How should we understand the hadith "The only difference that distinguishes between a Muslim and an unbeliever is prayer (salah)"?

Details of the Question
How should we understand the hadith "The only difference that distinguishes between a Muslim and an unbeliever is prayer (salah)"?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

"Between Islam and polytheism and unbelief is the abandonment of salah (prayer).“ (Muslim, Iman 134; Abu Dawud, Sunnah 15)

“The agreement between munafiqs (hypocrites) and us is prayers.” (Tirmidhi, Iman 9; Nasai, Salah 8)

The threats in the hadiths above are for the people “who deny that prayer is fard or who regards it halal not to perform prayers”. Shirk (polytheism) and nifaq (hypocrisy) is not in question for a person who accepts that prayer is Allah’s order but acts lazily toward prayer. Such Muslims do not become unbelievers or hypocrites.

However, it should not be forgotten that a person who does not perform prayers for a long time will be exposed to some dangers in the course of time.

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