Channel: Yasir Qadhi
Series: Yasir Qadhi - Ask Shaykh YQ
Sisters Sameera from India emails mashallah tomato cola we have a lot of large viewership in India, and sister Samira says, she asks that she has seen a clip posted by an anti Muslim website or Facebook page in which they have a Muslim preacher in English, saying that the one who abandons Salah one Salah is worse is a worse crime, then the one who murders and the one who rapes and the one who steals and the one who sells drugs, etc, etc. And she says they're using this clip to show that Muslims are fanatical and that a murder is considered better than the one who misses even one Salah. So she says this clip has flustered her she wants to know, is this what Islam says? Is this
the the opinion that is the correct one? Or if I have any comments about this notion of Salah you know, the one who doesn't pray being worse than the murder?
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So dear sister, Samantha, this is actually a very multi layered question. It's actually
it will take a while to to to unpack. But I want to begin by stating that you shouldn't be surprised that anti Muslim websites and Facebook pages they take such clips, and they make them viral. You know, the fact of the matter is that, you know, these types of entities in groups, they commonly do this, they go to clerics, or they go to people even I myself have been the target of a number of such campaigns where they take a clip maybe out of context or other evil intent. And they then portray something that perhaps even the speaker did not intend. And Allah subhanho wa Taala himself points out the in the Quran that other faith groups or other you know, evil intended people, you had
a full Kalama camaraderie they distort the message and the words in a context that wasn't intended. And this is a reality and a tactic that should never we should never do. We should always be faithful to the person who's speaking and make sure that this is what they actually intended. Now, again, as I answered this question, I am not, you know, I don't know the preacher, you're referring to I don't know, the context, he said it. So I'm speaking generically, I'm taking our true face value that there was a Muslim preacher who said that leaving the prayer is worse than murder, and rape and, and stealing and drug dealing and all that. So I'm taking this at face value. And we're
not questioning the sincerity of the person who said this. Because sometimes a preacher might encourage something to his private audience. And perhaps he says it in a forceful manner that he thinks will work in that audience. But you know, these days with cell phones, or video or whatnot, it's so easy to take that clip out of context to broadcast it to an entire globe. And to make it sound just plain wrong and awkward. And by the way, this is a problem of social media, we see this happening all the time with famous people, politicians, sometimes they say something they really shouldn't have said, but sometimes they say something in a context or audience that might actually
be effective in that audience. But not every speech is effective in every single audience. So we have to also be a little bit careful here that, especially myself, I'm very conscious of this, that sometimes I'm teaching a class to advance students. And I might say something to get a point across, or maybe you know, preaching to a group of people that I know, a certain language, a certain flowery language might be effective, but it wouldn't be effective in another audience. And we have to also be cognizant of the fact that we are we are taught really to, to teach to people according to their level. So when I teach an advanced class of fic, I might say certain things that I would never say
in the hood, but not that it contradicts. But there's a time and a place in a manner to do such teaching. So I say this, because again, I want to be, you know, careful here that we're not speaking against this, this preacher per se. I don't know, though the context that he said in it. But I'm saying that perhaps this preacher himself didn't intend for his words to be broadcast in such a manner that even Islamophobes in India would be trying to make a an incorrect point out of this. And I say this because, frankly, even though I don't agree with the sentiment expressed by the Speaker, I can understand where he's coming from, and I can understand that He probably wanted to encourage
the people in that audience to please
And not that he was trivializing murder, but rather that he was encouraging prayer and He used the terminology or language that he thought would be effective. But still, with all of these caveats and introduction, let us get to the crux of the matter which your question is that is it true that leaving the Salah is worse than murder and rape and stealing drugs and all of this? So, we need to understand where this notion is coming from where this claim that leaving the Salah is worse than murder is coming from the claim. This this phrase that the one who does not pray is worse than the murder. This phrase does not occur in the Quran. It does not occur in the sun. No, it does not occur
upon the tongues of any of the Sahaba or Tabby rune or the early interstellar for the scholars of this ummah. It is not a phrase that is divinely revealed or divinely sanctioned. It is a derived phrase, based upon a opinion that is a minority opinion in some legal and theological schools. So the phrase that the one who leaves the Salah is worse than the murderer. Once again, it is not a Quran, it is not sooner, it is an extrapolation from an opinion okay. And that opinion is a minority opinion in the grand scheme of things, but it is a legitimate opinion. What is that opinion? That opinion is that listen to this carefully. There is a minority opinion that the one who abandons the
salah has committed a sin worse than any sin that you can do against a human being because they the claim is would have been is the one who abandons the Salah is not a Muslim has committed Cofer. Okay, so this is the opinion who said this opinion. The opinion was stated by Imam Muhammad Abdullah humble, and it is generally speaking, predominant in the humbly school. The Shaffir is the Hanafi is the Maliki's they do not agree with this opinion. But Imam Muhammad, the humble and his later followers in particular, it been to me and I'll call you in but a whole lot. I know they were very clear in this position of theirs, that the one who abandons the prayer, that's called a tactical
Salah has committed Cofer and we know that Cofer is a bigger sin than the sins against mankind, right? shear is the biggest sin in Islam. And so we know that Kufa and shear are the biggest sins. So if the one who has abandoned Salah has committed Cofer, then we can state or that group can state that abandoning or Salah is worse than murder. And from this we can extrapolate again, this is like one plus one plus one and you keep on extrapolating each one of these you have to you know, go along from this. Somebody can claim that all if you leave one prayer, you know, this is worse than murder. This is where it is coming from. Now, again, to go back to the very beginning.
