Is Someone Considered a Disbeliever for Leaving the Prayer?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Torab Torabi
Question: Salaam Alaykum.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once said, that the one who leaves or abandons prayer is a disbeliever.
So what if one who has parents that are from a Muslim background, (practising or otherwise), has never prayed the 5 prayers out of laziness or other reasons, but believes in Allah and His Messenger; is he/she still considered a disbeliever?
Also, what if they try to pray sporadically, but without wudu or without saying the prayer words properly or without intention, only to please others (while they still know this is wrong); are these people still considered non-practising Muslims, even though they still believe wholly in Allah and His Messenger?
Answer: Walaikum Asalaam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh.
I hope this finds you in the best of inward and outward states.
My first advice to you is: find a reliable teacher. If there is not one in your local vicinity, then I implore you to enroll in one (or more) of the following classes:
Absolute Essentials
Islamic Beliefs
Hanafi Fiqh: Worship
Is someone considered a disbeliever for leaving the prayer?
No, someone who leaves the prayer out of laziness is not considered a disbeliever. And this is the ruling from the majority of Ahl al Sunnah. However, if one were to deny the prayer and say that it is not obligatory, then it could possibly entail disbelief (kufr). However, it is not our role to deem every person we see as a Muslim or a Kaafir. These questions will all be clear on the Day of Reckoning.
Here is a beautiful answer from Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam on the issue: Does leaving prayer entail disbelief?
Also, please read this: What takes a Muslim out of the fold of Islam?
Taking Rulings from Hadith
One should be very careful not to create his own rulings from Hadith, and especially not from translations, and especially not from “something they heard.”
Should Muslims study books of hadith by themselves? – by Shaykh Nuh Keller.
May Allah grant us understanding of this religion, and allow us to follow it in the best of ways.
And Allah knows best.
Torab Torabi
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani