Really, Those Are The Men!

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Allah Almighty said:

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)

  In houses (Masjids) which Allâh has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honoured), in them His Name is remembered [i.e. Adhan, Iqamah, Salât (prayers), invocations, recitation of the Qur’ân etc.]. Therein glorify Him (Allah) in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings, Men whom neither trade nor sale (business) diverts from the Remembrance of Allâh (with heart and tongue), nor from performing As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), nor from giving the Zakât. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (out of the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection). That Allâh may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allâh provides without measure to whom He wills. [Surat An-Nûr 24:36-38]

His saying:

in them His Name is remembered

means the name of Allah. Ibn Abbas said:

it means reciting His Book (Qur`an).

His saying:

Therein glorify Him

means that every glorification in the Quran is prayer (according to the saying of Ibn Abbas).

In the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings

i.e. in the periods of the morning and end of day.

As for His saying

Men

it refers to their sublime endeavours and intentions that enabled them to populate the Masjids which are Allah’s Houses in His earth and the places of worshipping Him, thanking Him and declaring His oneness and greatness.

As for His saying:

Men whom neither trade nor sale (business) diverts from the Remembrance of Allâh (with heart and tongue)

it is like His saying:

  O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allâh. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers [Surat Al-Munâfiqun 63:9]

His saying:

  O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salât (prayer) on Friday (Jumu‘ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allâh [Jumu‘ah religious talk (Khutbah) and Salât (prayer)] and leave off business (and every other thing). That is better for you if you did but know! [Surat Al-Jumu’ah 62:9]

This verse means that life and its adornments and the pleasures of its transactions do not prevent them from coming to the Prayer in its time to perform it in congregation and remember the Lord Who is their Creator and Provider and Whom they know that what He has is better and more useful than what they have; because whatever is with them will vanish, while whatever is with Allah will remain.

The righteous forefathers (may Allah mercy them and gather us with them) were the people who glorify Allah’s orders much and obey Him all the time. Furthermore, they were the people who are eager to meet Allah, supplicating Him and standing between His hands. They used to quickly respond to the call of prayer because the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“

 “ Whenever you hear the call for prayer, you should respond to the caller for Allah.” [Declared authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jame’ 609]

The Prophet ‎ﷺ said:

“

 “ He who heard the call for prayer and did not respond to it, there is no prayer for him (i.e. his prayer will not be accepted) unless there is an excuse for him.” [Declared authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jame’ 6300]

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father too) said:

“

  He who heard Hai Ala Al-Falah and did not respond, he had neglected the Sunnah of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah ‎ﷺ.” [Reported by At-Tabarani as it is mentioned in Sahih At-Targhib – 432]

Sufyan ibn ‘Uyayna said:

  “Do not be like the bad servant who does not come unless he is called. Go to the prayer before its calling” I said: “O ibn ‘Uyayna, may Allah mercy you, what about the escaper who escape from his Master and does not respond to His call?!” (At-Tabsira, by Ibn Al-Jawzi 1/137).

He also said:

“

  Among the signs of glorifying the prayer is to come before the second call.” (Safwat As-Safwa 2/235)

Matar Al-Warraq said:

  “
They (i.e. the righteous forefathers) used to buy and sell, but whenever someone of them hears the call of prayer, while he holds his scale in his hand, he puts it and goes to the prayer” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir 3/294-295).

Also, Ibrahim ibn Maymoun Al-Marwazi, who was working as jeweler, used to hold his hammer when he hears the call for prayer!

 
They (may Allah mercy them) used to go for prayer in the Masjid although they are sick and have excuses. Ar-Rabê’ ibn Khuthaim used to come, after having hemiplegia, to the Masjid of his tribe between two men supporting him. And when people said to him:

“O Abu Yazid, you have an excuse; you could pray in your house”

he said:

“You tell the truth, but I heard him (i.e. the caller) calls Hai Ala Al-Falah (translation: come to success); therefore, he who hears him say Hai Ala Al-Falah should respond to him, even if he will come crawling” (Heliat Al-Awliaa: 2/113).

