[Q]: A brother from an MSA (Muslim Students' Association) in Maʿan, Jordan asks in his question: What is the ruling on one who died and did not pray [during his lifetime], though his parents are Muslim? And, how should he be treated with respect to the washing [of his body], shrouding, and prayer over him, burial, supplication, and asking for mercy upon him?
[A]: Any responsible adult, who dies [knowing the Islamic ruling concerning prayer] and did not pray, is a disbeliever. He is not washed or prayed over, nor is he buried in the Muslim cemetery. His [Muslim] relatives do not inherit from him. Rather, his wealth is for the Muslim’s state treasury, according to the strongest opinion amongst the scholars. [This is] based on the authentic ḥadīth [in which the] Prophet [ṣallallāhu ʿalayhī wa-sallam] stated: “Between a man and shirk [associating partners with Allāh] and kufr [disbelief] there stands his abandonment of the prayer.” This was reported by Imām Muslim in his Ṣaḥīḥ. The Prophet [ṣallallāhu ʿalayhī wa-sallam] also stated: “The vow [religious commitment] that is between us and them [the hypocrites] is the prayer. He that abandons it has committed disbelief.” This was reported by Aḥmad and the compilers of the sunan with an authentic chain from the ḥadīth of Buraydaah raḍī Allāhu ‘anhu.
And, ʿAbdullāh ibn Shaqīq al-‘Uqaylee, the noble follower, may Allāh’s mercy be upon him, stated: “The companions of the Prophet [ṣallallāhu ʿalayhī wasallām] did not consider abandonment on anything as disbelief, except [the abandonment of] the prayer.” And, the aḥādīth and reports with this connotation are many.
This is regarding the one who abandoned [prayer] due to laziness and who did not deny it as being obligatory. And, for the one who doesn’t accept it as being compulsory, then he is a disbeliever (also), who apostatized from Islām, according to all of the people of knowledge.
We beseech Allāh to set aright the affairs of the Muslims and to [lead them to] pursue the straight path, for He is the All-Hearing Responder.
Published in the Arabic magazine, issue #187 in the month of Sha’baan, 1413 Hijr (Majmūʿ al-Fataawa of Shaykh ibn Bāz)
Original Arabic: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/book/m010.pdf - See page #250
Translated by Umm Ṣufyān