I am not praying the daily prayers,...

Egypt's Dar Al-Iftaa

I am not praying the daily prayers, does that make me a disbeliever?

Question

If a person does not pray is he a non-believer(kaffir)? Can you clarify what is the truth?

Answer

According to the opinion of the majority of scholars, a person who neglects to perform prayers is not deemed a disbeliever (kafir) provided he does not deny its obligation. The word "Kufr" mentioned in the hadith means that this person commits an aspect of an act of disbelief and manifested an act of disbelievers since prayer is the act of worship that differentiates between a Muslim and a non-Muslim.

Scholars have unanimously agreed that a person who neglects to pray must be commanded to observe it. However, an apostate is not commanded to observe prayer; rather he must revert first and then be commanded to pray. In his book al-Majmou', Imam al-Nawawi said, "Muslims are still allowed to inherit those who neglect to pray and vice-versa. If deemed a disbeliever, a person who neglects to pray will never be forgiven and it would be prohibited to inherit from him or vice-versa."
 

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