The Rule on Neglecting the Solāh
By Muhammad Salih Al-Uthaymeen
In the name of Allāh the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
All Praise is due to Allāh. We praise Him, seek help from Him, ask forgiveness from Him and repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Verily, who is guided by Allāh is indeed guided; and who has been left astray will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no God except Allāh, the Only One, without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger, prayers and peace of Allāh be upon him and his family and companions and whoever followed their path till Day of Reckoning.
Many Muslims neglected their solāh till some of them abandoned it totally out of negligence. It is one of the grave issues that people are afflicted with it, and scholars differed about it, I decided to write what is possible to me. This message is summed in two chapters: The first chapter: The Rule on neglecting the solāh. The second chapter: The Consequences of apostasy because of neglecting solāh or any other (obligatory) deed. We ask Allāh Almighty to make us in the right path.
The First Chapter
The one who neglects solāh is Kufr
This issue is one of the great issues researched juristically. Scholars differed about this issue; Imām Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said: “The neglector of solāh is an infidel, infidelity gets him out of religion; he must be killed if he did not repent and solāh.” On the other hand, Abu Hanifah, Mālik and Ash-Shāfi`ie said: “He is disobedient but not infidel”, then they differed. Mālik and Ash-Shāfi`ie said: “He must be killed as punishment (to his negligence)”, and Abu Hanifah said: “He should be reprehended and should not be killed.”
As long as there is dispute about this issue, it must be referred to the Book of Allāh Almighty and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam), because Allāh Says:
“Whatever it be wherein ye differ, the decision thereof is with Allāh, such is Allāh my Lord: In Him I trust, and to Him I turn.” [Ash-Shura, 42:10]
“O You who believe! Obey Allāh and obey the Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allāh and His Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) if you believe in Allāh and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination” [An-Nisā’, 4:59]
Each holder of an opinion cannot make his saying a proof against the others, because each one sees himself as the holder of the right opinion, and none of their opinions could be given priority over the others; it became necessary to seek an arbitrator, which is the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam). We would discover that both al-Qurān and Sunnah indicate the infidelity of the neglector of solāh, greater infidelity that takes out of religion.
1.1. Evidences from the Qur`ān
Allāh said in Surah At-Tawbah: “But if they repent, perform As-Solāh, (Iqāmat-as-Solāh) and give Zakāt, then they are your brethren in religion” [Surah At-Tawbah, 9:11],
He said in Surah Maryam: “Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Solāh (the solāh) [i.e. made their Solāh (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell. Except those who repent and believe (in the Oneness of Allāh and His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam), and work righteousness. Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught” [Maryam 19:59-60]
The evidence in the second verse (the verse of Surah Maryam) is the words of Allāh about the people who gave up solāh and followed lusts “Except those who repent and believe (in the Oneness of Allāh and His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam)” and this means that they were not believers during their giving up solāh and following lusts.
The evidence in the first verse (the verse of Surah At-Tawbah) is that Allāh Almighty put three conditions for establishing brotherhood between us and the polytheists:
1. To repent.
2. To perform solāh, and
3. To give Zakāt.
If they repented, but did not perform solāh and give Zakāt; they are not brothers for us. And if they performed solāh, but did not give Zakāt; they are not brothers for us. Actually, brotherhood in religion would not be nullified unless the person is totally out religion; it is not nullified by disobedient or lesser infidelity.
Don’t you consider the ayat of Allāh Almighty in Al-Qisās in case of murder: “But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives, etc.) of the killed against blood-money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood-money to the heir should be made in fairness” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:178];
Allāh made the murderer, brother to the killed person, although killing on purpose is one of the gravest sins. Allāh Almighty says:
“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the Wrath and the Curse of Allāh are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him” [Surah An-Nisā’, 4:93]
And do not you consider the words of Allāh Almighty about the two parties of believers who fall to fighting: “And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both” till He says: “The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islâmic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers” [Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:9-10]
Allāh Almighty declared brotherhood between the party that makes peace and the two parties who fall to fighting, although fighting the believer is infidelity as it is mentioned in the authentic Hadīth that is reported by al-Bukhāri and others on the authority of `Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud (radiyallāhu`anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: “Cursing Muslim is disobedience and fighting him is infidelity”
However, it is not that kind infidelity that gets the Muslim out of religion, because if it was infidelity that gets him out of the religion, he would no longer be brother in religion, and the Qur`ānic verse proofed the existence of religious brotherhood even with fighting.
