The righteous forefathers & the congregational prayer
Among the merits of the righteous forefathers of this nation is their care for observing the prayer in congregation and emphasizing on that, besides warning against neglecting it.
In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
All Praise is due to Allah alone. And prayers and peace of Allah be upon whom there is no prophet after him.
Among the merits of the righteous forefathers of this nation is their care for observing the prayer in congregation and emphasizing on that, besides warning against neglecting it. Actually; among the things that are narrated about them, in this regard, are the following:
Ruler’s care for the congregational prayer:
Thabit ibn Al-Hajjaj said: “Once a day, Omar ibn Al-Khattab got out for prayer and looked at the people and ordered Al-Mu`adhin (the caller for prayer) to call for the prayer (i.e. the second call [Al-Iqamah]) and then said, ‘by Allah, we will not wait anybody till he joins us.’ After he ended the prayer, he turned his face toward the people and then said, ‘why there are people stay behind and cause others to stay behind like them! By Allah, I was about to send for them in order to be beaten in their necks then say to them to them ‘attend the congregational prayer.’” (Kanz Al-Ommal 8/252)
Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) used to get out his house daily to call out people, “O people; prayer, prayer.” He used to wake them up for Fajr prayer. (At-Tabaqat 3/36)
Among the paths of right guidance
Ibn Mas’ûd (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “He who likes to meet Allah tomorrow as Muslim, he should persevere these prayers, when a call is announced for them, for Allah has laid down for your Prophet the paths of right guidance, and these (prayers) are among the paths of right guidance. If you were to pray in your houses as this man who stays away (from the Masjid) prays in his house, you would abandon the practice of your Prophet, and if you were to abandon the practice of your Prophet, you would go astray. No man purifies himself, doing it well, then makes for one of those Masjids without Allah recording a blessing for him for every step he takes raising him a rank for it, and effacing a sin from him for it. I have seen the time when no one stayed away from it, except a hypocrite, who was well known for his hypocrisy, whereas a man would be brought swaying (due to weakness) between two men till he was set up in a row.” [Reported by Muslim]
«عن عبدالله؛ قال: من سره أن يلقى الله غدا مسلما فليحافظ على هؤلاء الصلوات حيث ينادى بهن. فإن الله شرع لنبيكم صلى الله عليه وسلم سنن الهدى وإنهن من سنن الهدى. ولو أنكم صليتم في بيوتكم كما يصلي هذا المتخلف في بيته لتركتم سنة نبيكم. ولو تركتم سنة نبيكم لضللتم. وما من رجل يتطهر فيحسن الطهور ثم يعمد إلى مسجد من هذه المساجد إلا كتب الله له بكل خطوة يخطوها حسنة. ويرفعه بها درجة. ويحط عنه بها سيئة. ولقد رأيتنا وما يتخلف عنها إلا منافق، معلوم النفاق. ولقد كان الرجل يؤتى به يهادى بين الرجلين حتى يقام في الصف» رواه مسلم
Answer the call, even if you have to crawl:
Ar-Rabî’ was affected with hemiplegia; therefore, he used to be brought swaying (due to weakness) between two men to the Masjid of his people. And when people said to him, “O Abu Yazid, Allah has given you permission; you would pray in your house!” he replied by saying, “you say the truth, but I heard him call ‘come to success’; hence, whoever among you hears the caller of ‘come to success’, he should answer him; even if he has to crawl or creep.” (Al-Heliah 2/113)
Among the wonders of Al-Aamash:
Al-Aa’mash was about seventy years old; despite this, he never missed the first Takbirah. Moreover; he was one of those who observe prayer always in the first row. (Al-Heliah 5/49)
Marriage is not an excuse:
When Al-Harith ibn Hassan married and got out for the congregational prayer, his friends said to him: “Do you get out for prayer although you have just married?” Whereupon he said: “By Allah, the woman who would prevent me from observing Fajr prayer in congregation is an evil woman.” (Majma’ Az-Zawâ`id 2/41)
Weep for missing the congregational prayer:
It is narrated that Muhammad ibn Al-Mubarak said: “I used to see Sa’îd ibn Zaid catches his beard and weeps whenever he missed the prayer in congregation.” (Al-Heliah 6/126)
The care of Sa’îd ibn Al-Musaiyab:
Sa’îd ibn Al-Musaiyab said: “For forty years ago, I never missed the prayer in congregation.”
He also said: “For thirty years ago, the caller for prayer never called for the prayer unless I am in the Masjid.” (Siar A’alam An-Nubalâ` 4/221)
Muhammad ibn Samaa’a and the congregational prayer:
Muhammad ibn Samâ’a said: “For forty years, I never missed the first Takbirah except in the day of my mother’s death. Therefore; I prayed twenty five prayers seeking multiplying the reward!” (Siar A’alam An-Nubalâ`10/646)
The fruit of the congregational prayer:
Sa’îd ibn Al-Musaiyab said: “The one who observes the five prayers in congregation; he would have filled the land and seas with worship.” (Al-Heliah 2/160)
O Allah, guard us!
Wakie’ said: “Whenever you see someone neglects attending the first Takbirah, you should consider him a hopeless case.” (Al-Heliah 8/207)
The race of the righteous people:
Abu Muslim Al-Khawlani heard a man says: “So-and-so prevailed today.” Whereupon he said, “it is me who prevailed.” People asked, “how Abu Muslim?” So, he replied, “because, I set out at nightfall and became the first one to enter your Masjid.” (Siar A’alam An-Nubalâ`4/10)
Carry him to the Masjid in his illness:
It is reported that Abu Abdurrahman As-Salami used to order them to carry him, in the mud and rain, to the Masjid; although he was sick. (Az-Zuhd by Ibn Al-Mubarak P. 141)
Encouraging the children to observe the congregational prayer:
It is narrated on the authority of Mujahid that he heard one of the companions of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him), who attended the battle of Badr, says to his son: “Did you attend the prayer with us?”
“Yes,” The son answered.
“Did you attend the first Takbirah?” the father asked again.
“No,” the son replied.
“Verily, what you have missed is better than one hundred camels; they all have black eyes,” the companion said. (Al-Musannaf: 1/528)
Compiled by: The scientific department in Al-Watan House