Leaving off a single prayer

Reference: Fataawa Manaar al-Islaam – Volume 1, Page 131, Question No.99

Question: Is the one who leaves off a single [obligatory] prayer without a [Islaamically acceptable] reason taken out of the fold of Islaam?

Response: Concerning the one who intentionally left off a [obligatory] prayer without a [Islaamically acceptable] reason, then he is not taken out of the fold of Islaam unless he completely abandoned the [obligatory] prayer.

According to the majority opinion [of the scholars], whoever leaves off a single [obligatory] prayer, then he does not become a disbeliever unless he abandoned it completely, [this being] in accordance with his (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying:

«Between a person and kufr and shirk is the abandonment of the prayer», [ Saheeh Muslim]. [He said: «the prayer» – implying abandoning the obligatory prayer completely]

…and he did not say «leaving off a prayer» [which would imply leaving off a single obligatory prayer];

Likewise, his (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying:

«The covenant dividing us and them (i.e. the disbelievers) is the prayer. Whoever abandons it has committed kufr», [at-Tirmidhee, an-Nasaa.ee, Ahmad, al-Haakim]

…and you are not required to make up that prayer, since you had left it without a [Islaamically acceptable] reason. Rather, you are required to repent to Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala), and if you sincerely repented, then Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:

{And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants, and forgives sins, and He knows what you do}, [Soorah ash-Shooraa, Aayah 25]

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.

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