Therefore, it became known that neglecting solāh is infidelity that gets the person out of the religion; because if it was just disobedience or lesser infidelity, brotherhood in religion would not be nullified because of it, as it is not nullified because of fighting the believer.
If someone said: “Do you see that the person who neglects giving Zakāt is infidel as it is understood from the verse of Surah At-Tawbah?”
We would say: “Some scholars declared the infidelity of the person who neglects giving Zākat, and it is one of two narrations on the authority of Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh). However, our opinion is that he is not an infidel, but he should be punished severe punishment mentioned by Allāh Almighty in His Book and mentioned by the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam)in his Sunnah. And among the sayings of the prophet, in this regard, is the Hadīth that is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu`anhu) in which the prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) mentioned the punishment of the neglector of giving Zakāt and said at its end: “He would then see his path, leading either to Paradise or to Hell”,
It is reported completely by Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) in chapter of ‘sin of one who does not pay Zakāt’:
Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported Allāh's Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) as saying:
If any owner of gold or silver does not pay what is due on him, when the Day of Resurrection would come, plates of fire would be beaten out for him; these would then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back would be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down, (the process is) repeated during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among servants, and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell.
It was said: O Messenger of Allāh! What about the camel? The Allāh's Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: If any owner of the camel does not pay what is due on him, and of his due in that (camel) is (also) to milk it on the day when it comes down to water. When the Day of Resurrection comes a soft sandy plain would be set for him, as extensive as possible, (he will find) that not a single young one is missing, and they will trample him with their hoofs and bite him with their mouths. As often as the first of them passes him, the last of them would be made to return during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among servants and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell.
It was (again) said: O Messenger of Allāh! What about cows (cattle) and sheep? Allāh's Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: It any owner of the cattle and sheep does not pay what is due on them, when the Day of Resurrection comes a soft sandy plain would be spread for them, he will find none of them missing, with twisted horns, without horns or with a broken horn, and they will gore him with their horns and trample him with their hoofs. As often as the first of them passes him the last of them would be made to return to him during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment would be pronounced among the servants. And he would be shown his path-path leading him to Paradise or to Hell.
It was said: O Messenger of Allāh! What about the horse? Upon this Allāh's Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: The horses are of three types. To one than (these are) a burden, and to another man (these are) a covering, and still to another man (these are) a source of reward. The one for whom these are a burden is the person who rears them in order to show off, for vainglory and for opposing the Muslims; so they are a burden for him. The one for whom these are a covering is the person who rears them for the sake of Allāh but does not forget the right of Allāh concerning their backs and their necks, and so they are a covering for him. As for those which bring reward (these refer to) the person who rears them for the sake of Allāh to be used for Muslims and he puts them in meadow and field. And whatever thing do these eat from that meadow and field would be recorded on his behalf as good deeds, as would also the amount of their dung and urine. And these would not break their halter and prance a course or two without having got recorded the amount of their hoof marks and their dung as a good deed on his behalf (on behalf of their owner). And their master does not bring them past a river from which they drink, though he did not intend to quench their thirst, but Allāh would record for him the amount of what they drink on his behalf as deeds.
It was said: O Messenger of Allāh! What about the asses?, Upon this Allāh's Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: Nothing has been revealed to me in regard to the asses (in particular) except this one verse of a comprehensive nature: "He who does an atom's weight of good will see it, and he who does an atom's weight of evil will see it".
[Recorded by Sahih Muslim]
The previous proves that he is not an infidel, because if he was infidel, he would have no path to Paradise. Then the words of this Hadīth should be given priority over the meaning that is understood from the verse of Surah At-Tawbah, because the text has priority over what is understood, as it is known in Usul Al-Fiqh.
1.2 Evidences from the Sunnah
1- Jabir Ibn Abdullah (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: “Between man, polytheism and infidelity is neglecting solāh” [Reported by Muslim in the book of faith on the authority of Jabir Ibn Abdullah (radiyallāhu`anhu) direct from the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam)]
2- Buraydah Ibn Al-Husaib (radiyallāhu`anhu) heard the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: “The covenant that is between us and them (i.e. the infidel people) is (observing) solāh; therefore, whoever neglects it turns to be infidel” [Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidzi, An-Nasāie and Ibn Mājah, authentic]
The infidelity that is mentioned here is the infidelity which gets the person out of the religion, because the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) made solāh distinction between the believers and infidels, and it is known that infidelity is contrary to Islām; therefore, whoever does not adhere to this covenant is infidel.
3- Muslim recorded on the authority of Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu`anha) that the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: “In the near future there will be rulers and you will be aware of their good deeds and their bad deeds. One who sees through their bad deeds (and tries to prevent their repetition by his band or through his speech), is absolved from blame, but one who hates their bad deeds (in the heart of his heart, being unable to prevent their recurrence by his hand or his tongue), and is (also) safe (so far as God's wrath is concerned). But one who approves of their bad deeds and imitates them is spiritually ruined.” People asked: “Shouldn't we fight against them?” He replied: “No, as long as they observe solāh.”
4- Muslim also recorded on the authority of `Auf Ibn Malik (radiyallāhu`anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: “The best of your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, who invoke God's blessings upon you and you invoke His blessings upon them. And the worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you and whom you curse and who curse you.” It was asked (by those present): “O Messenger of Allāh, shouldn't we overthrow them with the help of the sword?” He replied: “No, as long as they establish solāh among you.”
In the last two ahadīth there is a proof for overthrowing the rulers and fighting them with the sword if they did not establish solāh, and it is not allowed to overthrow the rulers or fight them unless they commit what is clear infidelity, because Ubadah Ibn As-Samit (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) called us and we took the oath of allegiance to him. Among the injunctions he made binding upon us was: Listening and obedience (to the ruler) in our pleasure and displeasure, in our adversity and prosperity, even when somebody is given preference over us, and without disputing the delegation of powers to a man duly invested with them (Obedience shall be accorded to him in all circumstances) except when you have clear signs of his disbelief in (or disobedience to) God-signs that could be used as a conscientious justification (for non-compliance with his orders)” [Recorded by the Jama`ah]
Thereupon, when the rulers neglect solāh, which the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) suspended overthrowing and fighting them with the sword because of it, they turn to be clear infidels we have God-signs could be adhered to for fighting them.
Moreover, it is not mentioned in the Sunnah that the neglector of solāh is not infidel or that he is believer. What is mentioned in this concern are texts refer to the merits and rewards of monotheism (i.e. bearing witness that there is no God except Allāh, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh); such texts are either restricted with restrictions in the same text prevent neglecting solāh or restricted with special situations provide excuses for not praying; or they are general texts could be seen as evidences for the infidelity of whoever neglects solāh, because the evidences of the infidelity of the neglector of solāh are special evidences, and the special evidences have priority over the general evidences.
If someone said: “Could not the texts that refer to the infidelity of the neglector of solāh be about the one who neglects it for not believing that it is obligation?!” We would say: This is not allowed because it contains two contraventions:
The first: Neglecting the description that is described by the legislator and upon which the ruling is suspended.
The legislator suspended the ruling on neglecting not on believing in the obligation; moreover, it made brotherhood in religion result of performing solāh not believing in its being obligation. Allāh Almighty did not say: “But if they repent and believed in the obligation of solāh”, and the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) did not say: “Between man, polytheism and infidelity is denying the obligation of solāh”, or say: “The covenant that is between us and them is declaring the obligation of solāh; therefore, whoever denies it turns to be infidel”; if this was what Allāh Almighty and His Messenger said, saying other than that would be contrary to the exposition that Qurān came with. What Allāh Almighty stipulated: “And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qurān) as an exposition of everything” [Surah An-Nahl 16:89],
Allah Almighty addressed His Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) by saying: “And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) the Dzikir [reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qurân)], that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them” [Surah An-Nahl, 16:44]
The second: Putting a description the legislator did not suspend the rule upon it.
Denying the obligation of performing the five solāh makes the person (who is not excused because of ignorance) infidel, whether he performed or did not perform solāh. If a person performed the five solāh completely (i.e. by doing all their requirements and obligatory and desirable acts) while not believing in their being obligation (without an excuse), he would be infidel, although he did not neglect solāh.
