…the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “shall I not tell you something with which Allah Almighty removes sins and elevates (spiritual) status.” The companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who were ever ready to finding ways to please Allah, and to achieve His nearness and be detached from their sins, implored, “O Prophet of God, do tell.” The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “by performing ablution properly despite not feeling up for it, and by setting off for the mosque from afar and by waiting for the next Salat after offering one.” This keeps a person detached from sins. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Not only that, but this is kind of a frontier.” (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

….the biggest threat to a believer is from Satan from which safety and frontier are required. The threat is from worldly desires that Satan generates. This is where Satan attacks from. In order to be protected from such attacks, the congregational prayers serve as a frontier. It is a battalion of guardians that will protect from such attacks. Congregational prayers will save believers from sins and will be incline them towards performing good deeds. (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

According to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) congregational prayers rewards a believer 27 times more than a prayer offered alone. (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) while explaining the importance of congregational prayers to the Jama’at says: “The rationale behind putting more reward in congregational prayers is that it creates unity. The instructions to practically implement unity are so particular that even the feet are required to be aligned.” This means that while offering prayers in rows, feet should also be brought into line, for which heels must be aligned (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

[Promised Messiah (as) says] “… the rows must be straight, and (worshippers) should be standing connected to each other. It means that they must act like one being.” By standing in rows, they will turn into one being, meaning there will be a dynamism in them. “So that one’s illuminations can permeate into others. The disparity that gives birth to ego and selfishness, does not last (in such setting).” It means regardless of being rich or poor, everyone will be standing in one row. Some people are egocentric or have selfishness in their hearts which is rooted out with congregational prayers. (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

[Promised Messiah (as) said] “bear this in mind that human being have the capacity to absorb another person’s illuminations.” One may be influenced more by good deeds and achieve a higher status (of spirituality), through congregational prayers. Therefore, to accept the influence of piety, congregational prayers are essential. Thus with congregational prayers, on one hand, the unity is expressed that Allah wishes to create among His Community and on the other hand people get influenced by each other’s good deeds. When in one row more pious and spiritually advanced people will be standing, they will have an effect on the weak ones. Consequently, the weak ones will also excel in performing good deeds and will advance spiritually. When this unity is emerged and when spirituality advances, then the satanic forces are weakened and diminished (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

While it is given that offering Salat is obligatory on every Ahmadi, but along with that as per the Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him) instructions the congregational prayers are obligatory on every able Muslim man. But as we see, people do not pay attention towards it. And weakness in this matter can be noticed. No doubt that prayers are obligatory on all true believers and they themselves are responsible for it but we also have an established system in Jama’at. The Jama’at organization should also keep reminding people about congregational prayers (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

I keep drawing attention of the Jama’at towards this subject in my sermons in one way or the other. But this is the responsibility of missionaries and the organization to take it from there and disseminate my instructions to draw people’s attention towards it. They should convey the message of the importance of congregational prayer over and over again to each member of Jama’at. In reality, we will only be able to fulfill the duty of being an Ahmadi when while safeguarding our prayers we are able to attain spiritual pleasure from them. (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

When we start achieving spiritual pleasure and delight from our [congregational] prayers then we will automatically be inclined towards offering them. So every Ahmadi must offer prayers in a manner that facilitates attaining spiritual pleasure and delight. (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

However, the matter of grave concern [referring to a report from a country] is that those who pray in congregation are only 1/3rd or a little more in number than those who listen to the Friday sermon. Similarly, those who offer prayers regularly are also far less than those who listen to the Friday sermon. What is the use of listening to the Friday sermons then, if our attention is still not drawn towards God and towards that fundamental obligation which is of utmost importance? (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

Every few weeks I discuss offering of Salat and importance of offering congregational prayers in my sermons. If there is no impact of these sermons, then there is no use of mere statistics. ….. If this is how our feelings are then we don’t have any right to complain to Allah. Nowhere, has Allah Almighty said that you may do as you wish, regardless of whether you fulfil my rights or not, because you have accepted the Promised Messiah (may peace be on him), therefore, I will make you succeed. To achieve success, there is a need to shape oneself according to Allah’s likeness (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

We cannot say that they [Pakistani Ahmadis who migrated] have become very punctual in prayers after their migration. Many weaknesses about prayers can be found through Jama’ats’ evaluation reports. If every auxiliary organization present in all countries of the world evaluates themselves without a bias, the results will be self-explanatory. On the contrary those who have left Pakistan, should be more mindful of such matters because of the blessings of Allah Almighty upon them. They need to be grateful of those blessings….  [they] should be more mindful of such matters because of the blessings of Allah Almighty upon them. They need to be grateful of those blessings. (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

