The Rule on Neglecting the Solāh

The Rule on Neglecting the Solāh

 By Muhammad Salih Al-Uthaymeen


In the name of Allāh the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

 All Praise is due to Allāh. We praise Him, seek help from Him, ask forgiveness from Him and repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Verily, who is guided by Allāh is indeed guided; and who has been left astray will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no God except Allāh, the Only One, without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger, prayers and peace of Allāh be upon him and his family and companions and whoever followed their path till Day of Reckoning.

Many Muslims neglected their solāt till some of them abandoned it totally out of negligence. It is one of the grave issues that people are afflicted with it, and scholars differed about it, I decided to write what is possible to me. This message is summed in two chapters: The first chapter: The Rule on neglecting the solāt. The second chapter: The Consequences of apostasy because of neglecting solāt or any other (obligatory) deed. We ask Allāh Almighty to make us in the right path.


The First Chapter

Rule of neglecting the solāt

This issue is one of the great issues researched juristically. Scholars differed about this issue; Imām Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said: “The neglector of solāt is an infidel, infidelity gets him out of religion; he must be killed if he did not repent and solāt.” On the other hand, Abu Hanifah, Mālik and Ash-Shāfi’ie said: “He is disobedient but not infidel”, then they differed. Mālik and Ash-Shāfi’ie said: “He must be killed as punishment (to his negligence)”, and Abu Hanifah said: “He should be reprehended and should not be killed.”

As long as there is dispute about this issue, it must be referred to the Book of Allāh Almighty and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam), because Allāh almighty Says:

“Whatever it be wherein ye differ, the decision thereof is with Allah, such is Allah my Lord: In Him I trust, and to Him I turn.” [Ash-Shura, 42:10]

“O you who believe! Obey Allāh and obey the Messenger (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allâh and His Messenger (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) if you believe in Allâh and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination” [An-Nisā, 4:59]

And because each holder of an opinion cannot make his saying a proof against the others, because each one sees himself as the holder of the right opinion, and none of their opinions could be given priority over the others; it became necessary to seek an arbitrator, which is the Book of Allāh Almighty and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam). And if we referred this dispute to al-Qurān and Sunnah, we would discover that both al-Qurān and Sunnah indicate the infidelity of the neglector of solāt, greater infidelity that takes out of religion.

First: Evidences from the Qurān

Allāh Almighty said in Surat At-Tawbah: “But if they repent, perform As-Salât, (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give Zakât, then they are your brethren in religion” [Surat At-Tawbah, 9:11],

He said in Surat Maryam: “Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salât (the solāts) [i.e. made their Salât (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell. Except those who repent and believe (in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam), and work righteousness. Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught” [Maryam 19:59-60]

The evidence in the second verse (the verse of Surat Maryam) is the words of Allāh about the people who gave up solāt and followed lusts “Except those who repent and believe (in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam)” and this means that they were not believers during their giving up solāt and following lusts.

The evidence in the first verse (the verse of Surat At-Tawbah) is that Allāh Almighty put three conditions for establishing brotherhood between us and the polytheists:

 1. To repent.

2. To perform solāt, and

3. To give Zakāt.

If they repented, but did not perform solāt and give Zakāt; they are not brothers for us. And if they performed solāt, but did not give Zakāt; they are not brothers for us. Actually, brotherhood in religion would not be nullified unless the person is totally out religion; it is not nullified by disobedient or lesser infidelity.

Don’t you consider the ayat of Allāh Almighty in Al-Qisâs in case of murder:”But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives, etc.) of the killed against blood-money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood-money to the heir should be made in fairness” [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:178];

Allāh made the murderer, brother to the killed person, although killing on purpose is one of the gravest sins. Allāh Almighty says:

“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the Wrath and the Curse of Allâh are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him” [Surat An-Nisa, 4:93]

And do not you consider the words of Allāh Almighty about the two parties of believers who fall to fighting: “And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both” till He says: “The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islâmic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers” [Surat Al-Hujurat, 49:9-10]

Allāh Almighty declared brotherhood between the party that makes peace and the two parties who fall to fighting, although fighting the believer is infidelity as it is mentioned in the authentic Hadīth that is reported by al-Bukhāri and others on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiallahu`anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) said: “Cursing Muslim is disobedience and fighting him is infidelity”

However, it is not that kind infidelity that gets the Muslim out of religion, because if it was infidelity that gets him out of the religion, he would no longer be brother in religion, and the Qur’ānic verse proofed the existence of religious brotherhood even with fighting.

