12 Ahadith on the Virtues and Importance of Jama’at

1. lbn Umar radiallahu anhu narrates from Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam on the virtue of offering salaat with jama’at as being 27 times more rewarding than offering it alone.

2. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “It is better to offer salaat with another person than to offer it alone. And it is even better to offer it with two people. And the bigger the jama’at, the more beloved it is in the sight of Allah.”

3. Anas bin Maalik radiallahu anhu narrates that the Banu Salimah who used to live quite far from the Masjid un-Nabawi decided to shift from their original place and come and settle down somewhere near Rasulullah sal­ lallahu alayhi wa sallam. On hearing about this, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam asked them saying: “What! Don’t you regard your footsteps which touch the ground as being worthy of reward?” From this we can deduce that the further one lives from the Masjid, and still comes walking to it, the more reward he will receive. (However, if there is a Masjid in one’s residential area, one should not leave it and go to some other Masjid which is further away. So much so that if no jama’at takes place in his Masjid, he should still go there, call out the adhaan and iqaamah and offer his salaat on his own.)

4. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Whatever time that is spent waiting for salaat will be regarded as though the person was actually in salaat.”

5. One night Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam addressed those com­ panions of his who were present for the esha jama’at saying: “People are offering their salaat and going away to sleep, while whatever time you are spending in waiting for salaat is being calculated as if you are already in salaat.”

6. Buraydah Aslami radiallahu anhu narrates that once Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Glad tidings to those who go to the Masjids in the dark of the night in order to attend the jama’at, that they will be bestowed with full light on the day of resurrection.”

7. Uthmaan radiallahu anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The person who offers esha salaat with jama’at will get the reward of spending half the night in ibaadah. And the one who offers the esha and fajr salaats with jama’at will get the reward of spending the whole night in ibaadah.”

8. Abu Hurayrah radiallahu anhu reports that once Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “It crossed my mind that I order someone to gather some firewood, thereafter the adhaan be called out and I order someone to perform the salaat while I go to the houses of those people who do not attend the jama’at and I set fire to their houses.”

9. Another narration reads as follows: “Were it not for the little children and women, I would have occupied myself with the esha salaat and ordered the servants to go to the houses and set them alight together with them and their possessions.” (Muslim) The wisdom behind mentioning esha salaat is that it is the time for sleeping and generally most of the people are at home at that time. After quoting this Hadith, Imam Tirmidhi rahmatullahi alayh says that a similar Hadith has been narrated by Ibn Mas’ud, Abu Darda, Ibn Abbas, and Jaabir radiallahu anhum. All these people were among the respected companions of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.

10. Abu Darda radiallahu anhu reports that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Even if there are only three persons in a particular locality or jungle and they do not offer salaat with jama’at, then Shaytaan will most certainly overpower them. 0 Abu Darda! Regard jama’at as being incumbent upon you. Remember, the wolves attack that sheep which has strayed away from the main flock.”

11. Ibn Abbas radiallahu anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The person who hears the adhaan and still does not attend the jama’at without any valid excuse, then the salaat which he offers alone is not accepted. ” 93 The Sahabah asked as to what that excuse was, upon which Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam replied that it was fear or sickness. In this Hadith fear and sickness have not been explained. In other Ahadith some explanation of fear and sickness has been given.

12. Mihjan radiallahu anhu narrates: “Once I was with Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam when we heard the adhaan. Rasulullah sallallhu alayhi wa sallam commenced with his salaat while I went and sat down in my place. After completing his salaat, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam asked me: “O Mihjan! Why didn’t you offer your salaat with jama’at? Are you not a Muslim?”

I replied saying: “O Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam ! I am indeed a Muslim, but I had already offered my salaat at home.”

 Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “When you come to the Masjid and see that the jama’at has commenced, join the people and offer your salaat even if you have already offered your salaat. “

(However, if a person has already offered his fajr, asr or maghrib salaat on his own, and thereafter the jama’at commences, then he should not join the jama’at. The reason for this is that one should not offer any nafl salaat after the fajr and asr salaats. And as for maghrib, the reason is that there is no three rakaats of nafl in the Shariah. In other words, he will not receive the full reward. It does not mean that this fard duty will not be considered to be fulfilled.)

Ponder over this Hadith and see how Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam reprimanded his selected companion, Mihjan radiallahu anhu, and asked him: “Are you not a Muslim?”

Source: Behshti Zewar