Ruling for Those Who Abandon the Prayer

Ruling for Those Who Abandon the Prayer (Shalat)

What is the meaning of Abandoning the Prayer?


Assalamu’alaikum Ustadz,

  1. The scholars held different opinions regarding the ruling for abandoning prayer without denying the its compulsoriness. Some said that it is considered as major kufr, and some said it is a minor kufr. What I ask here is what is the definition of abandoning prayer? Does it mean that the person never prayed at all, or if he didn’t pray once at a time, in a certain day, it is already considered as abandoning prayer that the scholars meant? Please explain it to me.
  2. What is the ruling of the squirrel’s meat? Is it lawful or unlawful? May Allah reward you with goodnesses.

From: Zudan


Firstly: The strongest opinion regarding the ruling for a person who abandoned prayer without denying its compulsoriness is that it is a major sin, and a minor kufr (not a major kufr that cause the person to be an apostate). Among indications that support this opinion is a saying from the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- :

عن عُبَادَةَ بْنِ الصَّامِتِ َقَالَ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ خَمْسُ صَلَوَاتٍ كَتَبَهُنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْعِبَادِ فَمَنْ جَاءَ بِهِنَّ لَمْ يُضَيِّعْ مِنْهُنَّ شَيْئًا اسْتِخْفَافًا بِحَقِّهِنَّ كَانَ لَهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَهْدٌ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَأْتِ بِهِنَّ فَلَيْسَ لَهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَهْدٌ إِنْ شَاءَ عَذَّبَهُ وَإِنْ شَاءَ أَدْخَلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ (رواه أبو داود وصححه الألباني)

“Ubada Ibn Shamit said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said: “There are five prayers that Allah oblige to His slaves. So whoever performs it and does not abandon it due to underestimating it, will certainly get the promise of Allah, that He will place him in paradise. And whoever doesn’t perform it, will not get that promise, if Allah wishes, He will torture him, and if Allah wishes, He will forgive him and place him inside Paradise.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud, no. 1420, and classed valid by Al Albani).

This hadith clearly indicates that a person who abandons prayer without denying its compulsoriness is not considered as a disbeliever, because a disbeliever will not enter the Paradise. And this is the opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars, and an opinion chosen by Sheikh Albani. (See: Silsilah Shahihah, 8/8). And Allah knows best.

Secondly: There is a difference between the scholars who stated that abandoning prayer without denying its compulsoriness is a major kufr. Some said that the person becomes a disbeliever even though he just left one prayer, and some said that he becomes a disbeliever if he left the whole prayers. Among scholars who chose the first opinion were the Lajnah Daimah (5/41), whereas Sheikh Shalih Al Uthaymeen chose the second opinion (See: Majmu’ Fatawa Syaikh Al Utsaimin, 12/95).

Thirdly: Regarding the squirrel’s meat (السنجاب), there are different opinions among the scholars, and insha Allah, the strongest opinion about it is that it is lawful to consume, die to the reasons:

– The original ruling for animals meat is lawful, unless there is a specific indication or general indication that forbids it.

– Squirrel is not a disgusting and dangerous animal to consume, thus it is allowed to consume its meat.

– Although squirrel has claw and canine, it is not a beast, rather, it is a herbivore. Whereas the animals that are not allowed to be consumed is the clawed and tusked beasts. This the opinion of the majority of the scholars, and strengthened by Ibn Qudama in “al Mughni” (13/326), Imam Nawawi in “al Majmu'” (9/12). (Refer to: Fatwa Syabakah Islamiyya, by Abdullah al Faqih, fatwa no. 5280). And Allah knows best.

Answered by: Ustadz Musyaffa Ad Dariny

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