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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Attending Ccongregational Prayer at the Mosque

Congregational prayer five times a day and Salat-u-Jumuah on Friday are obligatory on men, based on the following evidence.

Allah the Exalted said:

O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the prayer on the day of Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah [The religious talk (khutba) and prayer (salat)] and leave off business (and every other thing.) That is better for you if you did but know! (V.62:9)

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whomever leaves three Jumuah (prayers) consecutively, considering it not very important, Allah will seal his heart.” (Ahmed)
“I had a strong inclination to order the boys to gather firewood for me, then go to the houses of those who pray in their homes without excuse (like illness) and burn their houses down.” (Muslim).

“Whoever hears the athan (call to prayer), then doesnt come to the mosque (but prays at home), then he has no (acceptable) prayer unless he has an excuse (a valid one-for instance, fear or illness).” (Ibn Majah)

A blind man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I have no guide to lead me to the mosque, so grant me a leave from attending the congregational prayer in the mosque,” which the Prophet (pbuh) did. But after he turned away, he called him back, and said, “ Do you hear the call to prayer?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “ Then respond to it.” (Muslim)

Abdullah bin Masudt , said: Whoever wants to meet Allah tomorrow as a Muslim should guard these five daily prayers by praying them when the adhan is called. Allah has prescribed for your Prophet (pbuh) practices of guidance, and if you pray in your homes, as some laggards do, you would abandon the sunna (example) of your Prophet; and if you were to abandon from prayer in the sunna of your Prophet, you will go astray,. We used to see no one lagging behind from prayer in the mosque except the known munafiq (hypocrite), and a sick person used to be helped to the mosque supported between two men until he would stand up in the row.

ATTENDANCE OF WOMEN FOR CONGRAGATIONAL PRAYER IN THE MOSQUE

It is permissible for women to go out to the mosque which has seperate ladies section, to attend daily congregational prayer, on condition that they avoid clothing, ornaments or perfume that will attract attention of the opposite sex or invite turmoil or confusion.

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“Do not prevent the women from their share in the mosque when they seek your permission.” (Muslim)

This hadith indicates that a married woman should ask the permission of her huband and the unmarried girl should ask the permission of her father or guardian.

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“Any woman who puts on perfume should not attend Isha (prayer) with us.” (Muslim)

“Any woman who puts on perfume and goes to the mosque for prayers, her prayer will not be accepted until she washes (it off).” (Ibn Majah).

“Do not forbid your women from (attending to congregational prayers in) the mosque, and their homes are better for them.” (Abu Dawud).

This indicates that the prayer of a woman in her house is better for her than her prayer in the mosque.

A Womans Dress in Prayer

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“Allah will not accept the prayer of a woman who is of menstruating age, except with a khimar (a long scarf which covers her hair, neck, and chest.)” (Abu Dawud and others)

This hadith indicates that if a woman has attained puberty, Allah will not accept her prayer unless she covers herself properly. This includes covering her head and neck and wearing a long dress which covers her legs and feet (or wears heavy socks which will cover her feet and legs so that none of her skin can be seen underneath them), in addition to wearing a dress which will cover her whole body.

It is permitted for her to expose her face and hands in prayer if there is no male stranger to see her, as there is no proof that she is required to cover those parts in prayer.

As for outside of Prayer, all of the womans body is awrah, that is, a male stranger should not be able to see any part of her.

As-Salaam Walekum

Jizak Allah Khairan, Sister Asma bint Saeed
New Delhi
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