What is the status of this hadith?
الصَّلاةُ عِمادُ الدِّينِ
“Prayer is the pillar of religion.”
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
According to the above question, the stated hadith is a popular hadith in our society where most of us know and even have memorized it, for the hadith is frequently mentioned in sermons and lectures related to prayer.
Thus, in this series of Irsyad al-Hadith, we try to explain and discuss the authenticity of the hadith. First, we would like to start by stating the source of the hadith:
From Ibn Umar RA, he said, a man came and asked the Prophet PBUH about what are the things that are most beloved to Allah SWT in Islam? The Prophet PBUH answered:
الصَّلَاةُ لِوَقْتِهَا، وَمَنْ تَرَكَ الصَّلَاةَ فَلَا دِينَ لَهُ، وَالصَّلَاةُ عِمَادُ الدِّينِ
“Praying on time, whoever leaves the prayer then there is no religion for him and the prayer is the pillar of religion.”
Narrated by al-Baihaqi (2550) in al-Syu’ab
Here, we include the discussion of the scholars regarding the above hadith:
The Status of the Hadith
Among the conclusions of scholars regarding the status of the hadith:
- Imam al-Suyuthi states that the hadith is dhaif (weak). (See al-Jami’ al-Saghir, 2/64)
- Imam al-Sakhawi said that the above hadith is narrated by al-Baihaqi and its sanad (chain of narrators) is dhaif (weak). (See al-Mughni, 1/174)
- Imam al-Sakhawi states that the sanad is dhaif. He also states: Imam Ibn Solah said that it is an unknown hadith in Musykil al-Wasith and Imam al-Nawawi ruled the hadith as munkar (denounced) and bathil. (SeeMaqasid al-Hasanah, 427)
- Imam Mulla Ali al-Qari said that the hadith does not have a source or the source of the hadith is forged. (See al-Asrar al-Marfu’ah 236-237)
After analysing and reviewing the opinions of scholars regarding the above hadith, we are inclined in stating that the sanad of the hadith is dhaif because Imam al-Hakim said that ‘Ikrimah did not narrate the hadith from ‘Umar RA. However, the hadith is supported by another authentic hadith:
- From Mu’az bin Jabal RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
رَأْسُ الأَمْرِ الإِسْلَامُ، وَعَمُودُهُ الصَّلَاةُ، وَذِرْوَةُ سَنَامِهِ الجِهَادُ
“The head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is the prayer and its peak is jihad.”
Sunan al-Tirmizi (2616) [Imam al-Tirmizi states that this hadith is hasan sahih]
As a conclusion, the hadith is weak in term of its narration. However, the meaning of the hadith is authentic according to the hadith narrated by al-Tirmizi and other authentic hadiths which states the benefits of prayer. Lastly, may Allah SWT make us of those who preserve their prayers and those whose deeds are accepted. Amin.