Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih (aba) has repeatedly urged members to establish congregational prayers in mosques, homes and local salat centers.
In 2013, a Majlis-e-Shura proposal was approved along these lines. The proposal states in part:
“Encourage members to regularly offer congregational salat in mosques/salat centers (especially if they live within 15-20 minute drive time) or at homes.”
The purpose of these salat centers is to ensure our spiritual health as Muslims, to ensure that we stand upright and hold fast to this pillar of our faith. Islam is our life structure and salat is one of the pillars of this structure. If we let this pillar crumble, our Islam crumbles. Nay, we as Muslims crumble.
“Salat cannot be acceptable before Allah the Almighty unless it is offered in congregation (by males) except than that a person is sick or disabled.”
Need help getting started?
Let us know what can help you get to congregational Salat and help others around you as well.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions clarified.
Feel free to use this reference material in Friday sermons and discussions.
From the Quran
- [2:44] “And establish Prayer and pay the Zakat, and bow down with those who bow.”
- [3:44] “‘O Mary, be obedient to thy Lord and prostrate thyself and worship God alone with those who worship.’”
- [4:103]” 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; and let them take their means of defense and their arms. The disbelievers wish that you be neglectful of your arms and your baggage that they may fall upon you at once. And it shall be no sin on you, if you are in trouble on account of rain or if you are sick, that you lay aside your arms. But you should always take your means of defense. Surely, Allah has prepared an humiliating punishment for the disbelievers.”
Khalifatul Masih II (ra) has specifically address the call to “observe prayers” as follows in Tafsir Kabir:
Muslims have generally forgotten about the necessity of offering Prayers in congregation and this is one of the biggest reasons for divisions and dissension in the Muslim world. Allah, Almighty has placed many individual and communal blessings in this form of worship, yet Muslims have sadly forgotten them. Wherever the Noble Qur`an has instructed Prayers, it has instructed congregational Prayers; nowhere has the Qur`an instructed the plain observance of Prayers without congregation
- “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].
- “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].
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba)
- “Salat should be offered in congregation, should be offered regularly, and should be offered on time.” Sermon Summary / Powerpoint
- Letter to inauguration of Baitus Sami Mosque in Houston, “To gain victory and to gain blessings from Khilafat, the first condition is to establish Salat in congregation.”
- Friday Sermon (April 14th, 2006 @ 24:35-32:25) – this includes an enlightening excerpt from MASIH MAUD about congregational prayer but Huzur doesn’t mention the citation
- In his sermon dated Jan 2, 2015, Khalifatul Masih V (aka) addressed American Ahmadis and asked us to focus on giving respect to the Mosques by praying 5 times in the mosques. He said people who have vehicles and live 15-20 miles from the Mosques should come to mosque at least for Fajr, Maghrib and Ishaa. Where people are staying far from the Masjid, they should offer congregate prayers in one of the Ahmadi’s houses. If someone is living totally alone, then he should pray in his own house in congregation.
- During Friday sermon on Sep 18, 2015, Khalifatul Masih V (aka) said ” We should bear in mind the Promised Messiah’s desire that prayers should be offered in congregation and that our mosques should be full of worshippers. Today by the grace of Allāh mosques are being built everywhere, but sometimes I receive reports that they are not full of worshippers as they should be. Ahmadīs in Pakistan, India and other countries should also strive in this regard”
Some experience from the past years
“During a recent mulaqaat with Huzoor, my wife asked Huzoor whether we should move closer to our Mosque. She said that my commute to work would be 1.5 hours one-way if we moved. Huzoor told us to move and to not worry about the commute at all. So, a few months ago, pursuant to Huzoor’s advice, we moved…
…I now drive to work 3 hours round trip every day, and it’s very much a struggle. But I started waking up at 4:30 a.m. every morning and going to the Masjid for Fajr daily. I commute to work from the Masjid most days. In just a few months, my whole life has changed. I’m more spiritually attuned, balanced and disciplined. I maximize the use of my time, sleep early and watch less television and spend less time on the Internet. My wife and son are both much happier. The Masjid is about 20 minutes from my house, but I still drive there to gain that additional blessing. I can’t quite describe to you in words how much saying daily Salat at the Masjid has transformed my life. Alhumdholillah suma alhumdholillah.”
“58 days ago…58 days ago we were holding Jummah in our basement and a meeting once a month. We were lucky if we had 10 people attending. We established our Salat center in November and immediately started offering daily Fajr, Maghrib and Isha…Zuhr and Asr on weekends and regular Jummah prayers. Then came Jamaat meetings, kids classes, a nikah ceremony, and two lunch’s coordinated by Lajna to feed an army. In recent weeks, over 50 people attended some of the Jummah prayers! Our total Tajneed is less than 70! One salat center and just 58 days!”
“I feel I am blessed to have another Ahmadi brother in the campus. Since the establishment of our Salat center, we are now able to meet at least 2-3 times a week and pray together. I was concerned about time initially, but I find myself having improved my grades ever since! Brother Murtada’s scholarly help and occasional tutoring along with our congregational prayers is helping me academically.”