Hadith on Prayer: The Virtues of Congregational Prayer

📖Sunan Abi Dawud 554
Narrated Ubayy ibn Ka’b: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) led us in the dawn prayer one day. And he said: Is so and so present? They said: No. He (again) asked: Is so and so present? They replied: No. He then said: These two prayers are the ones which are most burdensome to hypocrites. If you knew what they contain (i.e. blessings), you would come to them, even though you had to crawl on your knees. The first row is like that of the angels, and if you knew the nature of its excellence, you would race to join it. A man’s prayer said along with another is purer than his prayer said alone, and his prayer with two men is purer than his prayer with one, but if there are more it is more pleasing to Allah, the Almighty, the Majestic.

From this hadith, we can learn several lessons that are relevant today:

  1. The importance of attending congregational prayers: The hadith emphasizes the significance of attending the dawn prayer (Fajr) and the congregational prayers in general. It highlights that these prayers are particularly challenging for hypocrites but hold immense blessings. The lesson for today is that Muslims should strive to establish regular attendance at congregational prayers in the mosque whenever possible.
  2. The merit of the first row in congregational prayer: The hadith mentions that the first row of the prayer resembles the row of angels. This statement highlights the virtue of being in the front row during congregational prayers. It encourages Muslims to hasten and compete for the opportunity to be in the front row, as it carries a special excellence.
  3. The purity and strength of collective prayer: The hadith teaches that praying alongside others increases the purity and strength of an individual’s prayer. It indicates that praying with one person is better than praying alone, and praying with two is even better. This encourages Muslims to seek opportunities to pray with others and engage in communal worship, as it brings greater reward and is more pleasing to Allah.

Overall, this hadith emphasizes the significance of congregational prayers, the importance of striving for the first row, and the benefits of collective prayer. It encourages Muslims to prioritize and actively participate in communal worship, seeking the blessings and rewards associated with it.