Therefore, it became known that neglecting solāt is infidelity that gets the person out of the religion; because if it was just disobedience or lesser infidelity, brotherhood in religion would not be nullified because of it, as it is not nullified because of fighting the believer.

If someone said: “Do you see that the person who neglects giving Zakāt is infidel as it is understood from the verse of Surat At-Tawbah?”

We would say: “Some scholars declared the infidelity of the person who neglects giving Zākat, and it is one of two narrations on the authority of Imam Ahmad (rahimahullāh). However, our opinion is that he is not an infidel, but he should be punished severe punishment mentioned by Allāh Almighty in His Book and mentioned by the Prophet (sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam)in his Sunnah. And among the sayings of the prophet, in this regard, is the Hadīth that is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu`anhu) in which the prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) mentioned the punishment of the neglector of giving Zakāt and said at its end: “He would then see his path, leading either to Paradise or to Hell”,

And it is reported completely by Muslim in chapter of ‘sin of one who does not pay Zakāt’. [1]

The previous proves that he is not an infidel, because if he was infidel, he would have no path to Paradise. Then the words of this Hadīth should be given priority over the meaning that is understood from the verse of Surat At-Tawbah, because the text has priority over what is understood, as it is known in Usul Al-Fiqh.

Second: Evidences from the Sunnah

1- The Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) said: “Between man, polytheism and infidelity is neglecting solāt” [Reported by Muslim in the book of faith on the authority of Jabir Ibn Abdullah direct from the Prophet, (sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam)]

2- And it is narrated on the authority of Buraydah Ibn Al-Husaib (radiallahu`anhu) that he heard the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) says: “The covenant that is between us and them (i.e. the infidel people) is (observing) solāh; therefore, whoever neglects it turns to be infidel” [Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidzi, An-Nasāie and Ibn Mājah, authentic]

The infidelity that is mentioned here is the infidelity which gets the person out of the religion, because the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) made solāt distinction between the believers and infidels, and it is known that infidelity is contrary to Islām; therefore, whoever does not adhere to this covenant is infidel.

3- And it is reported in Sahīh Muslim on the authority of Umm Salamah (radiallahu`anha) that the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) said: “In the near future there will be rulers and you will be aware of their good deeds and their bad deeds. One who sees through their bad deeds (and tries to prevent their repetition by his band or through his speech), is absolved from blame, but one who hates their bad deeds (in the heart of his heart, being unable to prevent their recurrence by his hand or his tongue), and is (also) safe (so far as God’s wrath is concerned). But one who approves of their bad deeds and imitates them is spiritually ruined.” People asked: “Shouldn’t we fight against them?” He replied: “No, as long as they observe solāts.”

4- Also, it is reported in Sahih Muslim on the authority of ‘Auf Ibn Malik (radiallahu`anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) said: “The best of your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, who invoke God’s blessings upon you and you invoke His blessings upon them. And the worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you and whom you curse and who curse you.” It was asked (by those present): “O Messenger of Allāh, shouldn’t we overthrow them with the help of the sword?” He replied: “No, as long as they establish solāt among you.”

• In the last two ahadīth there is a proof for overthrowing the rulers and fighting them with the sword if they did not establish solāt, and it is not allowed to overthrow the rulers or fight them unless they commit what is clear infidelity, because Ubadah Ibn As-Samit (radiallahu`anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) called us and we took the oath of allegiance to him. Among the injunctions he made binding upon us was: Listening and obedience (to the ruler) in our pleasure and displeasure, in our adversity and prosperity, even when somebody is given preference over us, and without disputing the delegation of powers to a man duly invested with them (Obedience shall be accorded to him in all circumstances) except when you have clear signs of his disbelief in (or disobedience to) God-signs that could be used as a conscientious justification (for non-compliance with his orders)” [Agreed upon]

Thereupon, when the rulers neglect solāt, which the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) suspended overthrowing and fighting them with the sword because of it, they turn to be clear infidels we have God-signs could be adhered to for fighting them.

