…And find the KEY to Success!
Praise be to Allaah who made Salah or Prayer the most important obligatory acts of worship. It is a unique form of worship by which we as Muslims direct our body, mind and heart towards the Sacred Kaába to praise, glorify, thank and supplicate to Allah – the Lord of the worlds. It is strong connection and an intimate meeting between Allah the most High and His servants. It is the only type of worship which was ordered to the Prophet not in this world but in Paradise during his trip called “Míraj” and it is the first thing that the servant of Allah shall be called to account on the Day of Judgment. Allah says,
“Recite what was revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer.” [29:45]
Prayer in congregation is fard/obligatory for healthy men in the masjid, according to the more correct scholarly opinion. This is based on a great deal of evidence. Allaah says: “When you (O Messenger Muhammad) are among them, and lead them in As-Salaah (the prayer), let one party of them stand up [in Salaah (prayer)] with you taking their arms with them; when they finish their prostrations, let them take their positions in the rear and let the other party come up which have not yet prayed, and let them pray with you” [al-Nisa’ 4:102]
This verse speaks about the Prayer during conditions of FEAR..as in wars, battles, e.t.c. Even in such harsh conditions Allah commands the believing men to pray in Jamaáh!!
The following points are made on the basis of this verse:
- Allaah commands them to pray in congregation, then He repeats this command a second time with regard to the second party or group, as He says, “and let the other party come up which have not yet prayed, and let them pray with you”. This indicates that prayer in congregation is an obligation for all individuals, because Allaah did not absolve the second group of this obligation as a result of the first group praying in congregation. If prayer in congregation was Sunnah, it would be more appropriate for people to be excused from it at times of fear [the situation referred to in this verse], and if it were fard kifaayah (a communal obligation), it would be discharged by the actions of the first group. So this verse shows that it is an individual obligation, and demonstrates that in three ways: it is enjoined at the beginning, then it is enjoined a second time, and there is no concession allowing them not to do it “”even”” at times of fear.
- Allah says: “And perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, and bow down (or submit yourselves with obedience to Allaah) along with Ar-Raaki‘oon (those who bow).” [al-Baqarah 2:43]
The way in which this verse may be taken as evidence is that here Allaah commanded them to bow, which refers to prayer. Prayer is described as rukoo’ (bowing) here because bowing is one of the pillars or essential parts of the prayer, and prayer is sometimes referred to by its pillars and obligatory components, as Allaah calls it sujood (prostration), Qur’aan and Tasbeeh (glorification of Allaah). And the phrase “along with Ar-Raaki‘oon (those who bow)” cannot mean anything other than doing it with a congregation of worshippers.
- It is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, I had thought of ordering that wood be gathered, then I would command the call to prayer to be given, and I would appoint a man to lead the people in prayer, then I would go to men [who do not attend the congregational prayer] and burn their houses down around them. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if anyone of you had known that he would receive a bone covered with meat or two (small) pieces of meat in a sheep’s foot, he woul
Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The fact that he was thinking of burning down the houses of people who did not attend the prayer is the clearest evidence that attending prayer in congregation is obligatory, because it would not be permissible for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to do this with regard to something that was mustahabb and not obligatory. [Al-Awsat, 4/134]d come for ‘Isha’ prayer.” [Al-Bukhaari, 7224; Muslim, 651].
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are ‘Isha’ and Fajr. If they knew what (reward) is in them, they would come to them even if they had to crawl. I was thinking of ordering that the call to prayer be given, then I would tell a man to lead the people in prayer, and I would go out with men carrying bundles of wood to people who do not come to the prayers, and I would burn their houses with fire around them.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 626; Muslim, 651]
This hadeeth indicates that prayer in congregation is an individual obligation, not a communal one, because if it was a communal obligation and some had done it, why would others have deserved the punishment? There is no punishment except for one who neglects an obligatory duty or does something that is haraam.
Once it is established that prayer in congregation is obligatory, it is obligatory to perform this prayer in the mosque.It is not permissible for a man who is able to attend the congregational prayer in the mosque to pray in his house even if he prays in congregation with his family.
It is obligatory for the Muslim to pray in the mosque in congregation, as it says in the hadeeth of Ibn Umm Maktoom – who was a blind man. He said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I do not have a guide to lead me to the mosque,” and he asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to grant him a concession allowing him to pray in his house, and he allowed him that, but when he turned away he called him back and asked, “Can you hear the call to prayer?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Then answer it.” [Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, 635.]
If there is no concession for a blind man who had no one to lead him, it is more appropriate that there should be no concession for others.And it was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever hears the call to prayer and does not come, there is no prayer for him [i.e., his prayer is not valid], unless he has an excuse.” [Narrated by Ibn Maajah]
It was said to Ibn ‘Abbaas, what is an excuse? He said, Fear or sickness.
In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Ibn Mas’ood said: “At the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) we used to think that no one failed to attend the prayer in congregation but a hypocrite or one who was sick.”
Therefore, the believer is required to pray in the mosque, and it is not permissible for him to take the matter lightly and pray in his house or in his workplace or office even when there is loads of work piled up, because you can close the books, computers and offices in order to go and pray. The boss has no right to stop employees from praying in congregation.
Hence there is no comparison between prayer in congregation at home and prayer in congregation in the mosque. The reward and virtue come from praying in congregation in the masjid.
Ibn Hurayrah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “[The scholars] were unanimously agreed that the smallest number that counts for prayer in congregation, apart from Jumu’ah prayer, is two: the imam and the person who is praying behind him, who should stand to his right.” [Al-Ifsaah, 1/155]
The congregation that is greater in number is more beloved to Allaah – and we shall quote the relevant hadeeth below – but there is no room for comparison of other rewards, such as the number of steps that the worshipper takes to the mosque, or coming early to pray, and Allaah preparing a welcome in Paradise every time he comes and goes, and so on. These rewards are denied to the one who prays in his house, unless he is one who regularly prays in the mosque but is kept from doing so by sickness or some other reason, in which case a reward will be decreed for him like that which he used to do.
Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us the ways of guidance, and told us that one of the way of guidance is to pray in the mosque when the call to prayer is given.” [Narrated by Muslim]
It was narrated that ‘Ali said: “There is no prayer for a neighbour of the mosque except in the mosque.” It was said, “Who is the neighbour of the mosque?” He said, “Whoever can hear the muezzin.”
In conclusion let us look at these beautiful verses of Surah An Nur, in which Allah [subhanahu wa ta’ala] says;
“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things. [Such niches are] in mosques which Allah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings… [Are] men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about – That Allah may reward them [according to] the best of what they did and increase them from His bounty. And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account.”
(Surah an Nur 35-38)
SubhanAllahi wa bihamdihi!!! :)
So, Come, Dear Brothers in Islam….Let us Answer the Call of Allah and enjoy the awesome increase in our provisions.., along with Peace & Success in this World and the Hereafter!