The Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alayhe wasallam, said; 'Between a man and disbelief is (only) the abandonment of salaah.' [Muslim] He, salla Allaahu 'alayhe wasallam, also said; 'The first thing for which the servant (of Allaah) shall be called to account for (on the Day of Reckoning), is the Salaah. If it was good, then the rest of his deeds are good and if it was bad, then the rest of his deeds are bad.' [At-Tabaraanee]
Allaah, subhaanahu wata'aala, and then His Prophet, Muhamaad, salla Allaahu 'alayhe wasallam, emphasised the importance of Salaah (Prayer). He, subhaanahu wata'aala, said: "Then there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up prayers and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell." [Maryam:59]
Also: "Every person is a pledge for what he has earned. Except those on the Right; (i.e. the pious true believers). In Gardens, they will ask one another concerning the guilty, 'What has caused you to enter Hell?'
They will say, 'We were not of those who used to pray ..." [Al-Muddathir: 38-43]
So to all those who abandon the prescribed Prayers, we ask: what will be your position on that terrible day when Allaah will resurrect you? On the Day of Judgement the Prophet, salla Allaahu alayhe wasallam, will indeed turn you away from his Hawd, (the Pond), where the true believers will be gathered with him, all because you have abandoned the salaah! Is this the condition you wish to be in?
He, salla Allaahu alayhe wasallam, will certainly know his true followers, who will be recognised from the brightness of their skins, this being the traces of their Wudoo’ (ablutions). So a person who abandons salaah will also be recognised since there will be no signs of the Wudoo’ on him!
Know that Allaah, subhaanahu wata aala, has cursed Shaytaan and on the Day of Judgement he will be thrown into Hell because he was too proud to prostrate to Aadam, alayhis-salaam, when ordered to. Such is the condition of the one who failed to prostrate to Allaah, subhaanahu wata aala and disobeyed His orders, so how will it be for the person who failed to prostrate in Salaah?
We should seriously ponder over the following example, which shows how worried the Khaleefah Umar ibn al-Khattaab, radiya Allaahu anhu, was about the affairs of the people under his rule, especially their salaah. When he was stabbed, he fell down unconscious and when he, radiya Allaahu anhu, regained consciousness, the very first thing he uttered was, 'Did the people pray?' They said 'Yes' to which he replied, 'No Islaam for him, he who abandons salaah.'