• Moreover, it is not mentioned in the Sunnah that the neglector of solāt is not infidel or that he is believer. What is mentioned in this concern are texts refer to the merits and rewards of monotheism (i.e. bearing witness that there is no God except Allāh, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh); such texts are either restricted with restrictions in the same text prevent neglecting solāt or restricted with special situations give excuses for not praying; or they are general texts could be seen as evidences for the infidelity of whoever neglects solāt, because the evidences of the infidelity of the neglector of solāt are special evidences, and the special evidences have priority over the general evidences.

• If someone said: “Could not the texts that refer to the infidelity of the neglector  of solāt be about the one who neglects it for not believing that it is obligation?!” We would say: “This is not allowed because it has two contraventions:

The first: Neglecting the description that is described by the legislator and upon which the ruling is suspended

• The legislator suspended the ruling on neglecting not on believing in the obligation; moreover, it made brotherhood in religion result of performing solāt not believing in its being obligation. Allāh Almighty did not say: “But if they repent and believed in the obligation of solāt”, and the Prophet (sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) did not say: “Between man, polytheism and infidelity is denying the obligation of solāt”, or say: “The covenant that is between us and them is declaring the obligation of solāt; therefore, whoever denies it turns to be infidel”; if this was what Allāh Almighty and His Messenger said, saying other than that would be contrary to the exposition that Qurān came with. Allāh Almighty says: “And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qurān) as an exposition of everything” [Surat An-Nahl 16:89],

And He almighty addressed His Prophet by saying: “And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) the Dzikir [reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qurân)], that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them” [Surat An-Nahl, 16:44]

The second: Putting a description the legislator did not suspend the rule upon it

• Denying the obligation of performing the five solāts makes the person (who is not excused because of ignorance) infidel, whether he performed or did not do solāt. If a person performed the five solāts completely (i.e. by doing all their requirements and obligatory and desirable acts) while not believing in their being obligation (without an excuse), he would be infidel, although he did not neglect solāt.

• Therefore, it became clear that understanding these texts as indicators to neglecting solāt because of denying its obligation is not correct. The authentic saying is that whoever neglects solāt is infidel, such infidelity gets him out of the religion, as it is reported frankly by Al-Monzery on the authority of Ubadah Ibn As-Samit (radiallahu`anhu)  that he said: “the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) recommended us seven qualities, he said: ‘associate no partner with Allāh even if you were cut, burned or crossed, and do not deliberately neglect solāt, because whoever neglects it deliberately is out of the religion.’” [Al Monzery said: It is narrated by two good chains of transmission]

• Moreover, if we considered that these texts are talking about denying the obligation of solāt, there will be no use for mentioning solāt in specific; because this is a general rule applies to denying the obligation of Zakāt, fasting and Hajj – whoever denies one of these obligations is infidel as long as he is not excused with ignorance. Moreover, the infidelity of the neglector of solāt is not result to the written evidence only; rather it is also result to the logical evidence.

• How could a person have faith while neglecting solāt which is the pillar of religion and which there are texts encourage each sane believer to hurry to performing it?! Also, there is threat for neglecting it makes every sane believer aware of neglecting it. Thereupon, neglecting solāt after that does not leave the neglector with any faith.

• If someone said: Is it not possible that the infidelity of the neglector of solāt is ungratefulness, not infidelity that gets him out religion? Is not possible that this infidelity is lesser infidelity that differs than the greater infidelity?! Then it would be like the saying of the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam): “Two things people do although they are of infidelity; defamation and crying upon the deceased”,

And his saying: “Cursing a Muslim is disobedience and fighting him is infidelity” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari], and the like sayings.

We would say: This is not correct for reasons:

First: The Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) made solāt divider between infidelity and faith, and between the believers and infidels. The divider distinguishes between the two parties and does not allow any of them to mix with the other one.

Second: Solāt is one of the pillars of Islām; therefore, describing its neglector with infidelity means that it is the infidelity that gets the person out of the folds of Islām; because whoever neglects it had demolished one of the pillars of Islām, and this is not like describing whoever committed an act of infidelity with infidelity.

Third: There are other texts referred to the infidelity of the neglector of solāt as infidelity gets him out of religion. Therefore, the other texts should be understood in the same way to have compatibility between the texts.

