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The severity of missing Salah

Question

I wanted to know the authenticity and references of the following Hadith:

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said: “The pledge between us and them is prayer, whosoever leaves it has rejected faith.”

Could you kindly provide commentary of few esteemed and noble scholars of the past on the part of “whosoever leaves it has rejected faith”.

 

Answer

This Hadith has been reported by Sayyiduna Buraydah (radiyallahu’anhu) and is recorded by Imams: Nasai, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Abi Shaybah (rahimahumullah) and others.

Imams Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and Hakim (rahimahumullah) have declared it authentic (sahih).

(Sunan Nasai, Hadith: 463, Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2621, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 1079, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 31035 as well as Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadith: 1454 and Mustadrak Hakim, vol.1 pg.7)

 

Explanation

Some Scholars have explained it as follows:

1. This Hadith is referring to the hypocrites (munafiqs). Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) -in this Hadith- is explaining that as long as they are disguising their kufr/disbelief by attending Salah, they are being spared. Once they abandon Salah, they are now classified as general disbelievers, and not as those who are in disguise.

This explanation has been given/accepted by ‘Allamah Turbishti (rahimahullah) – an earlier commentator of Masabih; the original kitab of Mishkat- Mulla ‘Ali Qari, ‘Allamah Munawi and others (rahimahumullah).

(Al-Muyassar, Hadith: 379, Mirqat, Hadith: 574 and Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 5740)

 

2. Others, like: ‘Allamah Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami (rahimahullah) and others have preferred the explanation that states that this warning could be referring to Muslims too.

(Fathul Ilah, Hadith: 574)

In that case the part: ‘whosoever leaves it has rejected faith.’ would mean:

a) He could end up ultimately leaving the faith, as sins lead a person out of Islam.

b) If he considers this sin [of abandoning Salah] to be permissible, then he will be considered out of the fold.

(Zahrur Ruba ‘alal Mujtaba, and Hashiyatus Sindi ‘alal Mujtaba, Hadith: 463)

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar