Reward for praying Salah together in a congregation (Jama’ah)
Praying Salah in congregation is not only something which increases the feeling of unity and togetherness when we pray, but it can also help us to concentrate more and change our emotions when we are praying.
We read in a hadith that in the time of Uthman (RA), the number of people in the congregation who came to pray the Jumu’ah prayer had increased. This resulted in the introduction of a third call to prayer on the day of Jumu’ah. Al-Sa’ib ibn Yazid reported:
“The announcement of Friday prayer was first made when the Imam would sit upon the pulpit in the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as well as Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them. In the time of Uthman, the number of people increased, so he added a third announcement at al-Zawra’, a place in the market of Medina.” (Sahih Bukhari)
We read in another hadith about the difference between the sayings of the Imam and the rest of the congregation during prayers, as well as the benefits of these sayings:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When the Imam says, ‘Allah heard those who praise him,’ then say, ‘Our Lord, for you is praise.’ If one’s statement coincides with the statement of the angels, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
There are amazing rewards for praying in a congregation. We learn that:
Uthman ibn Affan reported: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Whoever prays the evening prayer in congregation is as if he has stood for prayer half of the night. Whoever prays the dawn prayer in congregation is as if he has stood for prayer the entire night.’” (Sahih Muslim)
This shows us that taking part in the congregational prayers for Isha and Fajr create an opportunity for the rewards of the prayers to be multiplied by a great amount.
In another hadith we learn that the Prophet (SAW) described the reward for prayer in congregation as twenty-seven times more than the reward for prayer alone. Abdullah ibn Umar reported:
“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Prayer in congregation is better than prayer alone by twenty seven degrees.’” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
Furthermore, making the effort to walk to the mosque to pray creates an avenue for sins to be expiated and good deeds to be increased. 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 difficulty, taking many steps to the mosque, and waiting for one prayer after another.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)