Can a person who does not perform prayers go to Paradise directly? If he has not performed any prayers, will he perform them in the hereafter?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

A person who does not perform prayers does not become an unbeliever; he becomes a sinful believer. Allah may punish or forgive such a slave if He wishes. However, our religion threatens severely those who do not perform prayers.

Prayer is the pillar of the religion. A person who performs prayers regularly, properly and fully establishes his religion and supports the building of Islam. A person who does not perform prayers demolishes his religion and the building of Islam.

What is the decree on abandoning prayers

It is unanimously agreed that performing prayers is fard for every sane person who has reached the age of puberty and who is not in the period of menstruation and puerperium. Appointing others or performing worshipping for others is not valid in worshipping like prayers and fasting.

A person who denies that prayer is fard exits the religion of Islam. For, it is definite through verses, hadiths and consensus that it is fard. A person who abandons performing prayers due to laziness or heedlessness becomes a sinner and fasiq.

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith reported by Tabarani:

"On the Day of Judgment, a slave will be questioned about his prayers first. If his five daily prayers are all right, he will attain salvation (Paradise). If his prayers are incomplete, he will be at loss (in Hell)."

Abandoning prayers will cause a person to be punished in the world and in the hereafter. Allah states the following related to the penalty in the hereafter:

"They will ask of the Sinners: "What led you into Hell Fire?" They will say: "We were not of those who prayed." (al-Muddaththir, 74/40-43)

"But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed after lusts soon, then, will they face Destruction,- Except those who repent and believe, and work righteousness…" (Maryam, 19/59, 60).

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

"The guarantee of Allah and His Messenger is removed from a person who abandons prayers deliberately." (Ahmad b. Hanbal, IV, 238, VI, 461).

"The deeds of a person who abandons the afternoon (asr) prayer go for nothing." (Bukhari, Mawaqit, 13, 34; Nasai, Salah, 15).

According to Hanafis, a person who abandons prayers due to laziness does not exit the religion unless he denies prayers; however, he becomes a sinner and fasiq. He is warned and asked to repent; he is isolated from the community so that he will not serve as a bad example; he can also be beaten in order to be educated. The same thing is valid for a person who abandons Ramadan fasting. (1)

According to the madhhab imams except Hanafis, a person who abandons prayers without an excuse is regarded to have opposed the community of Islam like an apostate and is punished very severely. (2)

References:

(1) see Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Muhtar, Egypt, n.d., I, 326; ash-Shurunbulali, Maraq al-Falah, Egypt 1315, p. 60; az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami wa Adillatuh, Damascus 1985, I, 503.

(2) see Ibn Rushd, Bidayatul-Mujtahid, Egypt, n.d., I, 87; ash-Shirazi, al-Muhadhdhab, an-Nalabi impression, I, 51; Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, 3rd impression, Cairo n.d., II, 442-447; az-Zuhayli, ibid, I.503, 504; cf. at-Tawba, 9/5; Bukhari, Diyat, 6; Muslim, Qasama, 25, 26.

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