Kafir: Describing one as
Q314 :In a discussion with a friend, I told him that
a person who deliberately omits to offer obligatory prayers is
considered a non-Muslim. I have heard from scholars that the criterion
which distinguishes Muslims from non-Muslims is prayer. My friend
argues that we cannot call anyone a 'kafir'. Please explain.
A314 : A person who denies the obligation of prayer
is certainly a non-believer, or 'kafir'. We have no hesitation in
describing him as such because he denies an essential point of our
religion which is commonly known to all. A person who omits to offer
one prayer every now and then cannot be described as a non-believer or
a 'kafir', because he acknowledges the duty of prayer and he practices
it. Its omission is certainly a sin of which he should repent properly.
Such a repentance cannot be described as proper unless it is
accompanied by stopping the omission completely. Your friend is
correct in being careful with regard to who can be described as
non-believer. He is not right, however, in saying that we cannot call a
non-Muslim a 'kafir', because the term 'kafir' means a non-Muslim.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )