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Virtues of a Congregational Prayer

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:
The prayer offered in congregation is twenty five times more superior (in reward) to the prayer offered alone in one’s house or in a business centre, because if one performs ablution and does it perfectly, and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for each step which he takes towards the mosque, Allah upgrades him a degree in reward and crosses out (forgives) one sin till he enters the mosque. When he enters the mosque he is considered in prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and the angels keep on asking for Allah’s forgiveness for him and they keep on saying: ‘O Allah! Be Merciful to him! O Allah! Forgive him!’ as long as he keeps on sitting at his praying place and does not pass wind.” (Reported by Al Bukhari 1/122, and Muslim 2/128)
The meaning of “If he enters the masjid, he shall be in Salah,” is that he shall take the same reward of the one who is offering Salah for “as long as he is waiting for the Prayer.”
SubhanAllah! How beautiful and easy is Islam!
`Abdur-Rahman ibn Abu `Amrah said: `Uthman ibn `Affan (رضي الله عنه) entered the masjid after Al Maghrib [Sunset] Salah and sat alone. I sat with him, thereupon he said: O my nephew, I heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying: “The one who performs `Isha’ Salah in congregation is as if he has performed Salah for half of the night. And the one who performs the Fajr Salah in congregation, is as if he has performed Salah the whole night.”
(Reported by Muslim 2/125)
Aws ibn Aws (رضي الله عنه) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “If anyone has a bath on Friday, and gives a bath, and goes early to the masjid, hears the imam’s sermon from the beginning, being near the imam and keeping quiet throughout then, for him a reward is credited against every step for a year’s fasting and standing in (Tahajjud) prayer.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi 2/367, who said it’s “a good Hadith”)
Here, “has a bath” means ‘washed his entire body’, “gives a bath” means ‘wash his head,’ and “goes early” means he is in the beginning of the time and hasted to it. (See: Ma`arif As-Sunan the explanation of Sunan At-Tirmidhi of Al Bannury 4/328 – 331).
After learning all these virtues, why do we stay behind and pray at home?
Isn’t this life just a passage of time?
May Allah help us race towards goodness in every which way we can! Aameen.

Written by: Sr. Amatullah B.M.



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