In some Jama’ats, there is favorable presence in congregational prayers. But still, some people are always missing out on a prayer or two. There are several such members who sometimes don’t offer a couple of prayers here and there. Sometimes the reason is that organization of Jama’at is not drawing their attention towards this matter. And that the organization has other preferences. (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

A few days ago, I had a meeting with a local Majlis-e-Aamla. The President told me that ever since he has taken the position, he has given a lot of attention to financial matters. And now they are excelling in it very rapidly. So I said that this effort is well and good. But when I enquired what have they done for Salat, which is a fundamental and obligatory commandment for Muslims, he remained silent. Although, when I enquired about presence at Fajr and Isha, the numbers that came up were promising. However, it wasn’t due to the organizational efforts. (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

…generally the world affairs are such that the danger of war and destruction are becoming more and more inevitable … In such a state, it is only the refuge of Allah Almighty that can save us. Several people ask what will happen if the war started. How should we proceed? My only response is that if you want to be saved from such calamities then as the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) said, we will have to fall in love with the God who is Master of All Affairs. And there is only one way to show such love that we try to attain pleasure and delight by shaping our prayers according to His desires.  (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

If we want to be saved from Allah’s seizure and want to save our future generation, let us not look at these people’s [people of the Western World who have forgotten God] outwardly condition. Follow the Quranic teachings that Allah desires from us. After the commandment of belief in Allah, Allah Almighty has commanded us to establish Salat. So every Ahmadi man and woman should pay attention towards offering Salat and Ahmadi men should specifically pay attention to offering congregational prayers. (Friday Sermon, January 20, 2017)

“Salat should be offered in congregation, should be offered regularly, and should be offered on time. Allah Almighty says: Establish prayer and give Zakat and prostrate with those who bow before God. This verse emphasizes that offering prayer and making financial sacrifices take the best form when offered in congregation and as a community. The Holy Prophet (sa) has said that offering prayers in congregation increases the reward 27 fold” (Friday Sermon, June 22, 2012)

“Huzoor (aba) said that we hear this in jalsas and speeches, but implementing these into practice happens scarcely, therefore we must make a very strong effort in this context. Even when prayers are offered, more emphasis needs to be laid on offering them in congregation” (Friday Sermon, June 22, 2012)

By the sheer grace and mercy of Allah Almighty, there is a motivation in USA towards construction of mosques, but the benefit can only be derived when the mosques are utilized in their full right i.e. to populate them with those obedient servants of God who offer prayers in congregation. (Friday Sermon, June 22, 2012)

Many people are occupied at work during the daytime, however fajr, maghrib and isha prayers can be offered at Masjid. Many Ahmadis living in the Western countries live 15-20 miles from Masjid, but still make the effort to go to Masjid to offer salat in congregation. If everyone who possesses a car utilizes it for worldly matters, uses it for gaining God’s please, then the purpose of these vehicles will become the service of Islam and the individual will gain both worldly and religious rewards. (Friday Sermon, June 22, 2012)

Wherever it is not possible to go to Masjid, a few Ahmadis living close by should organize to get together in one home to offer prayers in congregation. And those Ahmadis living in isolated areas should make arrangements within the household to offer prayers in congregation with family members. The children will also learn the importance of salat in this manner. such arrangements will also safeguard the children from getting involved in other activities outside the home. Again, discipline in offering prayers will also require children to go to bed early at night and therefore staying up late will become obsolete in such households. (Friday Sermon, June 22, 2012)

On weekends, families have plans for outings but if they do not have such plans, then they should plan to go to the mosque, together, as family. Without salat, a Muslim cannot earn the privilege of being called a Muslim. By the time a person reaches adulthood, his habit of offering salat should have progressed to the point where it becomes well-founded and firm. Huzoor (aba) said that families who offer prayers in congregation on their leisure outdoor trips also become a source of doing tabligh by offering a good example to those who are around them. (Friday Sermon, June 22, 2012)

…Hazrat Musleh Maood (ra) says concerning the importance of offering Salat in congregation that one should gather the whole family and offer Salat in congregation and that due to this not being the habit of the people, the value of salat in congregation has fallen badly in people’s estimation. People should give up the habit of offering Salat individually and rather go to offer Salat in congregation.  (Friday Sermon, February 6, 2015)