Therefore, it became clear that understanding these texts as indicators to neglecting solāh because of denying its obligation is not correct. The authentic saying is that whoever neglects solāh is infidel, such infidelity gets him out of the religion, as it is reported by Al-Monzery on the authority of Ubadah Ibn As-Samit (radiyallāhu`anhu) that he said: “The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) recommended us seven qualities, he said: ‘associate no partner with Allāh even if you were cut, burned or crossed, and do not deliberately neglect solāh, because whoever neglects it deliberately is out of the religion.’” [Al Monzery said: It is narrated by two good chains of transmission]
Moreover, if we considered that these texts are talking about denying the obligation of solāh, there will be no use for mentioning solāh in specific; because this is a general rule applies to denying the obligation of Zakāt, fasting and Hajj - whoever denies one of these obligations is infidel as long as he is not excused with ignorance. Moreover, the infidelity of the neglector of solāh is not result to the written evidence only; rather it is also result to the logical evidence.
How could a person have faith while neglecting solāh which is the pillar of religion and which there are texts encourage each sane believer to hurry to performing it?! Also, there is threat for neglecting it makes every sane believer aware of neglecting it. Thereupon, neglecting solāh after that does not leave the neglector with any faith.
If someone said: Is it not possible that the infidelity of the neglector of solāh is ungratefulness, not infidelity that gets him out religion? Is not possible that this infidelity is lesser infidelity that differs than the greater infidelity?! Then it would be like the saying of the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam): “Two things people do although they are of infidelity; defamation and crying upon the deceased”, and his saying: “Cursing a Muslim is disobedience and fighting him is infidelity” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari
We would say: This is not correct for reasons:
First: The Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) made solāh a divider between infidelity and faith, and between the believers and infidels. The divider distinguishes between the two parties and does not allow any of them to mix with the other one.
Second: Solāh is one of the pillars of Islām; therefore, describing its neglector with infidelity means that it is the infidelity that gets the person out of the folds of Islām; because whoever neglects it had demolished one of the pillars of Islām, and this is not like describing whoever committed an act of infidelity with infidelity.
Third: There are other texts referred to the infidelity of the neglector of solāh as infidelity gets him out of religion. Therefore, the other texts should be understood in the same way to have compatibility between the texts.
Ibn Taymiyah commented in his book at the saying of the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam): “There are two things people do although they are infidelity” by saying: “He meant by saying (they are of infidelity) the two things; however, not every act of infidelity turns its doer to be infidel, an infidelity that gets him out of the religion, just as not doing any act of belief turns the person to be believer.” (Iqtidā’ As-Sirāt Al-Mustaqīm)
Therefore, as long as it is proven that the neglector of solāh, without excuse, is infidel, an infidelity that gets him out of the religion, according to the above mentioned evidences; the authentic opinion is the opinion of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, which is also one of the two opinions which are narrated about Ash-Shafi’ie, according to Ibn Kathir in explaining the meaning words of Allāh Almighty:“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Solāh [i.e. made their Solāh to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts” [Surah Maryam 19:59]
Ibn Al-Qayim (rahimallāh) mentioned in the book of solāh that it is one of the two opinions of the Shafi’ie School and that it is reported by At-Tahawi on the authority of Ash-Shafi’ie (rahimallāh) himself.
In addition to that, the majority of the companions hold that opinion; rather some scholars reported that there was consensus between the companions upon this opinion.
Abdullah Ibn Shaqiq said: “The companions of the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) did not see a deed being neglected turns the believer to an infidel except solāh” [Reported by At-Tirmidzi and classified Sahih by Al-Albāni]
Ishaq Ibn Rahawih, the well-known imām, said: “It is narrated on the authority of the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) that the neglector of solāh is infidel, and people of knowledge, from the time of the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) till our present day, also saw that the neglector of solāh deliberately with no reason till the end of its time is infidel.”
Ibn Hazm mentioned that this was the opinion of `Umar, Abdurrahman Ibn `Auf, Mu`adz Ibn Jabal, Abu Hurayrah and other companions, and he said: “And we know none of the companions disagreed with those”. This is reported by Al-Munthiry (in At-Targhib Wa At-Tarhib), and he added, from among the companions; `Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud, `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas, Jabir Ibn `Abdullah and Abu Ad-Darda (radiyallāhu`anhum), and he added also, from among the scholars; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ishaq Ibn Rahawih, `Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak, An-Nakha`ie, Al-Hakam Ibn Utaibah, Ayub As-Sikhtiany, Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi, Abu Bakar Ibn Abu Shaibah, Zuhair Ibn Harb and others.”
If someone said: “What are the refutations of the evidences of those who see that the neglector of solāh is not infidel?
