08 July 2014

The Obligation of Praying The Salah in Congregation Inside the Masjid (Sh. Uthaymeen)

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By Shaykh Saalih Al-Uthaymeen

The five obligatory salah are to prayed in congregation inside the masjid at their fixed times, along with their pillars, conditions, and obligations.  Neglecting the prayer contradicts piety and necessitates punishment.

Allah, the Most High said:

فَخَلَفَ مِنۢ بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَٱتَّبَعُوا۟ ٱلشَّهَوَٰتِ ۖ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقَوْنَ غَيًّا

“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salat (the prayers [i.e. made their Salat (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times, etc.] and have followed lusts So they will be thrown in Hell”[Maryam: 59]

Some people neglect praying in congregation, despite the fact that it is obligatory upon them. (In the Qur’an) Allah سبحانه و تعالى has commanded us to prayer in congregation. As He, the Most High, said:

وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُم مَّعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوٓا۟ أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُوا۟ فَلْيَكُونُوا۟ مِن وَرَآئِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَآئِفَةٌ أُخْرَىٰ لَمْ يُصَلُّوا۟ فَلْيُصَلُّوا۟ مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا۟ حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ

“When you (O Messenger Muhammad) are among them, and lead them in Salat, let one party of them stand up [in Salat] 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 has not yet prayed, and let them pray with you taking all the precautions and bearing arms.”[An-Nisa:102]

Allah سبحانه و تعالى has commanded us, in this verse, to establish the prayer in congregation even at times of war and fear, which means that it is more required from us {to perform prayer in congregation) at times of peace and harmony.

It is also narrated by Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه that he said:

“A blind man came to the Prophet and said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I do not have a guide who will guide me to the Masjid.’ Then the Prophet gave him the authorization of praying in his house. When (the blind man) turned his back, the Prophet called him and asked him: ‘Do you hear the call of prayer?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ Then the Prophet said to him: ‘Then answer the call.”[Collected by Muslim]

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم did not authorize for him to (leave off) the congregation even though he was a blind man without a guide.

The one who abandons the congregational prayer and is neglectful of its obligation is indeed a great loser who has deprived himself of abundant good and multiple good deeds. That is because the reward of praying in the congregation is multiplied.

As it is mentioned in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim from the narration of Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

“Observing the prayer in the congregation surpasses establishing it individually by twenty seven ranks.”[Collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Likewise he will miss the social interest of observing the prayer in the Masjid some of which is:

  • Sewing love and unity in the hearts of the believers towards one another
  • Teaching the ignorant
  • Helping the needy and other than that.

By abandoning the group prayer, you are putting yourself at risk of being punished and you are at risk of resembling the hypocrites.

It is mentioned in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, from the narration of Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه who said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

“The most difficult prayers upon the hypocrites are the night prayer and the dawn prayer. If only they knew the reward of establishing them in the congregation they would come to observe them even if they are to crawl to them. I indeed wanted to command the prayer to be established and then command someone to lead the prayer, and then proceed with a group of men who will carry with them wood to the houses of those who do not observe the prayer in the congregation in order to put their houses on fire.” [Collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is also mentioned in Sahih Muslim from the narration of Ibn Mas’ud رضي الله عنه :

“Whoever is pleased to meet with his Lord tomorrow upon Al-Islam then he should preserve these prayers where they are being called. For verily your Lord has prescribed for your Messenger paths of guidance and these prayers are indeed from these paths of guidance.’ Then he said: ‘Indeed I have seen us “he meant the Companions” and none fails to attend it except a hypocrite who is known with hypocrisy. Indeed two men would carry a disabled person between them and would walk him to the row.”[Collected by Muslim]

From among the errors which some of the fasting people fall into is they exaggerate in their remissness of the prayer, sleeping until the prayer time is out. This is one of the major sins and from the worse kind of negligence of the prayer.

Some of the scholars said:

“The one who delays the prayer till its time is out, without a valid excuse, his prayer will not be accepted even if he prayer it hundred times.”

This is due to the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه و سلم statement:

“Whoever does an action which is not according to this affair of ours, it is rejected.”[Collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]


[Taken from Sittings During the Blessed Month of Ramadhaan by Shaykh Saalih Al-Uthaymeen]

Prayer 5 Arabic // Shaykh Saalih Al Luhaidaan - Manners Of Prayer 5
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  1. Prayer 5 Arabic // Shaykh Saalih Al Luhaidaan - Manners Of Prayer 5
  2. Prayer 5 Eng // Shaykh Saalih Al Luhaidaan - Manners Of Prayer 5
  3. Prayer 5 Q&A 1 // Shaykh Saalih Al Luhaidaan - Manners Of Prayer 5
  4. Prayer 5 Q&A 2 // Shaykh Saalih Al Luhaidaan - Manners Of Prayer 5

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