Sayings of the Sahabah on the Virtues and Importance of Jama’at


Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 2-Salat and its virtues / Sunday, August 31st, 2008

A few Ahadith have been mentioned to serve as an example. We will now mention
the sayings of the companions of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam in order
to illustrate the importance they attached to the offering of salaat with
jama’at, and how they regarded the abandoning of jama’at. Why should they not
regard it like this? Who can be more cautious in obeying and seeking the
pleasure of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam than them?

1. Aswad says that once he was in the company of Hadrat A’ishah radiallahu anha
when the discussion turned towards the virtues and importance of salaat. In
order to substantiate what she was saying, she quoted an incident from the marad
ul-maut (the last sickness before death) of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa
sallam. One day, the time of salaat entered and the adhaan was called out.
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that Abu Bakr radiallahu anhu should
be told to perform the salaat. I said to him that Abu Bakr is a very
soft-hearted person. When he stands to perform the salaat in your place, he will
become incapable and will not be able to perform the salaat. However, Rasulullah
sallallahu alayhi wa sallam repeated the same command, so I gave him the same
reply. Upon this, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “You are saying
the same things which the women of Egypt used to say to Hadrat Yusuf alayhis
salaam. Tell Abu Bakr that he should perform the salaat.” Anyway, Abu Bakr went
out to perform the salaat. In the meantime, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa
sallam felt some relief from his sickness, so he went towards the musjid with
the assistance of two people. I can still picture the scene when Rasulullah
sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was going with his feet dragging on the floor. That
is, he did not even have the strength to lift his feet. Abu Bakr had already
commenced performing the salaat and wanted to move back. But Rasulullah
sallallahu alayhi wa sallam stopped him and made him perform the salaat.

2. Once Hadrat Umar radiallahu anhu noticed that Sulayman bin Abi Haythama was
not present for the fajr salaat. So he went to his house and asked his mother as
to why he did not see Sulayman for fajr today. She replied that he had been
offering salaat throughout the night and fell asleep at the time of fajr. Upon
hearing this, Hadrat Umar radiallahu anhu replied: “I prefer offering fajr
salaat with jama’at than spending the entire night in ibaadah. (Muwatta Imam
Malik) Shaikh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi rahmatullahi alayhi has written that
it is clear from this Hadith that there is more reward in offering fajr salaat
with jama’at than tahajjud salaat. It is for this reason that the ulama have
written that if spending the night in ibaadah will cause some harm or
shortcoming in the fajr salaat, it will be preferable to leave out spending the
night in ibaadah. (Ash’atul Lama’aat)

3. Hadrat Ibn Mas’ud radiallahu anhu says: “We witnessed ourselves – the Sahabah
– that none would leave out offering salaat with jama’at except an open
hypocrite or that person who is sick. But even the sick used to come for jama’at
with the assistance of two people. Without doubt, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi
wa sallam showed us the different paths of guidance. And among them is the
offering of salaat in those musjids where the adhaan is called out, i.e. where
salaat is offered with jama’at. Another advice that he gave us is that whoever
wishes to meet Allah Ta’ala on the day of resurrection as a Muslim should make a
duty of offering his five times salaat regularly in those places where adhaan is
called out, i.e. in those places where salaat is offered with jama’at. Without
doubt, Allah Ta’ala has shown the different paths of guidance to your prophet.
And this salaat is also among these paths. If you offer your salaat in your
homes, as is the habit of the hypocrites, you will most certainly be missing out
on the Sunnah of your prophet. And if you leave out the Sunnah of your prophet,
you will most certainly be led astray. When a person makes a complete wudu and
leaves his home for the musjid, then for every step that he takes he gets one
reward, his rank is elevated, and one sin is forgiven. We have noticed that no
one except the hypocrite stays away from the jama’at. Our state was such that
when we used to fall ill, we used to be taken to attend the jama’at with the
assistance of two people and made to stand in the saff” (line in which every one
stands to offer salaat).

4. Once a person walked out of the musjid without offering his salaat after the
adhaan had been called out. Upon this, Hadrat Abu Hurayrah radiallahu anhu said:
“This person has disobeyed Abul Qasim (Muhammad) sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and
disregarded his noble order.” (Sahih Muslim) Just ponder over what Hadrat Abu
Hurayrah radiallahu anhu said in regard to the person who abandoned the jama’at.
After hearing this, can any Muslim still have the audacity of leaving the
jama’at without any valid excuse? Can any believing person bear disobeying
Hadrat Abul Qasim (Muhammad) sallallahu alayhi wa sallam?

5. Hadrat Umme Darda radiallahu anha says: “Once Hadrat Abu Darda radiallahu
anhu came to me in an extremely angry state. So I asked him: ‘Why are you so
angry today?’ He replied: “I swear by Allah that I do not see anything wrong in
the ummah of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam except that they should offer
their salaat with jama’at.’ In other words, they have even started leaving this
out.”

6. Many companions of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam report that he
said: “The person who hears the adhaan and yet does not attend the jama’at, his
salaat will not be accepted.” After quoting this Hadith, Imam Tirmidhi says that
some ulama have stated that this ruling is for emphasis. The purpose of this is
that it is not permissible to leave out the jama’at without any valid excuse.

7. Once, Mujahid said to Ibn Abbas radiallahu anhu: “What do you have to say in
regard to that person who fasts the entire day and offers salaat throughout the
night but does not attend jumu’ah nor the jama’at?” He replied: “He will enter
hell.” (Tirmidhi) In explaining this Hadith, Imam Tirmidhi says that this rule
will apply if a person leaves out jumu’ah and jama’at out of total disregard for
them. But if we regard the entry into hell for a few days, then the above
explanation will not be necessary.

8. It was the practice of our pious predecessors that if anyone did not come for
the jama’at, they used to boycott him for seven days. (Ihya ul-Uloom)

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