Observing the congregational prayer

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6-   Observing the congregational prayer:

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “When you pray make your rows straight and let anyone amongst you act as your Imaam. Recite the Takbeer when he recites it and when he recites (what means): {other than that of the ones against whom You are angered, and not (that of) the erring.} [Quran 1:7], say: Aameen. Allaah would respond to you.”[Muslim]

The congregational prayer is one of the greatest acts of worship that draw one closer to Allaah The Almighty. It is better than the individual’s prayer by twenty-seven degrees and whoever goes to the Masjid to perform it, Allaah The Almighty grants him a reward akin to the reward of Hajj, encompasses him in His mercy, and forgives his sins. In addition, whoever performs the prayer in congregation along with witnessing the opening Takbeer for forty days, he will be exonerated from hypocrisy and his neck will be emancipated from Hell.

The congregational prayer embodies the essence of love, brotherhood and the unity of the Muslims, as it joins their hearts and gathers them around the worship of their Lord, who wants the believers to be like one body and a single structure that is joined firmly. Therefore, Allaah The Almighty likes the people who perform  congregational prayer to be as many as possible. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “A man's prayer along with another is purer than his prayer alone, and his prayer with two men is purer than his prayer with one, but if there are more it is more pleasing to Allaah, The Almighty, The Majestic.” [Ahmad, Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa’i] [Al-Albaani: Hasan]

So, you have to be keen on it, because it is one of the greatest causes of the pleasure of Allaah The Almighty, while leaving it incurs the wrath of Allaah The Exalted and His anger.

Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, said, “I witnessed the time when no one missed it (the congregational prayer) except a hypocrite well-known for his hypocrisy.” [Muslim]

Abu Sulaymaan Al-Daaraani said, “No one misses a congregational prayer except due to a sin.”

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