the books on hadith mention very severe punishment for those who neglect salaat. from many traditions on the subject, only a few are reproduced in this chapter. although a single warning from the most truthful prophet (pbuh) was enough, yet we find that, out of love and mercy for his followers, he has cautioned them again and again and in various manners lest they should neglect salaat and suffer the consequences. in spite of all this, alas! we are unmindful of salaat, and still we have the audacity to consider ourselves devotees of the prophet (pbuh) and champions of islam.
hadith - 1
jaabir bin abdullah (may allah be pleased with him) narrates that he heard the prophet of allah (pbuh) saying:
1. "to discard salaat is to be linked with kufr."
2. "to discard salaat is to be linked with kufr and shirk."
3. "discarding of salaat is the only partition between imaan and kufr."
there are a number of ahaadith on the subject. on one occasion, the holy prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said: "hurry up with your salaat when it is cloudy (lest you should err arid miss the correct time), for to discard salaat is to become a kaafir." what a stern warning against even missing the correct time of salaat, as (according to this quotation) to miss the correct time of salaat is to discard it. although, according to the interpretation of the ulama, the verdict of kufr is given against a person only when he rejects (and not simply neglects) salaat, yet the words of the prophet (pbuh) occurring in these ahaadith should be very weighty for those who have any regard for him. it may, however, be noted that some of the very important companions of the prophet (pbuh) like umar, abdullah bin mas'ood, abdullah bin abbas (may allah be pleased with him], etc. and eminent jurists like ahmad bin hanbal, ishaaq bin raahwayh, ibn mubaarak, etc. are definitely of the opinion that verdict of kufr can be given against the person who intentionally discards his salaat. may allah save us!