Is the statement ‘He who does not perform prayers will be with Korah, Pharaoh, Haman and Ubayy ibn Khalaf on the Day of Judgment a hadith?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Once, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) talked about the importance of salah one day and said:

من خافظ  عليها كانت له نورا و برهانا و نجاة يوم القيامة و من لم يحافظ عليها لم يكن له نورا و لا برهانا و لا نجاة  و كان يوم القيامة مع قارون و فرعون و هامان و ابي ابن حلف   

If a person keeps performing salah, that salah will be a light (against darkness), proof (of truth) and salvation from (torment) on the Day of Judgment. If a person does not keep performing salah, he will not have that light, proof and salvation. He/She will be with Korah, Pharaoh, Haman and Ubayy ibn Khalaf on the Day of Judgment. (Musnad, 2/169; Darimi, ar-Riqaq, 13, 2/390)

Haythami states that the narrators mentioned in this hadith are reliable and points out that the hadith is authentic. (see Majma az-Zawa'id, 4/20, hno: 1634)

The hadith above and similar ones aim to prevent believers from abandoning salah. (Sayyid Sabiq, Fiqh as-Sunnah, 1/90-91)

The reason why a person who does not perform prayers to be with one of those four people is explained as follows: If a person does not perform salah while he is busy with his property, he resembles the wealthy Korah. If his reign prevents him from performing salah, he resembles Pharaoh. If his post or administratorship prevents him from performing salah, he resembles the Vizier Haman. If trading prevents him from salah, he resembles the Meccan merchant Ubayy ibn Khalaf. (see Ibn Qayyim, as-Salah, p. 22)

According to the verses and hadiths, if a Muslim does not deny that the salah is fard but does not perform salah, he becomes a major sinner but he/she does not become an unbeliever

Therefore, comparing those who abandon prayers to unbelievers such as Korah, Pharaoh, Haman and Ubayy ibn Khalaf should be evaluated not in terms of unbelief, but in terms of attributes and characteristics. It does not mean that he/she will become an unbeliever and remain in Hell forever.

So, not performing salah is an attribute of unbelievers. However, a Muslim does not become an unbeliever by abandoning prayers; he commits the sin of not performing prayers, which is a characteristic of unbelievers.

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