When Umar Radiallahu Anhu was stabbed he was called to Salaah and replied by saying, “Yes, whoever misses Salaah is a non-Muslim.” He then prayed while bleeding.
‘Abdullah Ibn Shaqiq Rahmatullahi Alayhi, one of the Tabi’een, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam’s Companions did not view the nonperformance of anything as unbelief besides Salaah.” – Reported by At- Tirmidhi.
When Ali Radiallahu Anhu was asked about a woman who did not Salaah, he said, “Whoever neglects Salaah is an unbeliever.”
Ibn Mas’ud Radiallahu Anhu also said, “Whoever does not pray is an infidel.”
Ibn ‘Abbas Radiallahu Anhu stated, “Whoever intentionally missed an obligatory Salaah entails Allah’s wrath when he dies.”
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Whoever dies neglecting the Salaah, Allah will not regard any of his good deeds.” – cited by AI-GhazaIi.
Ibn Hazm Rahmatullahi Alayhi said, “The most heinous sins next to Shirk (polytheism) is the delaying of Salaah and taking a life of a believer except for just cause.” Ibrahim An-Nakh’I Rahmatullahi Alayhi also said, “Whoever leaves the Salaah has disbelieved.”
Moreover, ‘Aun Ibn ‘Abdullah Rahmatullahi Alayhi said, “When a servant is laid in his grave, he will be asked, first about Salaah. If it is accepted, his other works will be examined. If not, nothing will be examined anymore.”
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “When a servant performed a Salaah on time, it will rise skyward enveloped with light until it reaches the Throne. There, it asks forgiveness for its doer up until the Day of Judgment, and says, “May Allah preserve you as you have preserved me.” But if the servant performs a Salaah out of its time, it will rise skyward enveloped with darkness. When it reaches the sky, it will be folded as an old cloth and then flung back to the doer’s face and will say, “May Allah destroy you as you destroyed me.” – Reported by Al-Haithami and At- Tabarani.
‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn AI-Aas Radiallahu Anhu related that the Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Allah does not accept the Salaah of three people: whoever leads a group of people who dislike him, whoever prays after missing the due time of the Salaah, and he who enslaved someone after freeing him.” – Reported by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Whoever joins two Salaah together without a legal excuse, he then commits a major sin.” – Reported by At-Tirmidhi and AI-Hakim
When should a child be ordered to perform salaah?
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “When a boy reaches the age of seven years, teach him Salaah, and punish him, when he defaults (in his Salaah) at the age of ten years.” – Reported by At- Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud
It was related that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “When your children attain the age of seven years, ask them to perform the Salaah and chastise them in respect of any fault in this behalf; when they are ten years old, let them sleep in separate beds.” – Reported by Abu Dawud and Ahmad
Imam Sulyman AI-Khattabi (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “This hadith indicates that the punishment of non-performance of the Salaah increases when the child reaches puberty. Some disciples of Imam Shafi’I Rahmatullahi Alayhi cited the above hadith as an evidence to kill the child if he persisted to neglect Salaah purposely ‘after reaching puberty. They assumed that if he deserves to be beaten while still a child he should face more severe punishment after reaching puberty and nothing can be more severe than death.
There are differences among Islamic legal scholars as to the judgment of he who neglects Salaah. Imam Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmed Rahmatullahi Alayhim all hold that the one who misses Salaah should be executed. Then they differ as regards his belief i.e. should they call him an unbeliever or not (in case of neglecting Salaah without a legal excuse)? The opinion that such a person becomes an unbeliever has been ascribed to Ibrahim An-Nakha’iy, Ayyub As-Sakhtiyani, ‘Abdullah Ibn AI-Mubarak, Ahmed Ibn Hambal and Ishaq ibn Rahawyah Rahmatullahi Alayhim. Those who hold that whoever misses a Salaah becomes an unbeliever adduce the following evidence:
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “The covenant between us and them consists of Salaah: whoever leaves it has disbelieved.”
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam also said, “Between a man between unbelief is the non-performance of Salaah.”