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Worship - Praying

Purification Praying
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
  Zakah   Fasting   Pilgrimage  
43 44 45 46 47 48


Lesson 38

Congregations

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Main Points

        ·        Congregational prayer in the mosque is an obligatory Sunnah for those who do not have any excuses. The one who performs this prayer receives great blessings. It is preferred for women to pray at home but if they want to join the congregational prayer in the mosque, no one should prevent them.[11]

        ·        It is a Sunnah to walk calmly to attend the congregational prayer and to pray two Rak’ahs as a greeting to the mosque on arrival.[12]

        ·        The group is led by the Imam who should be the one who has memorized the greatest part of the Qur’an, then the most learned in Islam, then the one who fears Allah the most, then the eldest, in that order. The owner of the house is preferred to lead the prayer more than the guest. A woman can only lead other women by standing with them in the same row, not to stand ahead of them.

        ·        If it is a congregational prayer of only two, the Imam and the one being led, the one being led stands at the right side of the Imam. If they are many, all will stand in straight rows behind the Imam: men, boys and then women. It is not permissible for the person being led to stand alone without a row, so he should try to stand in the first row, if not then the next and so on. He should follow the Imam and not act before him. The Imam should shorten his recitation, bowing, and prostration, and not elongate it so as to be compassionate for the group. He should sit facing the people on his right after the greeting at the end of the prayer.[13]

        ·       If someone joins the prayer after it has begun, he should follow the group. The Rak`ah (the unit of prayer) will be counted for him if he attended the prayer before bowing. After the Imam gives the final greeting, he should continue to make up what he missed.

        ·        It is a Sunnah to listen to the recitation of the Rak`ahs of prayer that are recited audibly, otherwise they should be recited inwardly. It is recommended to recite Al-Fatihah when the Imam is silent in the audibly loud Rak`ahs, where he gives time for that.[14]



 

Congregational prayers:

Its obligation:

The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“If there are three men in a village or in the desert among whom prayer is not offered (in congregation), the devil has got the mastery over them. So observe (prayer) in congregation, for the wolf eats only the straggling animal.” (Reported by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa`i)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, I was about to order for collecting firewood (fuel) and then order someone to pronounce the Adhan for the prayer and then order someone to lead the prayer, then I would go from behind and burn the houses of men who did not present themselves for the (obligatory congregational) prayer.”
(Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

“There came to the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) a blind man and said: Messenger of Allah, I have no one to guide me to the mosque. He, therefore, asked Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) for permission to perform prayer in his house. He (the Prophet) granted him permission. Then, when the man turned away he called him and said: Do you hear the call to prayer? He said: Yes. He (the Prophet) said: Respond to it.” (Reported by Muslim)

Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

“I have seen the time when no one stayed away from it (prayer) 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 (of prayers).” (Reported by Muslim)

The grace of congregational prayer:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The prayer in congregation is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“The reward of the prayer offered by a person in congregation is twenty something times greater than that of the prayer offered in one's house or in the market (alone). And this is because if he performs ablution properly and then comes to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, with every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded a degree in reward and a sin is taken off (crossed out) from his accounts (of deeds). When he prays, the angels keep on asking Allah’s Blessings and Allah's Forgiveness for him as long as he is (staying) at his praying place. They say: ‘O' Allah! Bestow Your Blessings upon him, be Merciful and Kind to him, as long as he keeps on sitting at his praying place and does not pass wind.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“A man’s prayer performed along with another is purer than his prayer alone, and his prayer with two men is purer than his prayer with one, but if there are more, it is more pleasing to Allah, the Exalted.”
(Reported by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The most eminent among human beings (as a recipient of) reward (is one) who lives farthest away, and who has to walk the farthest distance (to the mosque).” (Reported by Muslim)

 Congregational prayer for women:

The Prophet (SAWS) said, "Do not prevent women from visiting the mosques; their houses however are better for them." [Abu-Dawud and Ahmad]The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from visiting the mosques of Allah, but they may go out (to the mosque) having not perfumed themselves.” (Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“If a woman applies perfume, she must not attend the Evening prayer with us.” (Reported by Muslim)

 

 Walking to perform congregational prayer:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“When the Iqamah is pronounced, do not come to it running; you should walk calmly with tranquility to join the congregation. Then, join in what you caught for and complete what you missed.”
(Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The prayer of greeting the mosque:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“If anyone of you enters a mosque, he should not sit until he has offered a two-Rak`ah prayer.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Imamah of the prayers:

The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“The most versed in Allah’s Book should be the Imam for the people. If they are equally versed in reciting it, then the most knowing of the Sunnah; if they are equal regarding the Sunnah, then the first who emigrated (to Madinah). If they are equal regarding migration, then the older. No man should lead another in prayer where the latter has the authority, or sit in his house on his cushion without his permission.” (Reported by Muslim)

The order of the rows :

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The best rows for men are the first rows, and the worst ones are the last ones, and the best rows for women are the last ones and the worst ones for them are the first ones.” (Reported by Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Let those be nearest to me who are wise and who possess understanding, then those who are nearest to them in these respects, and then those who are nearest to them.” (Reported by Muslim)

Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) led me and my mother in prayer. He made me stand on his right side, and made the woman stand behind us.” (Reported by Muslim)

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed in the house of Umm Sulaym; and I, along with an orphan, stood behind him while Umm Sulaym (stood) behind us.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Straighten your rows. For the straightening of a row is a part of the perfection of prayer.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Keep your rows straight, otherwise Allah will create dissension among you.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Straighten your rows and stand closer together, for I see you from behind my back.” (Al-Bukhari and An-Nasa’i)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Come forward and follow my lead, and let those who come after you follow your lead. People will continue to keep back till Allah will put them at the back.” (Reported by Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Allah and His angels bless those who are on the right flanks of the rows.” (Reported by Abu Dawud)

Following the Imam:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The Imam is to be followed; say Takbir ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is the Greatest) when he says it; bow when he bows; rise when he rises, and when he says ‘Sami`a Allahu Liman Hamidah’ (Allah listens to the one who praises Him) say, ‘Rabbana Wa Laka Al-Hamd’ (Our Lord, for You is all praise), and prostrate if he prostrates.”
(Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Do not that who raises his head before the Imam fear that Allah will turn his head into a head of an ass or make his appearance similar to that of an ass?” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Imam should not elongate the prayer:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“If anyone of you leads the prayer, he should not prolong it, because the congregation includes those who are feeble, ill, and old. While praying alone, you may make the prayer as long as you like.”
(Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Joining the congregational prayer after it has begun:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“He who catches a Rak`ah of the prayer, he in fact catches the prayer.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Then join in what you caught for and complete what you missed.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Listening to the recitation of the Imam:

Allah says:

]وَإِذَا قُرِىءَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُواْ لَهُ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ[
(الأعراف: 204)

This means: “So, when the Qur'an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.” (7, Al-A`raf: 204)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“I am wondering what is the matter with me that I have been contended with reciting the Qur’an. When the people heard that from the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) they ceased reciting (the Qur’an) along with him at the prayers in which he recited aloud.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)

 The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The Imam is appointed only to be followed. When he recites (the Qur’an), keep silent.” (Reported by An-Nasa’i)