The Burning Desire of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)

After Imaan, the most fundamental and important pillar of Islam is Salaah. The importance of Salaah is so great that it can never be over-emphasised. Due to Salaah holding such a lofty and esteemed position in Deen, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) strove throughout his mubaarak life to establish Salaah in the lives of the Ummah and connect people to the Masaajid. Hazrat Aaisha (Radhiyallahu Anha) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had commanded that Masaajid be built in every locality to enable the people of the locality to perform their Salaah in the house of Allah Ta‘ala (Tirmizi #594).

While making Hijrah from Makkah Mukarramah to Madinah Munawwarah, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) stopped over at Quba where he remained for fourteen days before continuing to Madinah Munawwarah. His first and foremost concern upon reaching Quba was the building of the Musjid and establishing Salaah among the people of Quba. Hence, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) constructed the Musjid of Quba which was the first Musjid built in Islam. He thereafter arrived in Madinah Munawwarah and once again – his greatest concern was the building of the Musjid in Madinah Munawwarah, so that the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) could perform their Salaah in the house of Allah Ta’ala. A piece of land was thus purchased and the Musjid of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) (Musj id-e-Nabawi) was constructed.

 

Uniting the Ummah upon Performing Congregational Salaah in the Musjid

After constructing the Musjid, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) consulted the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) regarding the method to be adopted to gather people for the congregational Salaah in the Musjid. Initially, the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) would perform their Salaah in the Musjid at different times. Hence, it was the burning desire within the heart of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) that all the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) congregate at one time in the Musjid and perform their Salaah with one jamaat. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was neither pleased with the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) performing their Salaah in the Musjid at different times nor in their homes or at other places.

The Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) presented various suggestions in regard to how people could possibly be gathered at one time for Salaah. Some of the suggestions were that a fire be lit or a flag be hoisted. On seeing the fluttering flag hoisted or the flames and smoke of the fire, the people would automatically understand that it is the time of Salaah and thereby gather in the Musjid for Salaah. Other suggestions were that a horn be sounded or that the naqoos (two sticks) be struck upon each other to alert people that it is the time of Salaah. These were some of the ways adopted by the Jews, Christians and kuffaar of that time to call people to their prayers. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was not pleased with these opinions and disapproved of adopting these methods to gather people for Salaah. The reason for his disapproval was that he did not want his Ummah to emulate the ways of the Jews, Christians and Kuffaar in aspects of their Deen or their worldly life. No conclusion was reached in that gathering and the matter was thus left undecided.

Prior to the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) dispersing from the gathering of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), Hazrat Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) presented a suggestion to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) that, until a method is decided, perhaps a person could be appointed to go around calling people for Salaah whenever the time of Salaah enters. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) accepted the suggestion of Hazrat Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and appointed Hazrat Bilaal (Radhiyallahu Anhu) to carry out this task. Hence at the time of Salaah, Hazrat Bilaal (Radhiyallahu Anhu) would go around informing the people that the jamaat (congregational Salaah) in the Musjid was about to commence.

 

The Concern in the Hearts of Sahaabah

The heart of each Sahaabi (Radhiyallahu Anhu) was filled with the concern of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) with regard to how people should be gathered in the Musjid for the congregational Salaah. It was not long thereafter that one night, Hazrat Abdullah bin Zaid (Radhiyallahu Anhu) was shown a dream wherein he was taught the words of Azaan. When he awoke the following morning, he related the entire dream to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), whereupon Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Certainly it is a true dream.” A similar dream was seen by Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar, and other Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum). Thereafter, whenever it was the time of Salaah, Hazrat Bilaal (Radhiyallahu Anhu) would invite the people for Salaah through calling out the Azaan.

 

Admonition for those who Neglect Salaah with Jamaat in the Musjid

It was the burning desire of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) that the men of the Ummah perform their Salaah with jamaat in the Musjid. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to be greatly hurt when he learnt of people performing their Salaah at their homes that he said: “Had it not been for the women and children, I would have commanded a group of youth to gather firewood and set fire to the dwellings of those people who perform their Salaah at their homes without any excuse” (Muslim #651; Musnad Ahmad #8796).

The Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) had once seen Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) weeping. On enquiring from him as to what caused him to weep, he said: “I was shown by Allah Ta’ala that among the signs of Qiyaamah are that the people from my Ummah will discard their Salaah and follow their (evil) desires” (Al-Ishaa’ah fi Ashratis Saa’ah Pg. 1 71).

 

The Practice of Sahaabah regarding Congregational Salaah

Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood (Radhiyallahu Anhu) is reported to have said: “Guard your five daily Salaah through performing it at a place where the Azaan is called out (i.e. the Musjid). Verily performing these (fardh) Salaah in the Musjid is from the Sunan-e-Huda (the prescribed acts of worship in Deen). Allah Ta’ala has prescribed for His Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) Sunan-e-Huda (such acts of worship which are complete guidance for you). During the mubaarak lifetime of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) none would omit the jamaat Salaah in the Musjid except an open munaafiq (an open hypocrite), to such an extent that even a sick person would not remain absent from the congregational Salaah in the Musjid. Rather, he would be taken to the Musjid while being supported on the shoulders of two men. Each one of you (the Sahaabah) has a specified place in his home reserved for performing nafl Salaah, etc. However, if you begin performing your fardh Salaah at home and leave attending the congregational prayer in the Musjid, then you will be abandoning the emphasized Sunnah of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). As soon as you will abandon his mubaarak Sunnah, you will certainly go astray.” (Abu Dawood #550)

It is reported that somebody asked Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (Radhiyallahu Anhuma): “What is the condition of the person who observes nafl fasts during the day and offers nafl Salaah the entire night, but neither goes to the Musjid to perform Salaah with jamaat nor attends the Jumu’ah?” Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (Radhiyallahu Anhuma) replied, “He is doomed to Hell.” (Tirmizi #218)

 

The Desire of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) regarding Women Performing Salaah in the Confines of their Homes

While it was the burning desire of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) that the men of his Ummah perform their Salaah with jamaat in the Musjid, it was his heart’s desire that the women of his Ummah perform their Salaah within the confines of their homes. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) encouraged women to perform their Salaah within their homes and remain concealed from the eyes of men, to such an extent that he said: “The Salaah of a woman in her bedroom is more rewarding than her Salaah in the enclosed courtyard of her house and her Salaah in the innermost portion of the bedroom (a small room within the bedroom) is more rewarding than her Salaah in her bedroom.” (Abu Dawood #570)

Once Hazrat Ummu Humaid (Radhiyallahu Anha), the wife of Abu Humaid As-Saa’idi (Radhiyallahu Anhu), came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and said, “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), I long to perform Salaah behind you.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, “I am aware that you long and desire to perform Salaah behind me. However, your Salaah in your bedroom is more rewarding than your Salaah in any other part of your home. The Salaah in any other part of your home is more rewarding than the Salaah in your enclosed courtyard. The Salaah in your enclosed courtyard is more rewarding than the Salaah in the Musjid of your locality. The Salaah in the Musjid of your locality is more rewarding than your Salaah in my Musjid (Musjid-e-Nabawi).” Hazrat Ummu Humaid (Radhiyallahu Anha) (in compliance and obedience with the mubaarak desire of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) instructed that a small place be reserved for her Salaah in the innermost portion of her bedroom, and she would devotedly perform all her Salaah at that place until the end of her life. (Saheeh ibni Hibbaan #2217)

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