(Hazrat Itbaan bin Malik) belonged to the Banu Salim bin Auf branch of the Khazraj tribe. The Holy Prophet (sa) established a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Umar (ra). Hazrat Itbaan participated in the Battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. He began to lose his eyesight during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (sa) and passed away during the reign of Hazrat Muawiyah.
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. This is a very well-known Hadith and is often quoted, however there are some more details related to this account. 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. Thus, this should always be borne in mind. 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. May God Almighty enable everyone to adhere to these injunctions.
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