Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally
Question: Assalam alaykum,
There is a Hadith that mentions that not praying in congregation after hearing the call to prayer is Kufr.
Is this Kufr that takes you outside of Islam?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I have been unable to locate the narration you have mentioned. Regardless, scholars have offered a variety of interpretations for such narrations, which do not lead to considering people actual disbelievers or hypocrites.
For example, it has been posited that such strong wording has been used to deter people from neglecting praying in congregation after hearing the call; or that the intent was to compare a person who would leave a congregational prayer after hearing the call to a disbeliever or hypocrite, who could be expected to do something like this; or that behaving in such a manner could lead to disbelief or hypocrisy; or a combination of the above.
In short, scholars have not tended to interpret such language literally.
Please see the following for a discussion on the use of ‘disbelief’ in a similar narration: Are the People Who Fought After the Prophet’s Death Disbelievers?