When shall I see you in the congregational prayers?

Since 2012-11-21

This is a gentle reproach, which I whisper in your ears. I have scented it with love and care.

 

O Neighbor, when shall I see you in the congregational prayers?
 
In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
 
All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Alone. Prayers and peace of Allah be upon the seal of Messengers.
 
O dear neighbor,
 
Assalâmu alaikum wa rahmat-u-allah wa barakâtuh, (peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be upon you).
 
This is a gentle reproach, which I whisper in your ears. I have scented it with love and care. And how can I not care about you while the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has kept recommending about treating neighbors in a kind manner that the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, thought that he would order to make him heir. This means that he would allocate him a share of the inheritance of his neighbor.
 
- How do I not care about you while I have not experienced any harm from you towards my family, my property, and myself?
 
- How do I not care about you while you are working towards my comfort and avoiding annoying me?
 
- How do I not care about you while you always ask about me and always smiling when you meet me?
 
- How do I not care about you while you are generously entertaining me when I visit you, making me happy by the good talk and the words of affection and greetings?
 
- How do I not care about you while you are tolerating the noise and annoyance of my children?
 
Because of such good treatment from you towards me, the fine neighborhood, the mutual friendliness, and the noble attitudes and sentiments, I felt a strong desire to give you this whisper. This is out of my love and fear for you. This is out of working according to the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, “None of you believes (truly) till one likes for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
«لا يؤمن أحدكم حتَّى يحبَّ لأخيه ما يحبُّ لنفسه» متفق عليه
 
- O dear neighbor, there is no doubt that the congregational prayer is one of the important things that Islam has called to consider seriously. Islam has urged the Muslims to be keen in observing it and not to waste it. Allah Almighty says, {The Mosques of Allâh shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allâh and the Last Day, perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât and fear none but Allâh. It is they who are on true guidance.} [Surat At-Tawbah 9:18]
 
{إِنَّمَا يَعْمُرُ‌ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّـهِ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ‌ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَلَمْ يَخْشَ إِلَّا اللَّـهَ ۖ فَعَسَىٰ أُولَـٰئِكَ أَن يَكُونُوا مِنَ الْمُهْتَدِينَ} التوبة: 18
 
Transliteration: Innama yaAAmuru masajida Allahi man amana biAllahi waalyawmi alakhiri waaqama alssalata waata alzzakata walam yakhsha illa Allaha faAAasa olaika an yakoonoo mina almuhtadeena
 
The maintainers of the mosques are the people of faith in Allah and the Last Day. The maintainers of the mosques are the people of prosperity, success, and the great victory in the Hereafter.
 
Where do the bowers bow and those who prostrate in prayers prostrate except in the mosques?
 
Where are prayers performed except in mosques?
 
Where do the Muslims acquaint, befriend, and be merciful to each other except in mosques? Allah Almighty says, {In houses (mosques) which Allâh has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honoured), in them His Name is remembered [i.e. Adhan, Iqamah, Salât (prayers), invocations, recitation of the Qur’ân etc.]. Therein glorify Him (Allah) in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings, [36] Men whom neither trade nor sale (business) diverts from the Remembrance of Allâh (with heart and tongue), nor from performing As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), nor from giving the Zakât. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (out of the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection).} [Surat An-Nûr 24:36-37]
 
{فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالآصَالِ (36) رِجَالٌ لا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالأَبْصَارُ} النور: 36-37
 
Transliteration: Fee buyootin athina Allahu an turfaAAa wayuthkara feeha ismuhu yusabbihu lahu feeha bialghuduwwi waalasali (36) Rijalun la tulheehim tijaratun wala bayAAun AAan thikri Allahi waiqami alssalati waeetai alzzakati yakhafoona yawman tataqallabu feehi alquloobu waalabsaru
 
The congregational prayer has such an important status that the righteous ancestors used to give it the utmost care and attention. They used to get very well prepared for it.
 
There was a man who, for forty years, has never missed the adhân (call for prayers) but that he was present in the mosque.
 
Another man has never missed takbîrat al-iihrâm (the first takbîra in the prayers (to say allâhu-akbar: Allah is the Greatest)) since such and such years.
 
A third one, despite his illness and weak health conditions, whenever he hears, “hayya ala as-salât, hayya ala al-falâh (come to prayers, come to prosper), which is the call to the establishment of prayer,” he cannot help but to respond to the call and hasten to the mosque to perform the prayer.
 
