the four imams views on punishment of neglecting prayer in Islamic state ..plz send me their views..thank you


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