• Sheikh Al-Islam, Ibn Taymiyah commented in his book at the saying of the Prophet (sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam): “There are two things people do although they are infidelity” by saying: “He meant by saying (they are of infidelity) the two things; however, not every act of infidelity turns its doer to be infidel, an infidelity that gets him out of the religion, just as not doing any act of belief turns the person to be believer.” (Iqtidā’ As-Sirāt Al-Mustaqīm)

• Therefore, as long as it is proven that the neglector of solāt, without excuse, is infidel, an infidelity that gets him out of the religion, according to the above mentioned evidences; the authentic opinion is the opinion of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, which is also one of the two opinions which are narrated about Ash-Shafi’ie, according to Ibn Kathir in explaining the meaning words of Allāh Almighty: “Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salât (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salât (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts” [Surat Maryam 19:59]

And Ibn Al-Qayim mentioned in the book of solāt that it is one of the two opinions of the Shafi’ie School and that it is reported by At-Tahawy on the authority of Ash-Shafi’ie himself.

In addition to that, the majority of the companions hold that opinion; rather some scholars reported that there was consensus between the companions upon this opinion.

• Abdullah Ibn Shaqiq said: “The companions of the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) did not see a deed being neglected turns the believer to an infidel except solāt” [Reported by At-Tirmidzi and authenticated by Al-Albāni]

• Ishaq Ibn Rahawih, the well-known imam, said: “It is narrated on the authority of the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) that the neglector of solāt is infidel, and people of knowledge, from the time of the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) till our present day, also saw that the neglector of solāt deliberately with no reason till the end of its time is infidel.”

• Ibn Hazam mentioned that this was the opinion of ‘Umar, Abdurrahman Ibn ‘Auf, Mu’adz Ibn Jabal, Abu Hurayrah and other companions, and he said: “And we know none of the companions disagreed with those”. This is reported by Al-Munthiry (in At-Targhib Wa At-Tarhib), and he added, from among the companions; Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Jabir Ibn Abdullah and Abu Ad-Darda (radiallāhu`anhum), and he added also, from among the scholars; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ishaq Ibn Rahawih, Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak, An-Nakhaie, Al-Hakam Ibn Utaibah, Ayub As-Sikhtiany, Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi, Abu Bakar Ibn Abu Shaibah, Zuhair Ibn Harb and others.”

• If someone said: “What are the refutations of the evidences of those who see that the neglector of solāt is not infidel?

We would say: “Their evidences do not say that the neglector of solāt would not be infidel or that he is believer or that he will not enter Hell or that he is in Paradise …etc. On the other hand, whoever considers these evidences would find that they fall under one of five segments all of them do not repute the evidences of who said that he is infidel.

The first segment: Weak Ahādīth (i.e. unauthentic Ahādīth) whoever mentioned them tried to cling to it but in vain.

The second segment: What does not relate to the issue; like those who draw a conclusion from the words of Allāh Almighty: “Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that to whom He wills” [An-Nisa, 4:48]

Actually, His saying: “except that” means ‘what is less than that, and does not mean ‘anything else’, because whoever denies the words of Allāh and His Messenger is infidel, an infidelity that would not be forgiven although it is not setting up partners with Allāh. And on the assumption that “except that” means ‘anything else’; it would be general text restricted by the texts that show infidelity because of things other than setting up partners with Allāh and the infidelity that gets the person out of religion for doing a sin would not be forgiven although it is not setting up partners with Allāh.

The third segment: General texts are restricted with the ahādīth that declare infidelity of whoever neglects solāt; this is like the saying of the Prophet (sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam)in the Hadīth that is narrated on the authority of Mu’adz  Ibn Jabal (radiallahu`anhu): “There is no servant that bears witness that there is no God except Allāh and that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger but Allāh makes him unlawful to Hell.” [Narrated by Muslim]

This Hadīth had been narrated by similar words on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, Ubadah Ibn As-Samit and Itban Ibn Malik (radiallāhu`anhum).

