Praying Salah in the Mosque: how important is that?
Praying Salah in the Masjid is a highly rewarding deed. We read in a hadith:
Abdullah al-Sunabihi reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever performs ablution and rinses his mouth and nose, his sins committed with them are removed. When he washes his face, his sins committed with his face are removed even beneath his eyelids. When he washes his hands, his sins committed with his hands are removed.
As he wipes his head, his sins committed with his head are removed even from his ears.
When he washes his feet, his sins committed with his feet are removed even beneath his nails. His prayer and walking to the mosque are extra merit.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
In another hadith, we learn that walking to the Masjid provides us with an opportunity to increase our good deeds and seek expiation of sins. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported:
“The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Shall I not tell you of that by which Allah expiates your sins and increases your good deeds?’ They said, ‘Of course, O Messenger of Allah.’ The Prophet said, ‘Thorough ablution despite the difficulty, taking many steps to the mosque, and waiting for one prayer after another.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
We also learn that when we go to the Masjid for Salah, or Zhikr, it is something that is very pleasing to Allah.
For example, perhaps we have finished praying in the Masjid and we remain there because we want to read some of the Qur’an or make du’aa. Even if we are not able to remain in the Masjid for too long after the Salah, we should not be disheartened, as Allah sees every deed of ours – no matter how small we think it may be. We read:
Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A Muslim man does not settle into the mosque for prayer and remembrance but that Allah is delighted for him, just as a family is delighted when their absent return to them.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
It was advised by the Prophet (SAW) that when we have finished praying in the Masjid, we should also perform prayers at home too, as that is a source of goodness for our homes. Indeed, we all seek peace, contentment and ease in our lives, so we are blessed that Allah has granted us these simple avenues to establishing goodness in our homes. We read:
Jabir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When one of you finishes the prayer in his mosque, let him perform a portion of his prayer in his house. Verily, Allah will bring about good from his prayer in his house.” (Sahih Muslim)
We learn that the Prophet (SAW) would advise people not to pray any other prayers in the Masjid after the Friday prayers until they had spoken or left the mosque, so that the two prayers would not connect. We read:
Mu’awiyyah reported: “When you perform the Friday prayer, do not pray another prayer until you have spoken or left the mosque. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, commanded us to do that, to not connect two prayers together unless we have spoken or we have left.” (Sahih Muslim)
We learn in another hadith that women would also pray the Fajr prayer with the congregation. Aisha reported (RA):
“The believing women would pray the dawn prayer with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Then, they would return home wrapped in their mantles; they would not be recognised by anyone.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)