عن بريدة قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إن العهد الذي بيننا وبينهم الصلاة، فمن تركها فقد كفر».
[صحيح] - [رواه الترمذي والنسائي وابن ماجه وأحمد]
المزيــد ...

Buraydah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The covenant between us and them is prayer; so, whoever abandons it has disbelieved."
Sahih/Authentic. - [At-Tirmidhi]

Explanation

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) informs that the covenant, i.e., the security and treaty that is between us - the Muslims and the non-Muslims, or between Muslims and the hypocrites - so that it becomes a means for a person’s security if he adheres to it, and necessitates the protection of his life, is the prayer, i.e., performing and establishing it. He who abandons it, has committed an act of disbelief. Because prayer is the greatest pillar of Islam after the two testimonies, and one who deliberately abandons it is exposed to the punishment, wrath, and disgrace of Allah Almighty in this world and in the Hereafter. Deliberately abandoning prayer is divided into two types: 1- Abandoning prayer while denying its obligation; this is disbelief by consensus. 2- Abandoning it due to negligence and laziness, and this is also disbelief as per clear and manifest evidences; this Hadīth is one of them, and it is the view of a group of the Companions, as it was reported from them with authentic chains of narration, and not even one of the Companions is known to have said otherwise, and this consensus of the Companions was narrated by more than one scholar, and a group of those who came after them held the same view. The second view is that it is a major sin, and one who abandons it is to be killed; however, he does not become a disbeliever, and it is the view of the Maliki and Shafi‘i school of thought. The third view is that it is a major sin, and that he is to be imprisoned until he dies or repents; however, he does not become a disbeliever, and it is the view of the Hanafi school of thought. As for the one who leaves it due to some excuse, such as sleeping or forgetting or so, until its time elapses, then he is excused, and he has to make up for it when he remembers it.

Translation:
View Translations
1: The Hadīth points out the great status of prayer and that it distinguishes the believer from the disbeliever.
2: It indicates that he who abandons prayer is a disbeliever.
3: It stresses the significance of performing prayer and gives a stern warning against abandoning it.
4: Prayer is a cause of a person's safety. If he abandons it, his safety goes away and his killing becomes lawful.
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