Wednesday, 18 April 2007

The Importance of Congregational Solat


We all know that Solat is a pillar of Islam and on the Day of Judgement the account for the Solat will have to be rendered first.

But are we truly aware of the advices and warning that have been said regarding the performance of Solat at home as opposed to performing it at the mosque with the congregation?

Allah SWT commands in the Qur'an:

"And bow your head with those who bow (in worship)." (Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayat 43)

The message in the above verse is crystal clear - that we are ordered to perform Solat with congregation. It is narrated that Congregational Solat surpasses the quality of the lone man's Solat by twenty-seven ranks in excellence. (Sahih Bukhari & Muslim)


The Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW stated:

"It better to join another person and pray than to pray alone; and it is more superior in the company of two men; and the bigger the congregation the more it is liked by Allah." (Abu Dawud)

Nabi Muhammad SAW says in another tradition:

"He who attended the congregation for Isha' Solat, he received the reward of half the night's worship; and he who attended both Isha' and Fajr (Subuh) prayer with the congregation, he received the reward of the whole night's worship." (Tirmidhi)


The Prophet Muhammad SAW himself never omitted even a single congregational prayer. Even during his sickness, it was strenuous for him to walk; nonetheless, with the aid of two of his companions he came (while his auspicious feet were dragging on the ground) to the mosque and prayed with the congregation.

Once the Holy Prophet SAW was constrained to say:

"I intend to tell the Muazzin (the caller of the Azan) to call out the takbir and ask someone to lead the prayer and I myself set the house of that person on fire who did not attended the congregational prayer." (Bukhari & Muslim)

The merciful Prophet SAW proposes a punishment for those who do not attend the congregational prayer at the mosque, even though they perform them at home. One should ponder and be warned as to the consequences of such choices in the way we worship Allah SWT.


The grand Muhaddith of South Asia - Shah Waliullah Dehlawi RA said:

"By establishing this divine purpose is nothing but that Allah's superiority may be established and no other faith on the surface of the earth may be superior to the Islamic faith. But this can be conceived only when it may be the Ummah's regular practice - that the elite as well as the common run - of the city folk as well as the villagers - and the young as well as the old assemble daily for that worship which is the greatest sign of the faith and the most famous among all the devotions."


An eminent American Sociologist and Physiologist, Mr Denison has written in his book, "Emotion As The Basis of Civilization" that:

"historians have wondered at the phenomenal success of Islam in conquering the world and have attributed it to the unity and solidity Islam has engaged among its adherents, but no historian he says could solve the riddle as to how this came to pass."

Mr Denison says that he has not the least doubt that a great and very effective means of this is the congregational prayer.


We can deduce from this, that if the Muslim masses were performing prayers with the congregation regularly we would not be in the sorry state that we find ourselves in today.

We should try and pray all our five times Solat with the congregation in the mosque, and if possible we should try to be as close to the Imam as possible, because the first row is superior to the second and thereafter.

Abu Hurairah RA narrates that the Holy Prophet SAW said:

"If the people knew the reward for pronouncing the Adhan and for standing in the first row (in congregational prayers) and found no other way to get that except by drawing lots they would draw lots, and if they knew the reward of the Zuhr prayer (in the early moments of its stated time) they would race for it (go early) and if they knew the reward of Isha' and Fajr (morning) prayers in congregation, they would come to offer them even if they had to crawl."

Hence, we can see why it is necessary that we perform the five times daily prayers with the congregation in the mosque.

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