We would say: “Their evidences do not say that the neglector of solāh would not be infidel or that he is believer or that he will not enter Hell or that he is in Paradise …etc. On the other hand, whoever considers these evidences would find that they fall under one of five segments all of them do not repute the evidences of who said that he is infidel.
The first segment: Weak Ahādīth (i.e. unauthentic Ahādīth) whoever mentioned them tried to cling to it but in vain.
The second segment: What does not relate to the issue; like those who draw a conclusion from the words of Allāh Almighty: “Verily, Allāh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that to whom He wills” [An-Nisa, 4:48]
Actually, His saying: “except that” means ‘what is less than that, and does not mean ‘anything else’, because whoever denies the words of Allāh and His Messenger is infidel, an infidelity that would not be forgiven although it is not setting up partners with Allāh. And on the assumption that “except that” means ‘anything else’; it would be general text restricted by the texts that indicate infidelity because of things other than setting up partners with Allāh and the infidelity that gets the person out of religion for doing a sin would not be forgiven although it is not setting up partners with Allāh.
The third segment: General texts are restricted with the ahādīth that declare infidelity of whoever neglects solāh; this is like the saying of the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) in the Hadīth that is narrated on the authority of Mu’adz Ibn Jabal (radiyallāhu`anhu): “There is no servant that bears witness that there is no God except Allāh and that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger but Allāh makes him unlawful to Hell.” [Narrated by Muslim]
This Hadīth had been narrated by similar words on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, `Ubadah Ibn As-Samit and Itban Ibn Malik (radiyallāhu`anhum).
The fourth segment: General texts are restricted with what cannot be done in case of neglecting solāh. This is like the saying of the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) in the Hadīth that is narrated on the authority of ‘Itban Ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu`anhu):“Verily Allāh has forbidden the Fire for one who says ‘there is no God except Allāh’ thereby seeking Allāh's pleasure” [Reported by Al-Bukhari], and the saying of the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam )in the Hadīth that is narrated on the authority of Mu`adz Ibn Jabal (radiyallāhu`anhu): “There is no servant bears witness that there is no God except Allāh and that Muhammad is His Messenger, sincerely from his heart, but Allāh makes him unlawful to Hell” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
Actually, restricting observance of solāh by bearing witness of monotheism with sincerity prevents from neglecting solāh, because when anybody says it sincerely, his sincerity would certainly lead him to performing solāh. Solāh is the pillar of Islām and the connection that is between the servant and his Lord; and if he was sincere in seeking Allāh’s pleasure, he must surly do whatever enables him to gain that and avoid whatever prevents him from this purpose. Also, whoever sincerely bears witness that there is no God except Allāh and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh, this sincerity must lead him to performing solāh sincerely for the sake of Allāh Almighty and for obeying the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam, because this is one of the requirements of this sincere witness.
The fifth segment: Texts are restricted with situations that give excuse for not performing solāh; this is like the Hadīth that is reported by Ibn Mājah on the authority of Hudzaifah Ibn Al-Yaman (radiyallāhu`anhu) that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said:“Islām will disappear gradually as the embroidery of clothes disappears …” till he said: “and there will remain people, like the old and aged persons, say: we found our fathers say the word of ‘there is no God except Allāh’ Lā illāha ilallāh thereupon we say it.” Silah said: “What would ‘there is no God except Allāh’ do for them while they do not know solāh, fast, Hajj or charity?” thereupon Hudzaifah (radiyallāhu`anhu) turned away his face from him, but Silah repeated his saying three times and Hudzaifah continued turning away his face from him; when it was the third time, Hudzaifa said: “O Silah, it saves them from Hell” three times. [Classified Sahih by Al-Albāni]
Those that had been saved from Hell by ‘Lā illāha ilallāh’ had an excuse for not performing the obligations of Islām; because they knew nothing about them and what they did is their best. They are like those who died before having the obligations of religion enjoined or before having ability to perform them; this is like the person who dies after bearing witness of faith before having time to perform the obligations of Islām, or the person who converted to Islām during his stay in country of infidels and then died before knowing about the obligations of Islām.
The final word is that the evidences of those who see that the neglector of solāh is not infidel do not stand in face of the evidences of those who see that he is infidel, because the evidences of the first are either weak (not clear) or not proof or restricted with situations give excuse for not performing solāh or general texts others made exceptions to declare his infidelity!
