The fast of one who does not pray

Question: We need to know the ruling about the fast of one who does not pray (obligatory prayers)?

Answer: One who does not pray, (then) his fast is not correct and it is not acceptable from him. This is because the one who does not pray is a kaafir and apostate (murtad), as Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:

{But if they repent, offer prayers perfectly and give zakaah, then they are your brethren in religion} [Soorah at-Towbah, Aayah 11].

And also the statement of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam):

«The agreement which is between us and them is the salaah, so he who leaves it has disbelieved».

…and also His (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) saying:

«Between the man and shirk and kufr is leaving the salaah».

And certainly this is the statement of the general Companions, if it is not a concensus amongst them. ‘Abdullaah Ibn Shaqeeq (rahimahullaah) who was amongst the prominent Taabi’oon said: «The Companions of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) did not see the leaving off of any actions to be kufr except the prayer». And based upon this, if a person was to fast whilst he did not pray, then his fast is rejected and unacceptable and there is no benefit for him in front of Allaah on the Day of Judgement. And we say to him: Pray then fast, as for fasting and not praying then your fast is rejected because (any) act of worship is not acceptable from a kaafir.

[Shakyh Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen, Fataawa Ramadhaan – Volume 2, Page 751, Fatwa No. 763; Fiqh al-Ibaadaat libni ‘Uthaymeen – Page 178-179]

Published: 31 December 1999