On the excellence of the Group prayer

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

191. Chapter: On the excellence of the Group prayer

1064. Ibn 'Umar stated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Prayer in a group is seventy-seven times better than the prayer of a man by himself." [Agreed upon]

1065. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The group prayer is twenty-five degrees higher than the prayer in your house or the prayer in your place of business. Anyone who does wudu' and goes to the mosque with no other object than to do the prayer, Allah will raise him up a degree with every step he takes, and a wrong action will fall away from him. When he prays, the angels pray for him all the time he is in his place of prayer, 'O Allah! Forgive him! O Allah! Show mercy to him!' One of you is in the prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer." [Agreed upon]

1066. Abu Hurayra said, "A blind man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, I have no guide to direct me to the mosque.' He asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to make an dispensation for him allowing him to pray in his house, and he gave him that dispensation. When he turned away, he called to him and said to him, 'Do you hear the call to prayer?' He said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Then respond to it.'" [Muslim]

1067. 'Abdullah - and it is said 'Amr - ibn Qays, known as Ibn Umm Maktum, the mu'adhdhin, said, "Messenger of Allah, there are many reptiles and wild beasts in Madina." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "You hear 'Come to the prayer. Come to success,' so come." [Abu Dawud]

1068. Abu Hurayra reported that Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "By Him in Whose hand my soul is, I seriously considered ordering someone to collect firewood, ordering the prayer be called, appointing a man to lead the prayer and then coming up behind certain men and burning their houses down about them!" [Agreed upon]

1069. Ibn Mas'ud said, "Anyone who wants to meet Allah tomorrow as a Muslim should observe these prayers when they are called. Allah has prescribed the sunan of guidance for His Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and they are part of the sunan of guidance. If you prayed them in your houses, like this person who does not come prays in his house, you would be abandoning the sunna of your Prophet. If you were to abandon the sunna of your Prophet, then you would go astray. I have seen that only hypocrites, whose hypocrisy is known, fail to come. A man used to be brought to it, supported between two men, until he was stood up in the prayer line." [Muslim]

In another variant, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, taught us the sunan of guidance, and part of the sunan of guidance is the prayer in the mosque from which the call to it is given."

1070. Abu'd-Darda' said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'If there are three in a village or desert and they do not pray (together) Shaytan will overpower them. You must perform the group prayer. The wolf devours the stray sheep." [Abu Dawud]