Salaah with Jamaat
Congregational Salaah is an important aspect of Islam. It has great social effects. These effects are reflected in the brotherhood and the sense of belonging that follows congregational prayer and Masjid attendance.
The social effects of congregational prayer and Masjid attendance are found in the closeness and brotherhood between believers that stems from the congregation. When people meet in congregation they learn about each other’s lives, about each other’s struggles, and mutual love develops. They also feel a sense of belonging in the community.
If we are to look into the history of the life of Nabi S.A.W. and his Companions R.A., we would find that Nabi S.A.W. and the companions performed their Fardh Salaah with Jamaat.
In the narration of Sunan Abi Dawood, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood R.A. says,
“During the lifetime of Nabi S.A.W., none would omit the Jamaat Salaah in the Masjid except an open Munaafiq (an open hypocrite), to such an extent that even a sick person would not remain absent from the congregational Salaah in the Masjid. Rather, he would be taken to the Masjid while being supported on the shoulders of two men.”
Besides the social benefits, there is great reward for performing Salaah with Jamaat. We find in a Hadith that performing Salaah with Jamaat is 27 times more virtuous than performing it individually…
“ صَلاَةُ الْجَمَاعَةِ تَفْضُلُ صَلاَةَ الْفَذِّ بِسَبْعٍ وَعِشْرِينَ دَرَجَةً ”
One reason for this is that Allah loves unity, and what greater unity can there be than unity in prayer.
Some scholars actually say it’s compulsory. They cite the verse…
“واركعوا مع الراكعين”
“bow down with those who bow down”.
Many reputable scholars understood from this verse that congregational prayer is an obligation on every male Muslim. Although not all scholars hold this view, rather saying it is a highly preferred Sunnah, it should still be enough to encourage us to perform our Salaah in the Masjid with others.