- As for you, my dear neighbor, Allah has bestowed the bliss of health and wellbeing upon you, I ask Him to keep it for you. He has made the mosque near to your house that it is only a few steps away to be there and win the great reward of the congregational prayers. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “The reward of the Salât (prayer) offered by a person in congregation is multiplied twenty- five times as much than that of the Salât (prayer) offered in one’s house.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari 645]
 
«صلاة الجماعة تفضل صلاة الفذ بسبع وعشرين درجة» رواه البخاري
         
Despite this great reward of the congregational prayer, despite the easiness with which you can reach the mosque, we rarely see you in the mosque.
 
By Allah, I know that you establish prayers at home. However, praying at home is not for strong healthy men. It is for women and for the men with excuses of illnesses and disabilities. O dear brother, I can see that you are not one of those.
 
Do you not want, O dear brother, to obtain the multiplied rewards guaranteed by the congregational prayers?
 
Do you not want to be shaded under the Shade of Allah on a day when there will be no shade but His. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Allah will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His. They are… and a man whose heart is attached to the mosques (i.e. to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation)…” [Reported by Al-Bukhari 1423]
 
«ورجلٌ قلبه معلقٌ في المساجد» متفق عليه
 
Do you not want to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, by going to the mosque and answering the call to prayer?
 
Do you not want to teach your children to observe praying with Muslims in the congregation and make them accustomed to respect the mosques and venerate the rituals of Allah?
 
Do you not want to see your Muslim brothers and ask about their conditions and affairs?
 
Do you not want the angels to ask Allah for forgiveness for you when you go out from your house until you come back to it after finishing your prayers?
 
Do you not want to be exposed to the Mercies of Allah that happen to the people of the mosques and the maintainers of the houses of Allah Almighty?
 
Do you not know that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has not given permission to a blind man who has no one to lead him to the mosque to pray at home and quit congregational prayer? The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said to him, “Do you hear the Adhan?’’ The man answered, “Yes.” The Prophet said, “Then you must respond.” [Reported by Muslim 653]
 
«هل تسمع النِّداء بالصَّلاة ؟ فقال: نعم. قال: فأجب» رواه مسلم
 
You must respond to the call from Allah even if you were blind.
You must respond to the call from Allah even if you had no one to lead you.
 
You must respond to the call from Allah even if the road is frightening and not paved. Then, what is the matter with us, the healthy and the strong, who were blessed by Allah with sound eyesight, strong bodies, and abundant sustenance?
 
My dear neighbor, the congregational prayer has a pleasure, which is only known by those who are keen in performing it, those who observe it during the severe cold and the blazing heat.
 
The congregational prayer brings about serenity and tranquility to the heart. It plunges the whole body into psychological harmony and inner peace. It is a light that fills the body, a continuous happiness that is revived five times a day. It is one of the manifestations expressing the unity, strength, and harmony of the Muslims.
 
It is a life picture of worshipping Allah, the Creator of the heavens and earth.
 
It is an acknowledgment of the blessings. It is a thanking in words and deeds to the gifts, bliss, and the grace.
 
Abdullah Ibn Mas’ûd, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Whoever would be pleased to meet Allah tomorrow as a Muslim, he must maintain performing these prayers where they are called for (mosques) because they are of the ways of guidance (huda). Allah has given to your Prophet the ways of guidance. In addition, if you were to perform prayers in your homes, like that person lagging behind, you would be abandoning the Sunnah of your Prophet, and if you were to abandon the Sunnah of your Prophet, you would surely go astray. There is not a man who purifies himself properly (performs ablution), then heads to one of these mosques, but that Allah will write for him (in the book of deeds) with each step he takes a merit (hasanah), and raises him a grade, and erase a demerit (sayyi’ah). Moreover, I have seen us, where not one of us would lag behind from prayer in congregation except for a well-known hypocrite. In addition, the one that could not come on his own would be supported by two men until he is helped to stand in the line of prayers.’’
 
O dear neighbor,
 
I would love to always see you in the mosque, responding to the call of the Most Merciful.
 
I would love that we cooperate to awaken each other to the dawn prayer.
 
I would love to eagerly compete together for the heavens, to hasten in the fields of righteous deeds and to collect the rewards and profits.
 
I would love to complete my joy in being neighbors that we gather in obeying Allah and part in obeying Him.
 
I would love to tell you my worries and you tell me yours.
 
Are you going to be miser in completing the joy of your neighbor? Are you going to deprive him from completing his delight?
 
I do not think you would do that. Assalâmu alaikum wa rahmat-u-allah wa barakâtuh, (peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be upon you).”
 
Yours sincerely,
Your neighbor
 
 
Prepared by the scholarly section in Madâr Al-Watan
www.madaralwatan.com

 

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