#277: The Prayer of a Person Who is Always in Sin


Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling of a prayer of a person who is always sinning? For example, a person who always takes prohibited matters such as taking drugs, is his prayer valid? Hope for an explanation.


Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

Prayer is a major obligation in Islam. It is the most honoured worship that plays an important role in developing the character and Islam of a person. Thus, it is crucial for us to understand the truth of this worship.

Al-Hasan al-Basri once said: “O children of Adam, prayer is worship that can help prevent you from sin and transgression. If your prayer doesn’t prevent you from sin and transgression, then actually you haven’t prayed.” [1] According to this advice, we can understand that a true prayer performed will have a positive effect on the character of a person.

Allah SWT states:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١﴾ الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ

“Certainly, will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive.” [2]

Imam al-Baghawi said, scholars have differing opinions in interpreting the meaning of humbly submissive in Allah SWT’s statement “الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَThey who are during their prayer humbly submissive (khusyuk). However, they agreed that being humbly submissive is an important element for a high-quality prayer.

According to Syeikh Muhammad Rashid Ridha, the meaning of being humbly submissive in prayer is a result of true faith which consequently leads to the deed. Khusyuk is the effect of the feeling khasyatullah in the heart which overflows to one’s actions, feelings and the calmness in his sight and humbleness. While khusyuk in one’s voice is through the mellowness of the voice and polite language just like the khusyuk in other body parts. [4]

Coming back to the above question, this issue us mentioned by jurists as infikak al-jihah (separation of parts). In this issue, if the prayer performed follows the requisites and valid conditions then it is valid and doesn’t need to be replaced.

While, in terms of whether Allah SWT will accept the prayer from him depends solely on the knowledge of Allah SWT not known by anyone. However, for every human who is a Muslim, he should reflect on the statement of Allah SWT:

إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ

“Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].” [5]

Imam Ibn Kathir said when commenting on this verse: “(Indeed Allah SWT only accepts) from the people of taqwa in the performance of worship.” [6]

According to the above verse, it clearly shows us that Allah SWT only accepts the deeds that are from the people who have taqwa. Taqwa here includes the act of distancing oneself from shirk and sins as well as obeying all the commandments of Allah SWT. The same is described in a hadith narrated from Abu Hurairah R.Anha, Rasullullah PBUH said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ طَيِّبٌ لاَ يَقْبَلُ إِلاَّ طَيِّبًا

“Allah the Almighty is Good and accepts only that which is good.” [7]

Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali Rahimahullah when commenting on this hadith said: What is meant by this hadith is: Indeed, Allah SWT is pure and clean from any deficiency and deformity. He also said that a more general meaning of this hadith is: Indeed, Allah SWT doesn’t accept any worship except if it is pure from any damage such as the feeling of riya’ (pretending virtuousness) and ‘ujub (vanity). Allah will also not accept any property except if it is pure and halal. [8]


Generally, we state the prayer that fulfils the requisites and valid conditions of prayer is valid and releases the zimmah (responsibility) of the person.

However, if the person who prayed continues to commit prohibited acts such as taking drugs and others, it means his prayer doesn’t have a good effect on him. Allah SWT states:

إنَّ الصَّلاَةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ

“Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing,” [9]

Likewise, in an athar from Abdullah bin Mas’ud RA, he said:

مَنْ لَمْ تَنْهَهُ صَلَاتُهُ عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنْكَرِ لَمْ يَزْدَدْ مِنَ اللهِ إِلَّا بُعْدًا

“Whoever whose prayer doesn’t prevent him from sins and transgressions, his status to Allah don’t increase even a little except the distance becomes further.”

We pray may Allah SWT accept all our good deeds and grant us a prayer that prevents us from sins and transgressions. Amin.

Wallahu a’lam.


[1] See al-Durr al-Manthur, 6/466

[2] (Surah al-Mukminun: 1-2)

[3] See Ma’alim al-Tanzil, 5/408

[4] See Tafsir al-Manar, 1/301

[5] Surah al-Maidah (27)

[6] See Tafsir al-Quran al-‘Azim, 3/85

[7] Narrated by Muslim (1015)

[8] See Jami’ al-‘Ulum wa al-Hikam, 1/258

[9] Surah al-Ankabut (45)