The Virtues and Importance of Jama’at

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

So many Sahih Ahadith have been narrated with regards
to the virtues and importance of jama’at that if all of them had to be collected
at one place, a large voluminous book would get filled. After examining all
these Ahadith, one aspect is very apparent, i.e. jama’at is a very important
prerequisite for the perfection of salaat. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa
sallam never ever discarded jama’at. So much so that when he fell ill and did
not have the strength to walk on his own, he came to the musjid with the
assistance of two people and offered his salaat with jama’at. He used to become
extremely angry on the person who did not offer his salaat with jama’at and
desired to mete out severe punishment on the abandoning of jama’at. Without
doubt, very great importance has been attached to offering salaat with jama’at
in the Shariah of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. And it ought to
have been like this. The high status of salaat demanded that whatever was going
to complement it should also be given full importance.

We will now quote a verse which some commentators and jurists
have used as a proof on the establishment of jama’at. Thereafter, we shall quote
a few Ahadith. The verse reads as follows:

warkau.GIF (3404 bytes)

Translation: “And bow down (in prayer) with those who
bow down.” (i.e. with jama’at).

There is an explicit order to offer salaat with jama’at in
this verse. But because a few commentators have taken “bow down” (ruku)
to mean “humility” (khudu), therefore the fardiyyat (compulsion)
of salaat with jama>at cannot be
established (from this verse).

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