What do our learned scholars state about the following: There is a Hanafi scholar who declares that anyone who does not perform Salah is a Kafir and Murtad (apostate); it is not permissible to perform his Janaza prayer and it is also impermissible to bury him amongst the Muslims in their graveyard. Is this statement correct? Three persons were buried without their Janaza prayer performed; what is the ruling of the Sacred Law about this? There is no Muslim on the face of this earth who will not have performed the Eid or Jum’a prayer or performed the five prayers, though irregularly.
After having corrected one’s beliefs and Iman, the most significant and the greatest right of Allah ﷻ is to perform Salah. Only sufficing on performing the Eid or the Jum’a prayer or irregularly performing the five obligatory prayers will not in anyway make that person free of the responsibility, nor will it guarantee safety for that person.
Anyone who deliberately misses one Salah, is worthy of the staying in the Hell for a thousand years, until he repents sincerely and performs the Qadha of that missed prayer. If the Muslims boycott him, cease talking to him or sitting near him, then surely he is worthy of this.
However, after a Sunni who holds correct beliefs passes away, then to bathe him, shroud and bury him is Fardh Qat’i ala al-Kifaya with the exception of those who have been exempted [and this person in question is not from them].
If everyone abandons these rites and neglects them, then whosoever was informed shall be sinful, guilty of being neglectful of an obligatory action and thus worthy of punishment.
The person who buried three Muslims without having performed the funeral prayer is a Fasiq (major sinner) and liable to a painful torment. Anyone who – despite believing its obligation – misses prayer, but does not degrade it, though he misses it due to empowerment of his lower self and the shaytan, is a major sinner and worthy of the punishment of hellfire.
However, despite this, he is not a Kafir, a rebellion, or a highway robber but a Muslim who has destroyed himself. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ : ‘It is incumbent [Fardh] upon you to perform the Funeral prayer over every Muslim whether he is pious or sinful, even if he is a major sinner.’ This is with the exception of four [persons]: a rebel, a robber, one who is killed in a battle, one who loots the residents of a city at night having taken weapons with him, one who strangles someone to death or one who kills any of his parents (Durr al-Mukhtar).
And Allah Most-High knows best.
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan رحمة الله تعالى عليه
Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari Translator of Majestic Quran, www.majesticquran.co.uk