#247: Marriage Status If the Husband Doesn’t Pray


Assalamualaikum ustaz. Is the marriage of a person valid if she married a husband who doesn’t pray?


Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

Prayer is the foundation and pillar of Islam, hence whoever intentionally leaves it, then his Islam’s pillar is incomplete. This is as stated in a hadith from Ibnu Umar R.Anhuma, where Rasullullah PBUH said:

بُنِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ وَالْحَجِّ وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ

“Islam is based on five things: The testimony that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the observance of the prayer, the payment of zakat, the Pilgrimage, and the fast during Ramadan.” [1]

Prayer is the pillar and base of this religion. Without holding unto the religion, then the whole lives of people are rattled. Prayer is the obligation of every mukallaf Muslim. Allah SWT states:

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ

And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].” [2]

In the family institution, religion is a crucial element. Firm religious belief in marriage is the support of marriage happiness just like congregational prayer can strengthen the family ties. Allah SWT commanded s family leader to instruct and order his family members to pray. This commandment is recorded in the statement of Allah SWT:

وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَى

“And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein. We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the [best] outcome is for [those of] righteousness.”

Whereas a stern warning is issued by the shariah regarding those who didn’t perform the obligatory prayers. Allah SWT states:

مَا سَلَكَكُمۡ فِي سَقَرَ  قَالُواْ لَمۡ نَكُ مِنَ ٱلۡمُصَلِّينَ

“[And asking them], “What put you into Saqar?” They will say, “We were not of those who prayed,” [3]

Jabir Ra said, he heard the Prophet PBUH said:

إِنَّ بَيْنَ الرَّجُلِ وَبَيْنَ الشِّرْكِ وَالْكُفْرِ تَرْكَ الصَّلَاةِ

“Verily between man and between polytheism and unbelief is the negligence of prayer.” [4]

If a husband or family leader didn’t perform the prayer, then the first consideration should be the reason and excuse that lead to him not praying. If a person neglects prayer because he denies the obligation of prayer or he prays but at the same time he denies the obligation, then he is considered as a disbeliever and has denounced Islam according to the ijmak of the muslimin. [5]

It is narrated from Anas bin Malik RA, where Rasullullah PBUH said:

مَنْ تَرَكَ الصَّلَاةَ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَقَدْ كَفَرَ جِهَارًا

“Whoever intentionally leaves prayer then he has clearly disbelieved.” [6]

Imam al-Ghazali stated in Ihya` Ulum al-Din [7], narrated from Umar bin al-Khattab RA, Rasullullah PBUH said:

الصَّلاةُ عِمَادُ الدِّينِ فَمَنْ تَرَكَهَا فَقَدْ هَدَمَ الدِّينَ.

“Prayer is the pillar of religion, whoever leaves it, then he has destroyed his religion.” [8]

Imam al-Dzahabi also places the sin of leaving prayer as the gravest sin after practising magic. [9]

Marriage encouraged in Islam is on the condition that it is based on the shariah set. A valid and complete marriage is a marriage that fulfils all of its requisites and conditions. For every requisite, there are its own conditions. The requisites for marriage are the groom, bride, wali, two witnesses and the ijab and qabul utterance (sighah). The matter that should be considered further to ensure a valid marriage is the conditions for each requisite of marriage. [10]

According to the above question, the status of marriage is valid if the person leaves prayer due to laziness, he is considered to have committed a major sin according to madhhab al-Syafie but it doesn’t rule the person to have denounced Islam. However, there is no guarantee a person who neglects his prayer will be able to lead his family in accordance with the commandments of Allah SWT.

Let us all practise the concept of dakwah and at the same time the husband must supplicate daily to be able to perform and maintain prayer as supplicated by the Prophet Abraham AS recorded in the Quran as stated by Allah SWT:

رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ

“My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication.” [11]

May Allah SWT bless us with a pious spouse and family who always maintain their prayers and practise the shariah of Islam. We end this discussion with the supplication:

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

“Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”

Wallahu a’lam.


[1] Narrated by al-Bukhari (8)

[2] (Surah al-Baqarah: 43)

[3] Surah al-Mudatthir: 42

[4] Narrated by Muslim (82)

[5] See al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 3/14

[6] Narrated by al-Tabarani in Mu’jam al-Ausat (3/343). Al-Haithami stated in Majma’ al-Zawaid (1/300) that the Rijal is tsiqah, except Muhammad bin Abi Daud whose background is unknown.

[7] See Ihya` Ulum al-Din, (1/147)

[8] Narrated by al-Baihaqi in Syu’ab al-Iman (2807). Al-Murtdha al-Zabidi cited the words of Al-Iraqi in Takhrij Ahadith Ihya Ulumuddin (1/324) who stated: This hadith is narrated by al-Baihaqi in Syu`ab al-Iman with a weak sanad from the hadith of Umar.

[9] See al-Kabair, 1/12

[10] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 4/55-56

[11] Surah Ibrahim: 40

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