Question: A man knows that to obey one’s parents is Waajib (obligatory) but he has been betrothed to a woman by his parents and he knows that the woman (he is betrothed to) does not pray. So if he were to reject this betrothal, would it be considered disobedience or not?
Answer: It is not from disobedience. And it is not permissible for him to marry a woman who does not pray. Because abandoning the prayer is major Kufr (disbelief) from the correct opinion of the Scholars. And due to the statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم):
“The covenant between us and them (the disbelievers) is As-Salaat (prayer) so whoever abandons it has disbelieved.”
And the hadeeth:
“Between the slave and disbelief is the abandonment of As-Salaat.” (Narrated by Muslim)
And it is because it (prayer) is a pillar of Islaam. And a group from Ahlul ‘Ilm (the Scholars) have the opinion that to abandon the prayer is negligence and falling short, minor Kufr and a sin, and that it does not make one a Kaafir if he still affirms its obligation and he knows that it is obligatory. But that which is the correct opinion is the first opinion and it is that abandonment of the prayer makes one a Kaafir even though he did not negate its obligation as has come in the previous hadeeths. And some of the Scholars have cited the consensus of the Companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) regarding this issue.
In any case, the one who does not pray is the one who is not to be married. And it is not befitting for a Muslim to marry her (the woman who does not pray). And the parents are not to be obeyed in this. Not the parents, nor anyone other than them. Because of the statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم):
“Indeed, obedience is only in that which is good.”
And his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) statement:
“There is no obedience to the creation in disobedience to the Creator.”
And Allaah is the Grantor of tawfeeq (success).