When I was living on campus at uni there were a lot of Muslim international students who were living there too. They were really proud of their Muslim identity but they didn't seem to follow the rules of Islam all that strictly, e.g. they didn't always eat halal food, they didn't pray 5 times a day, they joked around about having sex with the girls on campus (presumably that's haram unless you marry them first).

Now I'm working at a software development company and there are a couple of Muslims working here too. I've never ever seen them pull out a prayer mat and start praying Salat in all my time at the company, but I would expect to have seen it at least once if they are supposedly praying five times a day.

Now, I'm confused. If Muslims have an obligation to pray five times a day why do none of the Muslims that I know do that? Is there some sort of automatic dispensation from the requirement to pray if you live in a non-Muslim country? Or are these guys just breaking the rules? And if they are breaking the rules, what are the consequences? Will Allah punish them in Hell? Will they only get 71 virgins in heaven instead of 72? (I mean no disrespect in saying that)

In short, what happens if you fail to pray five times a day?


For a lot of Muslims, especially those living in non-Muslim majority countries, prayer tends to be quite inconvenient, because it can disrupt your daily activities or routine. For many, praying in public is embarrassing because for people who don't know what you're doing, it can look weird. As a result, many Muslims skip prayers, even though praying is mandatory.

Although it is clear that skipping prayers is a sin, I don't think there's a consensus on the severity of punishment for doing so. It is dependent on factors like whether you repent, whether you skip prayers consistently, et cetera.


Prayer is the second pillar of Islam, and is mentioned probably over 100 times in the Qur'an. Failing to perform prayer during the prescribed times is a sin: It's listed as Major Sin 4 in Major Sins by Imam Shamsu ed-Deen Dhahabi (pdf). See also If someone do not pray 5 time, is he/she Kafer?

...why do none of the Muslims that I know do that?

They will have their own individual reasons; it's not appropriate to speculate. However, maybe they actually perform their five prayers, but you just don't notice. When I've asked people in the past, they've replied: "I pray in my heart", "I'm not all that devout", and "we only need to pray three times per day". I pray five times per day.

Is there some sort of automatic dispensation from the requirement to pray if you live in a non-Muslim country?

No. IslamWeb write:

With respect to the matter of immigration from a non-Muslim country to a Muslim country ... Those who cannot fulfill their religious obligations and commands, or fear temptation, (i.e., face hardship due to the bad environment and the prevalence of disbelief in the place where they dwell). These Muslims are obliged to migrate.

And if they are breaking the rules, what are the consequences? Will Allah punish them in Hell? Will they only get 71 virgins in heaven instead of 72? (I mean no disrespect in saying that)

Only Allah decides who goes to Hell or not. This is what He says (translated into English):

But there came after them successors who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil - Except those who repent, believe and do righteousness; for those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged at all. -- Qur'an 19:59-60

O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that - then those are the losers. -- Qur'an 63:9

So woe to those who pray [But] who are heedless of their prayer -- Qur'an 107:4-5

(It's possible the 72 virgins thing is just made up: Do Muslim martyrs really get 72 virgins in heaven?)

It will be questioned on the Day of Resurrection:

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: "The first thing for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his Salah. If it is found to be complete then it will be recorded as complete, and if anything is lacking He will say: 'Look and see if you can find any voluntary prayers with which to complete what he neglected of his obligatory prayers.' Then the rest of his deeds will be reckoned in like manner." -- Sunan an-Nasa'i 466 [grade: sahih] (sunnah.com)

In short, what happens if you fail to pray five times a day?

Aside from it being obligatory, there's a range of benefits to prayer; see e.g. bakkah.net. There's a section "The Benefits of Performing Prayers" listed in Major Sins above. One important one is

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, "If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?" They said, "Not a trace of dirt would be left." The Prophet (ﷺ) added, "That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds." -- Sahih al-Bukhari 528 (sunnah.com)


thus are Muslims by name or culture islam is say (testemony of faith) and act as Quran alawys insisted you are praying but with bad behavior (good manners are a branch of Iman/faith), you're a bad person then a bad Muslim you are with a good behavior but not fulfilling your acts of worship , bad Muslim also and you will get punished

The belief as defined by scholars as (a speech that is by the tongue, and a faith in the heart that leads one to complete the pillars of Islam. (Iman) increases by obedience and decreases by disobedience.

by leaving prayer you are going against the 5 pillars of Islam and you are going against the pillars of faith .

Belief consists of what you say with the tongue, what you believe sincerely in the heart, and what you do with the limbs. Belief increases when your actions increase and decreases when they decrease. So it is through actions or the lack of them that increase and decrease in belief occurs. The statement of belief is not complete without action. Neither statements nor actions are complete without intention (niyyah). And neither statements nor intentions are complete unless they are in accordance with the Sunna. No Muslim (= ahl al-Qibla) becomes an unbeliever (kafir) through [performing] wrong actions.(link)

may Allah guide us

“Say: O my slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh, verily Allâh forgives all sins. Truly, He is the Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Quran


Prayer is mandatory in All Conditions except a few conditions like he/she is in coma (and a few other medical conditions).

If they are not praying they are committing a very very major sin.

More Punishment For Leaving Salah (video)

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Indeed, I am Allah . There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.(Quran 20:14)

"Allah has obligated five prayers. Allah has promise that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that punishment is upon him." The prayers are a type of purification for a human being. He turns and meets with his Lord five times a day.

Those who pray submits to the Most High as observed during sujud and for someone who does not perform the obligatory prayer is as if he equate himself with Allah s.w.t. and may Allah have mercy on his soul.

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