As long as it became clear (by the sound strong evidence that cannot be refuted) that he is infidel; it became necessary to apply the rules of infidelity and apostasy upon him as natural consequence, because the rule stands with its reason.
The Second Chapter:
Consequences of apostasy because of neglecting solāh or any other (obligatory) deed
There are rules relate to the worldly life and others relate to hereafter occurs as consequences to apostasy.
First: among the rules that relate to the worldly life.
1 - Lapse of guardianship: He could not be given guardianship in something is for Muslims only; thereupon, he cannot have guardianship over his young children (or the children of others) or hold the marriage of his daughters (or the daughters of others).
Our jurists (radiyallāhu`anhum) had cleared in their digested and lengthened books that the guardian must be Muslim as long as he hold the marriage of Muslim woman, and they said: “There is no guardianship for infidel man over Muslim woman.” Also, Ibn `Abbas (radiyallāhu`anhum) said: “There is no marriage without reasonable guardian, and the highest and supreme of reason isIslām while the lowest and most foolish is infidelity and apostasy; Allāh almighty says: “And who turns away from the religion of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) except him who befools himself?”” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:130]
2 - Not having the right of inheriting his relatives: Because the infidel does not inherit the Muslim and the Muslim does not inherit the infidel; it is narrated on the authority of Osama Ibn Zaid (radiyallāhu`anhum) that the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said: “The Muslim does not inherit the infidel nor the infidel inherits the Muslim” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim and others]
3 - Preventing him from entering Makkah and its sacred house: Allāh Almighty says: “O you who believe (in Allāh’s Oneness and in His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam))! Verily, the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allāh, and in the Message of Muhammad (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam)) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjidal-Harâm (at Makkah) after this year” [Surah At-Tawbah, 9:28]
4 - Making the animals of cattle that are slaughtered by him unlawful: This is applied upon camels, cows and sheep and the other beasts that cannot be lawful without lawful slaughtering. Among the requirements of lawful slaughtering is that the slaughter should be Muslim or Jewish or Christian; the animal that is slaughtered by apostate, polytheist, Magus and others is not lawful.
Al-Khazin said in his Tafsir: “They held consensus upon the prohibition of having the slaughtered animals of the Magus and all polytheists, whether they are Arab polytheists, pagans or people do not believe in a Book.”
Imam Ahmad said: “I know nobody saying other than this unless he is among those who make new creations in religion.”
5 - Prohibition of performing solāh al-janazah upon him after his death and prohibition of asking forgiveness and mercy for him: Allāh almighty says: “And never (O Muhammad prayers and peace of Allāh be upon him) pray (Funeral Solāh) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave. Certainly they disbelieved in Allāh and His Messenger, and died while they were Fāsiqūn (rebellious, - disobedient to Allāh and His Messenger)” [Surah At-Tawbah, 9:84],
And He almighty says: “It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allāh’s Forgiveness for the Mushrikūn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allāh), even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief). (113) And Ibrāhīm’s (Abraham) invoking (of Allāh) for his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he [Ibrâhîm (Abraham)] had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to him [Ibrāhīm (Abraham)] that he (his father) is an enemy of Allāh, he dissociated himself from him. Verily Ibrāhīm (Abraham) was Awwah (one who invokes Allāh with humility, glorifies Him and remembers Him much) and was forbearing.” [Surah At-Tawbah, 9:113-114]
Asking forgiveness and mercy for the person who died upon infidelity, for any reason, is a kind of transgression in invocation, mocking Allāh and abandoning the way of the Prophet and the believers. How could a person, believing in Allāh and the Final Day, seek forgiveness and mercy for a person died in infidelity and he is enemy to Allāh Almighty? Allāh the Exalted and Glorious said: “Whoever is an enemy to Allāh, His Angels, His Messengers, Jibrîl (Gabriel) and Mîkâ’îl (Michael), then verily, Allāh is an enemy to the disbelievers” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 398]. Allāh Almighty declared in this verse that He Almighty is an enemy to all disbelievers.
It is obligation upon the believer to declare innocence of every infidel; Allāh Almighty says: “And (remember) when Ibrāhīm (Abraham) said to his father and his people: "Verily, I am innocent of what you worship, (26) except Him (i.e. I worship none but Allāh Alone) Who did create me; and verily He will guide me."” [Surah Az-Zukhruf 43:26-27],
And He almighty says: “Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrâhîm (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allāh: we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allāh Alone"” [Surah Al-Mumtahanah, 60:4]
And to follow the way of the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam); Allāh almighty says: “And a declaration from Allāh and His Messenger to mankind on the greatest day (the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah - the 12th month of Islāmic calendar) that Allāh is free from (all) obligations to the Mushrikūn” [Surah At-Tawbah, 9:3]
Among the strongest ties of faith is to love for the sake of Allāh, hate for the sake of Allāh, take people as supporters for the sake of Allāh and take others as enemies for the sake of Allāh; in order be a true follower to the pleasure of Allāh the Exalted and Glorious in your love, hate, support and enmity.
6- Preventing him from marrying the Muslim woman: Because he is infidel and the Muslim woman is not lawful for the infidel according to the text and consensus; Allāh Almighty says: “O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them; Allāh knows best as to their Faith, then if you ascertain that they are true believers send them not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them” [Surah Al-Mumtahnah, 60:10]
The author of Al-Moghny said (6/592): “There is no disagreement between the scholars about the prohibition of the women and slaughtered animals of all infidels except the People of Book.” He added: “And it is unlawful to marry the apostate woman regardless of her religion, because she did not take the rules of the people of the religion that she converted to.”
And he said in the chapter of the apostate (8/130): “And if he married, his marriage would not be sound, because he is not given permission to marry, and this leads to considering it unlawful marriage like the marriage of the infidel man to Muslim woman.”
Hence, you see that he declared the prohibition of marrying the apostate woman and the nullification of the marriage of the apostate man. But what is the situation if apostasy occurred after the marriage?!
The author of Al-Moghny said (6/298): “If one of the couples became apostate before starting the marital life, the marriage contract would be nullified at once, and none of them would inherit the other. However, if he became apostate after starting the marital life, then there are two opinions; one of them makes separation urgent while the other asks for ending the `Iddah.”
The author of Al-Moghny said (6/639): “Nullification of marriage because of apostasy before starting the marital life is the saying of the majority of scholars and they have evidences for that saying. As for its being nullified at once if apostasy occurred after starting the marital life, it is the view of Mālik and Abu Hanifah. And as for its being suspended upon the end of `Iddah it is the view of Ash-Shāfi’ie.”
This means that the four imams agree upon the nullification of marriage because of the apostasy of one of the couples. If apostasy occurred before starting the marital life, marriage should be nullified at once; however, if it occurred after starting the marital life, Mālik and Abu Hanifah see that it would be nullified at once, while Ash-Shafi’ie sees that they would wait till Iddah ends. And there are two opinions narrated on the authority of Imam Ahmad are similar to the above mentioned opinions.
The author of Al-Moghny said (6/640): “If the husband and wife became apostate together, their ruling is the same; as if just one of them became apostate. If it occurred before starting the marital life they would be separated at once; however, if it was after starting the marital life, there are two opinions, and this is held by Ash-Shafi’ie. Then it is narrated that Abu Hanifah said that their marriage should not be nullified, because their religion did not become different religions and it is like as if they became Muslims.” However, the author of Al-Moghney refuted his analogy.
As long as it became clear that marrying the apostate person is not sound marriage for the Muslim, whether it is male or female, and this is according to the understood meaning of the Book and Sunnah, and it became clear that the neglector of solāh is infidel according to the Book and Sunnah and the sayings of the majority of the companions. It is clear that if the man who does not pray married Muslim woman, his marriage is not sound and this woman is not lawful to him because of this marriage; and if he repented to Allāh Almighty and returned to Islām, he must renew the contract of marriage. The same is applied to the woman if she was the one who does not pray.
This is not the same as the marriages of the infidels during their infidelity. When an infidel man marries an infidel woman, then she converts to Islām, the contract of marriage will be nullified if her convert to Islām was before starting the marital life. However, if it was after starting the marital life, the contract would not be nullified, but she has to wait the convert of her husband during the time of her `Iddah; if he converted to Islām before the end of `Iddah, she would be his wife; otherwise, she is no longer his wife, because the contract of marriage had been nullified from the time of her convert to Islām.
At the time of the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) infidels were used to convert to Islām with their wives, and the prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) was used to confirm their marriages unless there is reason for nullifying the marriage, like their being unmarriageable relatives married when they were magus; in such case the Prophet would separate between them after their convert to Islām because of the existence of a reason for prohibition.
This question is not like the question of the Muslim who became infidel because of neglecting solāh and then married Muslim woman. The Muslim woman is not lawful for the infidel according to the text and consensus as it is mentioned previously, even if the infidel was not apostate person. Therefore, if an infidel married Muslim woman, this marriage is nullified and they must be separated; however, if he converted to Islām and wanted to return to her, this could not be done without new marriage contract.
7- Rule of the children of the neglector of solāh whom are from a Muslim wife: As for the mother, they are her children anyway. However, as for the man; according to those who see that the neglector of solāh is not infidel, they are his children anyway, because his marriage is sound. But according to those who see that the neglector of solāh is infidel, which is the most authentic opinion as it is mentioned in the first chapter, there are considerations:
If the husband did not know that his marriage is not sound, or does not think so; the children are his, because his sexual intercourse with his wife, in this case, is lawful in his opinion, and it will be considered as case of doubt, and such cases prove the parentage.
On the other hand, if the husband knows that his marriage is nullified and thinks so, the children will not be his; because they are created from the semen of a person sees that his sexual intercourse is unlawful for having it with a woman is not allowed for him.
Second: Rules of hereafter that are consequences to apostasy.
1 - The angels scold and tongue-lash him: Allāh Almighty says: “And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve (at death); they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): "Taste the punishment of the blazing Fire. (50) This is because of that which your hands had forwarded. And verily, Allāh is not unjust to His slaves."” [Surah Al-Anfal, 8:50-51]
2 - He would be resurrected with the people of infidelity and polytheism because he is one of them: Allāh Almighty says: “(It will be said to the angels): "Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions and what they used to worship, Instead of Allāh, and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire (Hell)” [Surah As-Saffat, 37:22-23]. Companions here the people that are alike in the deeds.
3- Immortality in hellfire: Allāh Almighty says: “Verily, Allāh has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming Fire (Hell). (64) Wherein they will abide forever, and they will find neither a Walî (a protector) nor a helper. (65) On the Day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire, they will say: "Oh, would that we had obeyed Allāh and obeyed the Messenger (Muhammad prayers and peace of Allāh be upon him)” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:64-66]
Here, we ended what we intended to say in this grave issue, which many people are afflicted with.
Gate of repentance is still open for whoever wants to repent; therefore, dear Muslim brother, hurry to returning to Allāh the Exalted and Glorious in sincerity for Him Almighty and regret upon what you did and determination upon not returning and augmentation to the acts of obedience “Except those who repent and believe (in Islâmic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allāh will change their sins into good deeds, and Allāh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (70) And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allāh with true repentance” [Surah Al-Furqan, 25:70-71]
I ask Allāh Almighty to facilitate for us our affairs in the right way and guide us all to His straight path; the path of those on whom Allāh has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqūn (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe), the martyrs, and the righteous; not (the path) of those who earned His Anger nor of those who went astray.
And Allāh Almighty Knows best.
[Compiled by Muhammad Al-Salih Al-Uthaymeen, Al-Watan House; Translated by Wathakker Website; en.wathakker.net via Islām Way]
1. The Introduction; 1.6. Clearing the Misconceptions
2.1. Facing the Ka`abah ; 2.2. Standing in Solah ; 2.3. Intention ; 2.4. Takbīratulihram ;
2.1. Facing the Ka`abah ; 2.2. Standing in Solah ; 2.3. Intention ; 2.4. Takbīratulihram ;
2.6. Opening Supplications of Solāh; 2.7. The Recitation;
2.8. Ruku ; 2.9. Sujud; 2.10. Second Rak`ah ; 2.11. First Tashahhud;
2.12. Standing up for the Third, and then the Fourth Rak`ah;
2.13. The Final Tashahhud; 2.14. The Taslim.
2.12. Standing up for the Third, and then the Fourth Rak`ah;
2.13. The Final Tashahhud; 2.14. The Taslim.
All About The Solah
6. The Adzān;
13. Places Where Offering Solāh Is Prohibited ; 14. Placing a Sutrah In front of One Who is Performing Solah;
15. What is permissible During the Solāh?; 16. The Acts that Renders Solāh Invalid; 17. Disliked Actions during the Solāh; 18. The Solāh in Times of Fear or Danger; 19. The Solāh of a Sick Person ;
29. Solāh al-Jumu`ah; 30. The Sanctified Hour of Jumu’ah.