Question: What is the ruling concerning a person who died and he did not pray, although his parents were Muslims? How should he be dealt with concerning the washing of his body, shrouding, prayer, burial, supplications and asking for mercy upon him?
Response: Any sane adult person who dies and does not pray, given that he knows the Islaamic ruling about prayer, is a disbeliever. He is not to be washed nor should he be prayed over. He is not to be buried in the Muslim cemetery. His Muslim relatives do not inherit from him. In fact, his wealth is to be given to the state treasury according to the strongest opinion among the scholars. This is based on the authentic hadeeth in which the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said, “Between a person and kufr (disbelief) and shirk (associating partners with Allaah) is the abandonment of the prayer.” This was recorded by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) also said, “The covenant dividing us and them is the prayer. Whoever abandons it has committed kufr (apostasy).” This was recorded by Ahmad and the Compilers of the Sunan with an authentic chain from the Hadeeth of Buraydah. ‘Abdullaah ibn Shaqeeq al-‘Aqeelee, one of the Noble Followers, stated, “The Companions of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) did not consider the abandonment of any act as kufr except the [abandonment of] prayer.” There are many Ahaadeeth and reports with that meaning. This is concerning the one who does not pray out of laziness. The one who refuses to accept it as being obligatory is an apostatising disbeliever according to all of the scholars of Islaam.
We ask Allaah to make the affairs of the Muslims good and lead them to follow the Straight Path. He is the All-Hearing, the Responder.