The fourth segment: General texts are restricted with what cannot be done in case of neglecting solāt. This is like the saying of the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) in the Hadīth that is narrated on the authority of  ‘Itban Ibn Mālik (radiallahu`anhu): “Verily Allāh has forbidden the Fire for one who says ‘there is no God except Allāh’ thereby seeking Allāh’s pleasure” [Reported by Al-Bukhari], and the saying of the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam )in the Hadīth that is narrated on the authority of Muadz Ibn Jabal (radiallahu`anhu): “There is no servant bears witness that there is no God except Allāh and that Muhammad is His Messenger, sincerely from his heart, but Allāh makes him unlawful to Hell” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

• Actually, restricting observance of solāt by bearing witness of monotheism with sincerity prevents from neglecting solāt, because when anybody says it sincerely, his sincerity would certainly lead him to performing solāt. Solāt is the pillar of Islām and the connection that is between the servant and his Lord; and if he was sincere in seeking Allāh’s pleasure, he must surly do whatever enables him to gain that and avoid whatever prevents him from this purpose. Also, whoever sincerely bears witness that there is no God except Allāh and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh, this sincerity must lead him to performing solāt sincerely for the sake of Allāh Almighty and for obeying the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam, because this is one of the requirements of this sincere witness.

The fifth segment: Texts are restricted with situations that give excuse for not performing solāt; this is like the Hadīth reported by Ibn Mājah on the authority of Hudzaifa Ibn Al-Yaman that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) said:“Islām will disappear gradually as the embroidery of clothes disappears …”  till he said: “and there will remain people, like the old and aged persons, say: we found our fathers say the word of ‘there is no God except Allāh’ Lā illāha ilallāh thereupon we say it.” Silah said: “What would ‘there is no God except Allāh’ do for them while they do not know solāt, fast, Hajj or charity?” thereupon Hudzaifah turned away his face from him, but Silah repeated his saying three times and Hudzaifah continued turning away his face from him; when it was the third time, Hudzaifa said: “O Silah, it saves them from Hell” three times. [Authenticated by Al-Albani]

• Those that had been saved from Hell by ‘Lā illāha ilallāh’ had an excuse for not performing the obligations of Islām; because they knew nothing about them and what they did is their best. They are like those who died before having the obligations of religion enjoined or before having ability to do them; this is like the person who dies after bearing witness of faith before having time to do the obligations of Islām, or the person who converted to Islām during his stay in country of infidels and then died before knowing about the obligations of Islām.

• The final word is that the evidences of those who see that the neglector of solāt is not infidel do not stand in face of the evidences of those who see that he is infidel, because the evidences of the first are either weak (not clear) or not proof or restricted with situations give excuse for not performing solāt or general texts others made exceptions to declare his infidelity!

• As long as it became clear (by the sound strong evidence that cannot be refuted) that he is infidel; it became necessary to apply the rules of infidelity and apostasy upon him as natural consequence, because the rule stands with its reason.


The Second Chapter

Consequences of apostasy because of neglecting solāt or any other (obligatory) deed


• There are rules relate to the worldly life and others relate to hereafter occurs as consequences to apostasy.

First: among the rules that relate to the worldly life:

1 – Lapse of guardianship: He could not be given guardianship in something is for Muslims only; thereupon, he cannot have guardianship over his young children (or the children of others) or hold the marriage of his daughters (or the daughters of others).

Our jurists (radiallāhu`anhum) had cleared in their digested and lengthened books that the guardian must be Muslim as long as he hold the marriage of Muslim woman, and they said: “There is no guardianship for infidel man over Muslim woman.” Also, Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallāhu`anhum) said: “There is no marriage without reasonable guardian, and the highest and supreme of reason isIslām while the lowest and most foolish is infidelity and apostasy; Allāh almighty says: “And who turns away from the religion of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) except him who befools himself?”” [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:130]

2 – Not having the right of inheriting his relatives: Because the infidel does not inherit the Muslim and the Muslim does not inherit the infidel; it is narrated on the authority of Osama Ibn Zaid (radiallahu’anhum) that the Prophet (sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam)said: “The Muslim does not inherit the infidel nor the infidel inherits the Muslim” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim and others]

3 – Preventing him from entering Makkah and its sacred house: Allāh Almighty says: “O you who believe (in Allâh’s Oneness and in His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam))! Verily, the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, and in the Message of Muhammad (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam)) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjidal-Harâm (at Makkah) after this year” [Surat At-Tawbah, 9:28]

4 – Making the animals of cattle that are slaughtered by him unlawful: This is applied upon camels, cows and sheep and the other beasts that cannot be lawful without lawful slaughtering. Among the requirements of lawful slaughtering is that the slaughter should be Muslim or Jewish or Christian; the animal that is slaughtered by apostate, polytheist, Magus and others is not lawful.

