In his Friday sermon dated 20 Jan 2017, Khalifatul Masih V (aba) called upon us to focus on our Salat. Here are some points from the sermon related to congregational Salat.
1. 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.
2. The Jama’at organization should also keep reminding people about congregational prayers. They should convey the message of the importance of congregational prayer over and over again to each member of Jama’at.
From the Holy Qur’an:
- “And when thou art among them, and leadest the Prayer for them, let a party of them stand with thee and let them take their arms. And when they have performed their prostrations, let them go to your rear, and let another party, who have not yet prayed, come forward and pray with thee;” (4:103)
- “And observe Prayer and pay the Zakat, and bow down with those who bow.”(2:44)
Sayyidna Usman, (RA), has reported that he heard the Holy Prophet, (SAW), say:
- “The person who observes the Isha prayer in congregation, will have the reward and blessings of staying up half the night in prayer, and the one who observes the Fajr prayer in congregation will have the reward and blessings of staying up the whole night in prayer.” [Tirmidhi]
- “If three men in a village or in the desert, make no arrangement for Salat in congregation, Satan must have certainly overcome them. So observe Salat in congregation, for the wolf eats up a solitary sheep that stays far from the flock.” [Abu Daud]
- “Salat in congregation is 27 times more meritorious than Salat performed individually” [Bukhari; Muslim]
- “A man’s Salat in congregation is twenty-five times more rewarding than his Salat at home or in his shop, and that is because when he performs his Wudu’ properly and proceeds towards the mosque with the purpose of performing Salat in congregation, he does not take a step without being raised a degree (in rank) for it and having a sin remitted for it, till he enters the mosque. When he is performing Salat, the angels continue to invoke Blessings of Allah on him as long as he is in his place of worship in a state of Wudu’. They say: `O Allah! Have mercy on him! O Allah! Forgive him.’ He is deemed to be engaged in Salat as long as he waits for it’” [Bukhari; Muslim].
- Abu Hurairah (ra) reported: “A blind man came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I have no one to guide me to the mosque.’ He, therefore, sought his permission to perform Salat in his house. He (saw) granted him permission. When the man turned away, he called him back, and said, ‘Do you hear the Adhan?’ He replied in the affirmative. The Messenger of Allah (saw) then directed him to respond to it’” [Muslim].
- “By Him in whose hand myself is! I had in mind to order firewood to be collected, then to order the prayer to be called, and to appoint a man to lead the people in prayer, and then to come up behind certain men and burn their houses down about them! By Him in whose hand myself is! If one of them knew that he would find a meaty bone or two good legs of meat, he would be present at Isha” [Bukhari].
- “The most excellent prayer is your prayer in your house, except for the prescribed prayers” [Muwatta].
- “If people knew what there was in the call to prayer and the first row, and they could find no other way except to draw lots for it, they would draw lots for it. And if they knew what there was in doing dhuhr at its time, they would race each other to it. And if they knew what there was in the prayers of isha and maghrib, they would come to them even if they had to crawl” [Muwatta].
- Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam from a man of the Bani’d-Dil called Busr ibn Mihjan from his father Mihjan that he was in a gathering with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the call to prayer was made. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, rose and prayed and then returned. Mihjan remained sitting and did not pray with him. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “What prevented you from praying with the people? Aren’t you a muslim?” He said, “Of course, Messenger of Allah, but I have already prayed with my family.” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When you come, pray with the people, even if you have prayed already” [Muwatta].
- “The people who get tremendous reward for the prayer are those who are farthest away (from the mosque) and then those who are next farthest and so on. Similarly one who waits to pray with the Imam has greater reward than one who prays and goes to bed” [Bukhari].
- `Abdullah bin Umm Maktum, the Mu’adhdhin said: “I said to the Messenger of Allah (saw): ‘There are many poisonous insects and wild beasts in Al-Madinah, and I am blind. Please grant me permission to perform Salat at home.” He (saw) enquired whether he could hear the call: Hayya `alas-Salah; Hayya `alal-Falah (Come to prayer, Come to success). When he replied in affirmative, the Messenger of Allah (saw) directed him to come (to mosque) for prayer” [Abu Daud].
From the words of Promised Messiah (as):
- “The purpose of religion is also the human race be united in the form of the beads of Tasbeeh (rosary) through one thread. The congregational prayers or Salat is also for such unification so that all worshipers are counted as one. The reason why we are prescribed to stand shoulder to shoulder is so that whoever has greater wisdom or spiritual charisma is able to influence the weak. It is hoped that spiritual influence of the wise will diffuse into the weak.”