Is the statement "Prayer is the pillar of the religion; he who abandons it demolishes his religion," a hadith?

The Details of the Question

Is the statement "Prayer is the pillar of the religion; he who abandons it demolishes his religion," a hadith?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

"Prayer is the pillar of the religion; he who abandons it demolishes his religion."

The narration above is included in "Ajluni, Kashful-Khafa, II/31". This hadith was reported in various forms.

There are other things that are stated as the pillar of the religion like supplication (dua), knowledge (ilm), fiqh and wara (fear of Allah). Their importance is stated by the phrase “the pillar of the religion”. The importance of prayer is stated by the sentence "Prayer is the pillar of the religion".

According to a narration from Hz. Ali, the Prophet (pbuh) said:

"Prayer is the pillar of belief. Jihad is the peak of deeds. Zakah is between them." (From Daylami’s Musnadul-Firdaws)

Ibn Abbas narrates:

"Prayer is the measuring cup of belief. He who fills it fully will get full rewards." (Bayhaqi, Shuabul-Iman)

Muadh Ibn Jabal narrates:

"We were with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). I was next to him and we walked together. I said,

"O Messenger of Allah! Tell me a deed that will keep me away from Hell and that will make me enter Paradise."

"You have asked me about something great, but it is easy for whomever Allah makes it easy: Worship Allah and do not associate any partners with Him, establish the salah (prayer), give the zakah, fast Ramadan and perform Hajj to the house of Allah." Then, he added,

"Shall I guide you to the doors of good?" I said,

"O Messenger of Allah! Yes." He said,

"Fasting is a shield, and charity (sadaqah) extinguishes sins like water extinguishes fire - and a man's praying in depths of the night." Then, he read the following verse:

"Their limbs do forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Lord, in Fear and Hope: and they spend (in charity) out of the sustenance which We have bestowed on them." (as-Sajda, 32/16) Then, he asked,

"Shall I inform you about the head of the entire matter, and its pillar, and its peak?" I said,

"O Messenger of Allah! Yes." He said, "Listen!" and added,

"The head of the matter is Islam, and its pillar is the salah, and its peak is Jihad!" Then, he said,

"Shall I inform you about what governs all of that?" I said,

"O Messenger of Allah! Yes." He said,

"Restrain this!" and pointed to his tongue. I asked again,

"O Messenger of Allah! Will we be taken to account for what we say?"

"May your mother grieve your loss, O Mu'adh! Are the people tossed into the Fire upon their faces, or upon their noses, except because of what their tongues have wrought?" [Tirmidhi, Iman 8, (2619)]

10) According to what Imam Malik narrates, Hz. Umar wrote the following to his governors:

"The most important of your affairs in my view is the prayer. Whoever protects it and observes it carefully protects his religion, while whoever is negligent about it will be even more negligent about other things."

Hz. Umar continued his writing as follows:

"Pray zuhr (noon prayer) any time from when the afternoon shade is the length of your forearm until the length of your shadow matches your height. Pray asr (afternoon prayer) when the sun is still pure white, so that a rider can travel two or three farsakhs (ten or fifteen kilometers) before the sun sets. Pray maghrib (evening prayer) when the sun has set. Pray isha (night prayer) any time from when the redness in the western sky has disappeared until a third of the night has passed - and may a person who sleeps before performing it have no rest! May he have no rest! May he have no rest! And pray subh (morning prayer) when all the stars are visible and like a haze in the sky." [Muwatta, Mawaqit: 6, (1, 6-7)]


1. This narration shows how much importance Hz. Umar gives to prayer. In his sight, prayer is not an issue that interests only the religious life of individuals but an issue of the state; and it is regarded as the most important issue of the state. Therefore, he sends the details about prayer times to his governors in the form of a circular note and he damns three times those who go to bed without performing the night prayer: "May a person who sleeps before performing the night prayer have no rest!" In a narration of Bazzar, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) himself damns like that.

2. The origin of the word translated as "stars like a haze" is mushtabika. It means, interlocked, nested. It aims to tell that stars are seen rightly and that the sun has not risen yet. For, when the brightness of the day is weak, stars are seen more. As brightness increases, stars become invisible.

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