•Al-Khazin said in his Tafsir: “They held consensus upon the prohibition of having the slaughtered animals of the Magus and all polytheists, whether they are Arab polytheists, pagans or people do not believe in a Book.”

•Imam Ahmad said: “I know nobody saying other than this unless he is among those who make new creations in religion.”

5 – Prohibition of performing solāt al-janazah upon him after his death and prohibition of asking forgiveness and mercy for him: Allāh almighty says: “And never (O Muhammad prayers and peace of Allāh be upon him) pray (funeral solāt) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave. Certainly they disbelieved in Allâh and His Messenger, and died while they were Fâsiqûn (rebellious, – disobedient to Allâh and His Messenger)” [Surat At-Tawbah, 9:84],

And He almighty says: “It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allâh’s Forgiveness for the Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh), even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief). (113) And Ibrâhîm’s (Abraham) invoking (of Allâh) for his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he [Ibrâhîm (Abraham)] had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to him [Ibrâhîm (Abraham)] that he (his father) is an enemy of Allâh, he dissociated himself from him. Verily Ibrâhîm (Abraham) was Awwah (one who invokes Allâh with humility, glorifies Him and remembers Him much) and was forbearing.” [Surat At-Tawbah, 9:113-114]

•Asking forgiveness and mercy for the person who died upon infidelity, for any reason, is a kind of transgression in invocation, mocking Allāh and abandoning the way of the Prophet and the believers. How could a person, believing in Allāh and the Final Day, seek forgiveness and mercy for a person died in infidelity and he is enemy to Allāh Almighty? Allāh the Exalted and Glorious said: “Whoever is an enemy to Allâh, His Angels, His Messengers, Jibrîl (Gabriel) and Mîkâ’îl (Michael), then verily, Allâh is an enemy to the disbelievers” [Surat Al-Baqarah 2: 398]. Allāh Almighty declared in this verse that He Almighty is an enemy to all disbelievers.

It is obligation upon the believer to declare innocence of every infidel; Allāh Almighty says: “And (remember) when Ibrâhîm (Abraham) said to his father and his people: “Verily, I am innocent of what you worship, (26) except Him (i.e. I worship none but Allâh Alone) Who did create me; and verily He will guide me.”” [Surat Az-Zukhruf 43:26-27],

And He almighty says: “Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrâhîm (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allâh: we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allâh Alone”” [Surat Al-Mumtahanah, 60:4]

And to follow the way of the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam); Allāh almighty says: “And a declaration from Allâh and His Messenger to mankind on the greatest day (the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah – the 12th month of Islâmic calendar) that Allâh is free from (all) obligations to the Mushrikûn” [Surat At-Tawbah, 9:3]

•Among the strongest ties of faith is to love for the sake of Allāh, hate for the sake of Allāh, take people as supporters for the sake of Allāh and take others as enemies for the sake of Allāh; in order be a true follower to the pleasure of Allāh the Exalted and Glorious in your love, hate, support and enmity.

6- Preventing him from marrying the Muslim woman: Because he is infidel and the Muslim woman is not lawful for the infidel according to the text and consensus; Allāh Almighty says: “O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them; Allâh knows best as to their Faith, then if you ascertain that they are true believers send them not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them” [Surat Al-Mumtahnah, 60:10]

The author of Al-Moghny said (6/592): “There is no disagreement between the scholars about the prohibition of the women and slaughtered animals of all infidels except the People of Book.” He added: “And it is unlawful to marry the apostate woman regardless of her religion, because she did not take the rules of the people of the religion that she converted to.”

And he said in the chapter of the apostate (8/130): “And if he married, his marriage would not be sound, because he is not given permission to marry, and this leads to considering it unlawful marriage like the marriage of the infidel man to Muslim woman.”

Hence, you see that he declared the prohibition of marrying the apostate woman and the nullification of the marriage of the apostate man. But what is the situation if apostasy occurred after the marriage?!

The author of Al-Moghny said (6/298): “If one of the couples became apostate before starting the marital life, the marriage contract would be nullified at once, and none of them would inherit the other. However, if he became apostate after starting the marital life, then there are two opinions; one of them makes separation urgent while the other asks for ending the ‘Iddah.”

