The ruling of the one who abandons prayer (Part 4)

source: silsilat ul-hudā wa nnūr ~ the series of guidance and light ~ tape no. 323

*Question #23: “Our Shaykh, I am asking you about the issue of proofs with regard to the ruling on the one who abandons the prayer. In the treatise ‘The Ruling on the One who Abandons Prayer’ by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-'Uthaymeen, he is of the opinion that the one who abandons the prayer is a disbeliever, and he has many proofs, such as Allaah's statement about the mushrikoon:[1] {But if they repent, perform salaah (the prayer), and give zakaah (obligatory charity), then they are your brethren in religion}.[2] So he says that what is understood from the aayah is that if they don't do that, they are not our brethren; and the religious brotherhood isn't negated by sins even if they are great, but it is negated when one leaves Islaam”
Shaykh al-Albānī (rahimahullaah) answers:
“Yet he is not saying that if the person prays but doesn’t give the zakaah that he is (likewise) not a Muslim and that he has disbelieved by that. May Allaah guide you, you are bringing his proof but I would like to turn your attention to (the fact) that there is no proof in it because he is not saying about the one who abandons the zakaah the same as he is saying about the one who abandons the prayer. You didn’t just narrate his opinion, rather you narrated (both) his opinion and his proof, but I would like to turn your attention to (the fact) that this is not a proof for him, because the aayah includes zakaah along with the prayer, [yet he is differentiating between the one who abandons the former and the one who abandons the latter].”

*Question #23 (continued): “What is the ruling on this man who has abandoned the prayer, not out of denying (its legislation) but out of laziness? And what is the daleel (evidence)?”

Shaykh al-Albānī answers:
“This (man) is one who is rebellious and disobedient (to Allaah), and not a disbeliever. The daleel is that 'Whoever says laa ilaaha illAllaah[3] (sincerely) will enter Paradise,’[4] and the daleel is that ‘Allaah has prescribed five prayers upon (His) slaves, so whoever performs them and does them well, and completes their rukoo’ (bowing), sujood (prostration) and khushoo’ (submissive humility and attentiveness), then he has a covenant with Allaah that He will enter him into Paradise, and whoever does not perform them and does not complete their rukoo’, sujood and khushoo’, then he does not have a covenant with Allaah; If He wills, He will punish him and if He wills, He will forgive him,’[5] and if he was a disbeliever, He would not forgive him because Allaah says: ‘Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills.’”[6]

[1] those who associate partners with Allaah
[2] Surat ut-Tawbah, 9:11
[3] none has the right to be worshiped but Allaah
[4] Silsilat ul-Ahaadeeth is-Saheeha #2355
[5] Saheeh ibn Maajah #1158, Saheeh at-Targheeb #400, Hukm Taarik is-Salaah p. 46
[6] Surat un-Nisaa, 4:48