There is a legitimate opinion that the one who abandons the salah has committed coup for now, this is not the q&a right now to get into that controversy. I don't mind maybe another q&a. I will go into this controversy of the classical schools of law. Why did Imam Muhammad say this and why didn't even Taymiyah say this and why didn't even know podium say this? And there have the evidence is which you know, from their perspective of very crystal clear, there's a hadith in Sahih Muslim, that the treaty or the covenant that I have with my followers, basically is the Salah, whoever abandons it has committed Cofer Formentera Kochava Kotka for this is a prophetic Hadith. So Imam Muhammad in
the humble understood from this, that the one who leaves Salah tatical, Salah is a Kaffir now this is the humbly position. By the way interesting. There's conversation reported in a suitcase called the famous chef for a scholar that it is said that Imam Muhammad Imam Shafi we're debating this issue Imam Shafi was the teacher of Imam Muhammad Imam Muhammad steady from Shadow they knew each other for a number of years. So it is said that Imam Shafi asked him a Muhammad do you say that the one who leaves the salah is a Kaffir and Imam Muhammad said yes, I do. So Imam Shafi said okay, if he has left the Salah, how does he reenter Islam? How does he re embrace the faith? So Imam Muhammad
said he must say La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasool Allah to re enter into Islam, Imam Shafi said, but the man never abandoned La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasool Allah such that he has to reiterate it, the man never abandoned Lai La La he's believing lai lai La La Muhammad Rasul Allah. He hasn't just prayed. He simply hasn't prayed. So why should he repeat what he hasn't abandoned? So according to this conversation, this narration, Imam Ahmed was silent and then he responded, so he must reenter Islam by praying the salah. That's how he's going to re enter Islam because he has, according to this opinion, left Islam
So how shall he re enter? So the first point was that he should say the Kalima, Imam Shafi said, but he never abandoned the Karema why should he repeat it? So Imam Muhammad said, okay, he must pray and that prayer will be considered to be entering Islam. So Imam Shafi said, but you are telling him to pray. And you just called him a cafe and the calf his prayer is not accepted. So his prayer will not be accepted because he's a coffered. So how then do you expect him to re embrace the faith? And so according to this anecdote, there was no response to this. So again, we have to take this with a grain of salt. This is coming from a soup key and you know who a soup key isn't his biases we have
to understand. Yeah, but still, it's an interesting anecdote that demonstrates the philosophy of the one who abandons the prayer versus the one who doesn't abandon prayer point being Imam Shafi Imam Malik anima Hanifa they all said, the one who abandons the prayer out of laziness has committed a sin but He is not a Kaffir. He is a Muslim, and Mr. Mahajan humble said the one who abandons the prayer has left Islam. Now, as we said, since Cofer is the worst sin and it is not forgivable. Therefore, based on that the one who abandons the salah has indeed committed a sin that is generically worse than other sins if you follow the humbly school. However, there's a number of
points that need to be mentioned here. Firstly, what does it mean to abandon the salah? Does it mean that you never pray at all? Or does it mean that you don't pray the majority? Or does it mean that you just don't pray one Salah which is apparently what the speaker said, actually, if you read it okay with me and others, it seems very clear to me and Allah knows best that their opinion is not what this preacher said that their opinion by abandoning the Sunnah means the one who has left the Salah in totality, the one who never prays at all in his life, the one who never does such the ever, that is what they meant by daddy goo or Salah, the one who has left and abandon the salah.
Nonetheless, it is true that very, very few voices, even in modern times, they followed what I would call a very extreme position. And that is that the one who abandons one Salah, the Hadith, and this ruling applies on him. This is a minority opinion within the minority opinion of the Humber the school because the default of the method would be that the abandonment of sunnah is to the total abandonment, the one who never prays whatsoever. So this is the first issue we need to understand that the hammer the school is saying, the one who never prays ever in his whole life, that sin is bigger than the sin of anything against mankind. Secondly, and this is a key point that perhaps the
speaker did not know or did not realize or did not express whatever, but it wasn't said
the gravity of the sin is different than the potential of forgiveness of the sin. And we need to differentiate between those two sins between man and Allah. No matter how grave and big they might be, also have the potential to be forgiven with ultimate ease. Allah forgives the biggest sins against him, for the one who repents, in contrast to this sins between mankind, even if small, might be extremely difficult to forgive if the other person does not forgive. So to claim even if one was humbly, even if one followed that minority opinion, to claim that, you know, leaving the Salah is worse than murder.