The author of Al-Moghny said (6/639): “Nullification of marriage because of apostasy before starting the marital life is the saying of the majority of scholars and they have evidences for that saying. As for its being nullified at once if apostasy occurred after starting the marital life, it is the view of Mālik and Abu Hanifah. And as for its being suspended upon the end of ‘Iddah it is the view of Ash-Shafi’ie.”

This means that the four imams agree upon the nullification of marriage because of the apostasy of one of the couples. If apostasy occurred before starting the marital life, marriage should be nullified at once; however, if it occurred after starting the marital life, Mālik and Abu Hanifah see that it would be nullified at once, while Ash-Shafi’ie sees that they would wait till Iddah ends. And there are two opinions narrated on the authority of Imam Ahmad are similar to the above mentioned opinions.

The author of Al-Moghny said (6/640): “If the husband and wife became apostate together, their ruling is the same; as if just one of them became apostate. If it occurred before starting the marital life they would be separated at once; however, if it was after starting the marital life, there are two opinions, and this is held by Ash-Shafi’ie. Then it is narrated that Abu Hanifah said that their marriage should not be nullified, because their religion did not become different religions and it is like as if they became Muslims.” However, the author of Al-Moghney refuted his analogy.

As long as it became clear that marrying the apostate person is not sound marriage for the Muslim, whether it is male or female, and this is according to the understood meaning of the Book and Sunnah, and it became clear that the neglector of solāt is infidel according to the Book and Sunnah and the sayings of the majority of the companions. It is clear that if the man who does not pray married Muslim woman, his marriage is not sound and this woman is not lawful to him because of this marriage; and if he repented to Allāh Almighty and returned to Islām, he must renew the contract of marriage. The same is applied to the woman if she was the one who does not pray.

This is not the same as the marriages of the infidels during their infidelity. When an infidel man marries an infidel woman, then she converts to Islām, the contract of marriage will be nullified if her convert to Islām was before starting the marital life. However, if it was after starting the marital life, the contract would not be nullified, but she has to wait the convert of her husband during the time of her ‘Iddah; if he converted to Islām before the end of ‘Iddah, she would be his wife; otherwise, she is no longer his wife, because the contract of marriage had been nullified from the time of her convert to Islām.

At the time of the Prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) infidels were used to convert to Islām with their wives, and the prophet (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) was used to confirm their marriages unless there is reason for nullifying the marriage, like their being unmarriageable relatives married when they were magus; in such case the Prophet would separate between them after their convert to Islām because of the existence of a reason for prohibition.

This question is not like the question of the Muslim who became infidel because of neglecting solāt and then married Muslim woman. The Muslim woman is not lawful for the infidel according to the text and consensus as it is mentioned previously, even if the infidel was not apostate person. Therefore, if an infidel married Muslim woman, this marriage is nullified and they must be separated; however, if he converted to Islām and wanted to return to her, this could not be done without new marriage contract.

7- Rule of the children of the neglector of solāt whom are from a Muslim wife: As for the mother, they are her children anyway. However, as for the man; according to those who see that the neglector of solāt is not infidel, they are his children anyway, because his marriage is sound. But according to those who see that the neglector of solāt is infidel, which is the most authentic opinion as it is mentioned in the first chapter, there are considerations:

If the husband did not know that his marriage is not sound, or does not think so; the children are his, because his sexual intercourse with his wife, in this case, is lawful in his opinion, and it will be considered as case of doubt, and such cases prove the parentage.

On the other hand, if the husband knows that his marriage is nullified and thinks so, the children will not be his; because they are created from the semen of a person sees that his sexual intercourse is unlawful for having it with a woman is not allowed for him.

Second: Rules of hereafter that are consequences to apostasy

1 – The angels scold and tongue-lash him: Allāh Almighty says: “And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve (at death); they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): “Taste the punishment of the blazing Fire. (50) This is because of that which your hands had forwarded. And verily, Allâh is not unjust to His slaves.”” [Surat Al-Anfal, 8:50-51]

2 – He would be resurrected with the people of infidelity and polytheism because he is one of them: Allāh Almighty says: “(It will be said to the angels): “Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions and what they used to worship, Instead of Allâh, and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire (Hell)” [Surat As-Saffat, 37:22-23]. Companions here the people that are alike in deeds.

