A man who pretends to be a Muslim

Q: A man abandons or neglects obligatory Salahs (Prayers) except Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer; and he goes to the Masjid (mosque) early on Friday. What is the ruling on this person? It should be noted that he is an educated person, not ignorant.

A: Salah is one of the pillars of Islam and whoever abandons it is denying its obligation and is a disbeliever according to Ijma` (consensus) of religious scholars. However, if someone abandons it out of laziness and negligence, he is also a Kafir according to the preponderant view of religious scholars. The religious evidence in support of this rule are general; they do not differentiate between those who abandon Salah out of denial or out of laziness or negligence. It is narrated by Imam Ahmad and the Compilers of Sunan (Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes) with an authentic chain of narrations on the authority of Buraydah ibn Al-Husayn who said that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Salah is the religious criteria that ensures peaceful treatment to those who are apparently Muslims. Thus, whoever abandons it, becomes a disbeliever. Likewise, Muslim narrated in his Sahih book on the authority of Jabir ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Abandoning Prayer is the sin that admits a person to disbelief and polytheism. `Abdullah ibn Shaqiq reported, (Part No. 6; Page No. 38) 'The Companions of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) did not consider abandoning any act of worship as Kufr (disbelief) except Salah.' Narrated by Al-Tirmidhy. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.