“[citing Muslih Maood(ra), Khalifatul Masih V says]When the Promised Messiah (as) could not go to offer Salat at the mosque he would offer the salat in congregation at home and it was very rare indeed that he would offer any salat on his own. Mostly on such occasions he would include our [Muslih Maood (ra)’s] mother and offer the Salat in congregation thus and the other women would also join with our mother, so as a first resort all friends should come together and offer Salat in congregation and if someone cannot do this he should offer the salat in congregation at his home with his wife and children” (Friday Sermon, February 6, 2015)

Friends should make arrangements everywhere for the offering of Salat in congregation. Where the town is big, the members should make arrangements by streets and sections of the city and where there are no mosques, they should try to build mosques. Thus, in any case, the importance of offering salat in congregation is such that even if the salat has to be offered at home it should be offered in congregation by including the wife and children so that the children get into the habit of offering the salat in congregation. (Friday Sermon, February 6, 2015)

Salat is a basic article of faith in Islam but about 80% of Muslims do not observe it and if they do offer the odd Salat in the day they offer it so hastily. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that many prominent people are indolent about offering Salat and for aristocratic people offering congregational Salat is the same as eating flesh of swine is for ordinary Muslims. This situation persists today. Majority of the well-off become negligent about Salat and even if they offer it, their condition is contrary to how the condition of those who offer Salat should be. Those who offer Salat are guardians of human values and Salat bring pious changes in them. (Friday Sermon, October 17, 2014)

Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) says about the strictness of the Promised Messiah (as) regarding offering Salat in Congregation that Salat was so dear to the Promised Messiah (as) that whenever he could not come to offer the salat in congregation due to some illness and he would have to offer the prayer in the house he would have his wife and the children join and offer the salat in congregation. He would not just offer the salat but rather would offer salat in congregation. (Friday Sermon, January 15, 2016)

Hazrat Promised Messiah (as) himself says about the importance of salat in congregation that it is the desire of Allah, the Exalted, that He should make all the people like unto a single being – this is what is called democratic unity. He goes on to say that this is also what faith desires (Friday Sermon, January 15, 2016)

Praying in congregation is for this same purpose to establish unity so all worshipers can be considered as if one. (Friday Sermon, January 15, 2016)

And the commandment to stand side by side is for the purpose of helping to strengthen the faith of the weaker ones. In order to establish this democratic unity, Allah ordained that the people living on a street should come together to offer the five daily prayers so that moral qualities take shape among each other and find strength from each other. And so that getting to know each other love may grow between each other. He says that getting to know each other is a very good thing because through it love grows which is the foundation of unity. (Friday Sermon, January 15, 2016)

…those who do not come for salat in congregation or come and do not get to know each other and do not increase in love for each other and remove animosity for one another, their prayers do not benefit them. This is so because the purpose of salat apart from that of worship is to bring into being a unity, and cause love and affection to grown among each other, and that is not attained if people do not get to know each other and do not eliminate mutual animosities etc. (Friday Sermon, January 15, 2016)

Allah the Almighty has emphasised on regularity in salat, timely observance of all the prayers in congregation. The commandment is of qiyam-us salat [observing the prayer] and ‘qiyam-us salat literally means to observe salat on time and in congregation …. One should undertake the utmost effort to observe prayers in congregation mainly in the mosque, salat centre or if this is not possible, then with the members of the household.  (Friday Sermon, September 29, 2017)

According to one narration, when Hazrat Itbaan bin Malik (ra) lost his eyesight, he sought permission from the Holy Prophet (sa) to be excused from attending the mosque for congregational prayer. The Holy Prophet (sa) asked him whether he could hear the Adhan [call to prayer], to which he replied in the affirmative. The Holy Prophet (sa) therefore did not grant him permission to be excused. ….. According to a narration from Sahih Bukhari, the Holy Prophet (sa) later granted permission to Hazrat Itbaan (ra) to offer his prayers at home. If people cannot get to the Mosque because of the extreme weather conditions and difficulties, it is permissible to offer prayers at home on the condition that the prayer should be offered in congregation and there is no excuse for this…..Here in these countries, if the mosque is at a distance and there is also no means of transportation, then as I have said on many occasions, the Ahmadis should offer their homes as Salat centres where the local neighbouring Ahmadis can gather and offer their prayers in congregation. (Friday Sermon, March 29, 2019)