3- Immortality in hellfire: Allāh Almighty says: “Verily, Allâh has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming Fire (Hell). (64) Wherein they will abide forever, and they will find neither a Walî (a protector) nor a helper. (65) On the Day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire, they will say: “Oh, would that we had obeyed Allâh and obeyed the Messenger (Muhammad prayers and peace of Allāh be upon him)” [Surat Al-Ahzab, 33:64-66]

Here, we ended what we intended to say in this grave issue, which many people are afflicted with.

Gate of repentance is still open for whoever wants to repent; therefore, dear Muslim brother, hurry to returning to Allāh the Exalted and Glorious in sincerity for Him Almighty and regret upon what you did and determination upon not returning and augmentation to the acts of obedience “Except those who repent and believe (in Islâmic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allâh will change their sins into good deeds, and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (70) And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allâh with true repentance” [Surat Al-Furqan, 25:70-71]

I ask Allāh Almighty to facilitate for us our affairs in the right way and guide us all to His straight path; the path of those on whom Allāh has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqûn (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe), the martyrs, and the righteous; not (the path) of those who earned His Anger nor of those who went astray.

Footnote:

[1] Abu Hurairah reported Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu’alaihi wa sallam) as saying: If any owner of gold or silver does not pay what is due on him, when the Day of Resurrection would come, plates of fire would be beaten out for him; these would then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back would be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down, (the process is) repeated during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among servants, and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell. It was said: Messenger of Allāh, what about the camel? He (the Holy Prophet) said: If any owner of the camel does not pay what is due on him, and of his due in that (camel) is (also) to milk it on the day when it comes down to water. When the Day of Resurrection comes a soft sandy plain would be set for him, as extensive as possible, (he will find) that not a single young one is missing, and they will trample him with their hoofs and bite him with their mouths. As often as the first of them passes him, the last of them would be made to return during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among servants and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell. It was (again) said: Messenger of Allāh, what about cows (cattle) and sheep? He said: It any owner of the cattle and sheep does not pay what is due on them, when the Day of Resurrection comes a soft sandy plain would be spread for them, he will find none of them missing, with twisted horns, without horns or with a broken horn, and they will gore him with their horns and trample him with their hoofs. As often as the first of them passes him the last of them would be made to return to him during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment would be pronounced among the servants. And he would be shown his path-path leading him to Paradise or to Hell. It was said: Messenger of Allāh, what about the horse? Upon this he said: The horses are of three types. To one than (these are) a burden, and to another man (these are) a covering, and still to another man (these are) a source of reward. The one for whom these are a burden is the person who rears them in order to show off, for vainglory and for opposing the Muslims; so they are a burden for him. The one for whom these are a covering is the person who rears them for the sake of Allāh but does not forget the right of Allāh concerning their backs and their necks, and so they are a covering for him. As for those which bring reward (these refer to) the person who rears them for the sake of Allāh to be used for Muslims and he puts them in meadow and field. And whatever thing do these eat from that meadow and field would be recorded on his behalf as good deeds, as would also the amount of their dung and urine. And these would not break their halter and prance a course or two without having got recorded the amount of their hoof marks and their dung as a good deed on his behalf (on behalf of their owner). And their master does not bring them past a river from which they drink, though he did not intend to quench their thirst, but Allāh would record for him the amount of what they drink on his behalf as deeds. It was said: Messenger of Allāh, what about the asses?, Upon this he said: Nothing has been revealed to me in regard to the asses (in particular) except this one verse of a comprehensive nature: “He who does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and he who does an atom’s weight of evil will see it”. [Sahih Muslim]

Wallahu’alam.

[Compiled by Muhammad Al-Salih Al-Uthaimin, Al-Watan House; Translated by Wathakker Website; en.wathakker.net via Islām Way]

About Md Radzi Ahmad
A retired Malaysian civil servant. Served the Malaysian government for thirty-one years. Posted to London, Rangoon, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bangkok. Born in Kampong Hutan Kandeh, Alor Star, Kedah. Educated at Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Star and University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Currently resides in Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan,Malaysia.Blessed with three children, a son, two daughters, daughter in law and two grandaughters.

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