In one aspect, the gravity of the sin Yes, they are correct. But in terms of forgiveness, no, that phrase is incorrect. Because the one who has committed a sin against Allah, all they need to do is to say a staffer, Allah stuff for Allah staford Allah, they repent, they have in an ADAMA, or regret in their heart, and if they are sincere, it shall be forgiven. I mean, how does a mushrik repent by simply saying La ilaha illa Allah and all of that should is forgiven, right? As for the murder, he can ask 1000 times, but if the family of the murdered and if the murdered person himself does not forgive on the Day of Judgment, of what use is that right? As for the one who has done backbiting
which is infinitely smaller than murder, right? If the one upon whom who you have back Viton he does not forgive you, how will you be forgiven? You must give him some good deeds, you must pay the penalty for that. So dear sister, one needs to differentiate between the enormity of the sin and between the potential for forgiveness and
And when you understand this point, then this phrase becomes incorrect according to the potential for forgiveness. And it might be correct, according to the humbly school accord, if you look at the enormity of the sin, so we have to be very, you know, cognizant of this distinction here. And I will also like to point out, you know, and this is advice to me as well, because this has happened to me as well, that those who are you know, preaching and teaching Islam, and that includes me, we need to be extra careful about such evil people taking our 10 second clips and distorting them, we need to be very cognizant of what we're teaching and preaching. I mean, I have no doubt Inshallah, even
though I don't know, the brother or whatnot. But I have no doubt that this preacher who said this, you know, is following the humbly school he's following the humbly position. He's read it in some books, and he thinks this is the correct opinion. And that's his prerogative. I mean, it's a minority opinion, but it's his prerogative, I have no doubt that he intended good for his audience, he intended his audience to, to, to pray, and that's a good thing. But given the world that we live in, and given the, the, you know, the reality of you know, the internet and putting everything online, and so easy to misunderstand, and to miss read and to, to take out of context, I advise
myself first and foremost, because again, as I said, this happened to me multiple times, and all of us who are preaching and teaching that we be extra careful and don't just give ammunition, you know, with no intention to to so to Islamophobes that again, it happens to the best of us. And I speak as somebody who has 1000s of videos online, Allah azza wa jal knows how many times somebody has taken a second 10 Second, and sometimes I might actually make a mistake, I mean, I'm a human being and sometimes I say something and it is interpreted in a different way and sometimes the wording is inappropriate. So, they take that 10 Second, and you know, a huge thing is raised over it. So, we
have to be careful, but no matter what we do, we cannot guarantee But still these types of sentiments to say that to the one who abandons one prayer is worse than the murder, any even if you follow this sentiment and follow the humbly school, I advise people who have such any, you know, opinions are one that that they should think about the repercussions of what is going to happen when such an opinion is said and the Dawa of Islam Vianney might be misunderstood in this regard. And if you hold such a position, then preach it in a manner that is wise preach it in a manner that is going to contextualize and develop it like you know, I have just explained that you can say the
gravity of the sin is worse, but the potential for forgiveness is much easier, because you cannot compare I mean, you know, subhanAllah The reality is that, would you rather live next to a you know, practicing Christian or a mass murderer? Which one would you live even though we know that shirk is worse than the sin of you know, killing people, but still, yeah, I knew what would you in terms of psychology in terms of society in terms of civil duty and whatnot? Would you rather live next to a mass murder or next to a church going Christian, how can you compare the two so the sin in the eyes of Allah subhanho wa Taala is one thing and the potential for forgiveness. And the evil factor in
our own society is another thing. Allah azza wa jal explicitly allows non Muslims to live in a Muslim land and to practice their faith. And we are not allowed to, you know, give shelter to murderers and criminals, right? Think about that. So we have to be a little bit careful in how we understand and phrase these things and preach in in the best manner. So to conclude this question, the phrase abandoning the one who leaves one prayer is worse than the murder. This phrase is not Quranic. It is not a prophetic, it is not a hadith, it is not a statement of a Sahabi. It's not a statement of the early self of this ummah. However, it is a derived phrase, based upon a minority
opinion in Islamic faith and Islamic law. And even those scholars who held such an opinion,
would perhaps not phrase it in the way that perhaps this preacher has phrased it without all of the necessary caveat and without explaining the context behind, you know, a such a phrase because it's so easy to be misunderstood. So, firstly, again, it is a minority opinion that the one who abandons the salah has committed Cofer. Secondly, the the difference of what it means to abandon and humbly positions default ruling is that abandonment is total abandonment. Thirdly, we differentiate between the gravity of the sin and the potential for forgiveness and the disgust factor. The gravity for the humble ease might be more, but not the potential for forgiveness that is much less it is much easier
to be forgiven for a sin between you and Allah versus a sin between you and man, and also the disgust factor the revolting factor, there is no question that the murder you know, you look at him in a way and the rapist and the whatnot and the pedophile and whatnot. That is the thing that brings about a level of of intense disgust and anger. And yeah,
Allah azza wa jal allows the advocate and the added him to, you know, practice their faith in the in in an Islamic land in an ideal Islamic land and of course we don't morally agree but they have the legal right to do that so that indicates that it's not the same level as these types of crimes and ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada knows best I hope that insha Allah that answers your question
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