A man prays but persistently leaves off doing so, and this is his state. What is your advice to him?
Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Bāz:
It is obligatory for every muslim and muslimah to have fear of Allāh ﷻ always. Prayer is a pillar of Islām and the greatest and most important of the obligated affairs after the 2 testimonies of faith. So, it is obligatory for every muslim and for every muslimah to give great care and attention to the prayer and guard it, just as Allāh ﷻ has said:
Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Ṣalawāt (the prayers) especially the middle Salāt (i.e. the best prayer – ‘Aṣr) – [Q 2:238]
And Allāh ﷻ said:
And establish prayer and give zakāh and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]. – [Q 2:43]
And He ﷻ said
And establish prayer and give zakāh and obey the Messenger ﷺ – that you may receive mercy. – [Q 24:56]
Prayer is the most important of the righteous actions and the greatest action after the two testimonies of faith. Whoever preserves them, preserves his religion and whoever loses them, then everything besides that for him is lost. As for the one who performs it (prayer) sometimes, but leaves it off sometimes then he is a disbeliever according to the most correct statement of the scholars – We ask Allāh ﷻ to save us – regardless of whether he denies its obligation or not. This is due to the statement of Allāh’s Messenger ﷺ: “The covenant that distinguishes between us and them is the prayer, so whoever abandons it has indeed disbelieved.” Reported by Aḥmad and the people of the Sunan, authentic from the chain of Buraydah bin al Ḥuṣayb. And due to his ﷺ statement: “Between a man and disbelief and polytheism is the abandonment of the prayer.” Reported by Imām Muslim in his Ṣaḥīḥ And this is also due to other aḥādith in this regard.