When ‘Âmer ibn Abdullah Al-Mu`adhin heard the call for prayer, at the time of his death, and his house was close to the Masjid, he said:
“

 
Take me to the Masjid.”

And when it is said to him:

“You are sick!”

he said:

“Would I hear the call of Allah and do not respond to it?!”

whereupon they took him to the Masjid. He joined Maghrib prayer and prayed one Rak’ah with the Imam then died. May Allah mercy him. Actually, many righteous people died during observing prayer in the Masjid; such as Hammad ibn Salama (As-Syar: 7/444, Syar A’lâm An-Nubalâ`: 5/220, Safwat As-Safwa 2/131).

Also, Abu Abdullah, Muhammad ibn Hufaif Ash-Shirazi suffered from pain in his waist, and sometimes the pain became severe and prevented him from moving. However, whenever it was called for prayer, he would have a man to carry him to the Masjid. When it was said to him:

  “
Would you mercy yourself?”

he said:

“When you hear Hai Ala As-Sala and do not see me in the row for prayer, look for me in the graveyard.” (As-Syar: 16/346)

It was said to Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyab:

  “
Hide because the ruler wants to kill you”

Where upon he said:

“Would I stay away where Allah has no power over me?!”

then, it was said to him:

“Stay in your home,”

but he replied:

“Would I hear Hai Ala Al-Falah and do not respond?!” (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi: 251).

And Abu Abdurrahman As-Salami used to be carried to the Masjid during his illness. Furthermore, he used to order them to carry him to the Masjid in the mid of the rain and mud, although he is sick.

Actually, nothing was able to prevent the righteous forefathers from praying in the Masjid but death. They took the Prophet ‎ﷺ, who observed prayer in congregation even at the time of his death, as model to them. And they followed their forefathers, the companions of the Messenger of Allah ‎ﷺ. Abdullah ibn Mas’ûd said:

 “ “He who likes to meet Allah tomorrow as Muslim, he should persevere in observing these prayers, when a call is announced for them, for Allah has laid down for your Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) the paths of right guidance, and these (prayers) are among the paths of right guidance. If you were to pray in your houses as this man who stays away (from the Masjid) prays in his house, you would abandon the practice of your Prophet, and if you were to abandon the practice of your Prophet, you would go astray. No man purifies himself, doing it well, then goes for one of those Masjids without Allah recording a blessing for him, for every step he takes raising him a degree for it, and effacing a sin from him for it. I have seen the time when no one stayed away from it, except a hypocrite, who was well known for his hypocrisy, whereas a man would be brought swaying (due to weakness) between two men till he was set up in a row” [Reported by Muslim: 64].

It is narrated that Ibn Omar said: “

  We used to think ill thoughts about the man whom we miss in Fajr and ‘Ishâ` prayer.” [Reported by Ibn Khuzaima and others, as it is mentioned in Sahih At-Targhib – 414]

Moreover, the Prophet ‎ﷺ warned from neglecting congregational prayer; he ‎ﷺ said:

 “ “By Him in Whose Hands my life is, I was about to order for collecting fire wood and then order someone to pronounce the call for the prayer and then order someone to lead the people in prayer and then I would go from behind and burn the houses of men who did not present themselves for the (compulsory congregational) prayer.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

It is narrated that Omar said: “

  Why there are people that stay away and their staying away encourages others to stay away! By Allah, I intended to send to them to have their heads cut before saying ‘attend the (congregational) prayer’.” (see Kanz Al-Ommal: 8/252)

The Prophet ‎ﷺ did not allow the blind man to leave the congregational prayer as long as he hears the call. There came to the Prophet ‎ﷺ a blind man (i.e. Abdullah ibn Umm Maktoum, may Allah be pleased with him) and said:

 ““O Messenger of Allah, I have no one to guide me to the Masjid.”
He, therefore, asked Allah’s Messenger (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) permission to observe prayer in his house. He (i.e. the Prophet) granted him permission. Then when the man turned away he called him and said: “Do you hear the call for prayer?” He said: “Yes.” He (the Prophet then) said: “Answer it.” [Reported by Muslim]

It is narrated on the authority of Abdullah ibn Umm Maktoum, the caller for prayer that he said:

 “ “O Messenger of Allah, there are many vermin and pests in Al-Medina, and I am blind; therefore, would you excuse me?” Whereupon the Messenger of Allah ‎ﷺ said: “Do you hear Hai Ala As-Sala, Hai Ala Al-Falah?” Abdullah said: “Yes.” The Prophet said: “Answer it” [declared authentic by Al-Albani in Takhrij Mishkat Al-Masabih: 1036]

The prophet ‎ﷺ did not only encourage responding to the caller of Allah and performing prayer in the Masjid in congregation, rather he (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) encouraged the Muslims to quickly go to Masjid and attend the Fridays and congregational prayers early in addition to caring for having a place in the first row and attending the prayer from its beginning.

The Messenger of Allah ‎ﷺ said:

 “ “If the people knew what is the reward of making the call (for the prayer) and (of being in) the first row (in the prayer), and they found no other way to get this privilege except by casting lots, they would certainly cast lots for it. If they knew the reward of coming early, they would race for it, and if they knew the reward of the ‘Ishâ` and morning (i.e. Fajr) prayers, they would go for the prayer even if they had to crawl to reach there.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

 “ It is narrated on the authority of Al-‘Irbadd ibn Sariya (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ‎ﷺ used to seek forgiveness to the first row thrice and seek forgiveness to the second row once. [Declared authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih At-Targhib – 490]

The Messenger of Allah ‎ﷺ said:

 “ “Verily, Allah and His angels pray upon the first row.” People asked: “And they pray on the second row?” whereupon he said: “Verily, Allah and His angels pray upon the first row.” But people asked again: “And (they pray) on the second row?” so he said: “And (they pray) on the second row.” [Narrated by the men who are declared authentic by Ahmad, and it is mentioned in Majma’ Az-Zawa`id: 2/94, and Al-Albani said: It’s good due to the virtue of other]

Also the Messenger of Allah ‎ﷺ said:

 “ “The best rows for men are the first rows, and the worst rows for them are the last ones, and the best rows for women are the last ones and the worst rows for them are the first ones.” [Reported by Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah ‎ﷺ said:

 “ “He who prays, for Allah, forty days in congregation, in which he attends the first Takbirah; there are two declarations of innocence will be recorded to him, one from Hellfire and another from hypocrisy.” [Declared good by Al-Albani in Sahih At-Tirmithi: 241]

The Prophet ‎ﷺ warned from falling behind the first row: he ‎ﷺ said:

 “ “Some people will continue to fall behind the first row till Allah stalls them in Hellfire.” [Declared authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jame: 7699]

This is why our righteous forefathers were models for walking to the Masjid and going early for the congregational prayer. Furthermore, they considered the Masjid their houses; Ibn Juraij said about ‘Atâ` ibn Abu Rabah:

“

  The Masjid was the bed of ‘Atâ` for twenty years and he was one of the people who perform prayer best.” (As-Syiar: 5/84)

Rabê’ah ibn Yazid also said:

  “The caller for prayer had never called for Dhuhr prayer from forty years ago unless I am in the Masjid, except in the cases of my sickness or travel.” (As-Syiar: 5/239-240)

It is narrated that Sa’êd ibn Al-Musayyab, the imam of the companion’s followers, said:

  “I had never missed the first Takbirah from fifty years ago and I had never looked at someone’s nape during prayer from fifty years ago,” and he also said: “The caller for prayer had never called for prayer from thirty years ago unless I am in the Masjid.”(both are in Heliat Al-Awliâ: 2/162-163. And see Wafyyat Al-A’yân: 2/375)

It is narrated that Bishr ibn ‘Âsim said:

  “I said to Sa’êd ibn Al-Musayyab: ‘O uncle, would not you get out to eat with your people today?’ whereupon he said: ‘O my nephew, God forbid; would I abandon twenty five prayers five times (because the congregational prayer equals twenty five single prayers)?!’”

Also Wakee’ ibn Al-Jarrah said:

“

  Al-A’mash (Solaiman ibn Mahran) was about seventy years old and he had never missed the first Takbirah” (As-Syiar: 6/228, Tadhkirat Al-Huffadh: 1/154 and Sifat As-Safwa: 3/117). And whenever Al-A’mash was mentioned to Yahya Al-Qattan, he used to say: “He was one of the pious people and he used to pray in congregation and in the first row.”

Yahya also used to go with the wall to arrive to the first row (Heliat Al-Awliaa: 5/49-50). He cared for praying in the first row, even after losing the eyesight.

Yahya ibn Ma’ên said about Yahya ibn Sa’êd:

  “He had never missed the sunset in the Masjid for forty years” (As-Syiar: 9/181).

Usayd ibn Ja’ffar said about his paternal uncle Bishr ibn Mansour:

  “He had never missed the first Takbirah” (Heliat Al-Awliaa: 6/239-240 and Sifat As-Safwa).

People used to call Bishr ibn Al-Hassan ‘As-Safyy (i.e. the pure), because he holds fast to the first row in Al-Basra Masjid for fifty years. And ibn Samâ’ah said:

  “I stayed for forty years without missing the first Takbirah except in the day of my mother’s death” (As-Syiar: 10/646).

Our righteous forefathers gave the greatest example for applying the saying of the prophet ‎ﷺ:

 “ “He who prays, for Allah, forty days in congregation, in which he attends the first Takbirah; there are two declarations of innocence will be recorded to him, one from Hellfire and another from hypocrisy.” [Declared good by Al-Albani in Sahih At-Tirmithi: 241]

And Ibrahim At-Taimy (may Allah mercy him) used to say:

  “If you saw a man tolerate missing the first Takbirah, you should abandon him.” I said: “What if he saw our time?! I think he would abandon the majority of Muslims! Truly, to Allah we belong and truly to Him we will return! (Heliat Al-Awliâ`: 4/215, As-Syiar: 5/62-65 and Sifat As-Safwa: 3/88).

Furthermore, some of our righteous forefathers cared for applying the saying of the Messenger of Allah ‎ﷺ:
“

 “ He who calls for prayer for twelve years, he will gain Paradise and sixty good deeds will be recorded for him daily for his Adhan (i.e. the first call) and thirty good deeds will be recorded for him daily for his Iqama (i.e. the second call)” [declared authentic by Al-Albani in the authentic chain: 42]

This, in addition to many Ahadith declare the excellence of calling for prayer and the reward of the caller. And it is narrated that Al-Hakim said about Abu Al-‘Abbas, Muhammad ibn Ya’qûb Al-Asamm:

“I have been told that he called for prayer in his Masjid for seventy years.” (As-Syiar: 15/455)

This is why the righteous forefathers used to condole themselves for three days if they missed the first Takbirah, and for seven days if they missed the congregational prayer (Tohfat Al-Ahwazi: 2/45)

Abu Al-Laith At-Tarsousi received condolence, and when it was asked about what happened? it is said that he missed the congregational prayer! (Tarikh Wasit, by Bahshal: 174).

Hatim Al-Asamm said:

“

  I missed prayer in congregation (i.e. meaning once), so Abu Ishaq Al-Bukhari gave condolence to me alone. Actually, if I missed a son, I would have more than ten thousand persons to console me, because the calamity of religion is easier in the eyes of people than the calamity of life.” (Al-Ihyâ`: 1/177 and Mukashafat Al-Qulub: 364)

Also, Sa’eed ibn Abdel-‘Aziz used to cry whenever he misses the congregational prayer! (Tadhkirat Al-Huffadh: 1/219)

  Al-Muzani, the student of imam Ash-Shafe’i, used to pray the prayer twenty five times if he missed it in congregation (As-Syiar: 12/492). And Al-Aswad used to go to another Masjid if he missed the congregational prayer [declared authentic by Al-Hafidh in Fath Al-Bari: 2/131]. And when Dimam ibn Isma’îl came to the Masjid and found that the people has prayed, he vowed not to leave the Masjid till he meets Allah. He considered it his house till he died (Al-‘Ilal, by Ahmed: 5033).

Solaiman ibn Hamza Al-Maqdisi, the judge, said:

  “
I had never prayed obligatory prayer alone except twice, and I feel as if I had never prayed them,”

although he was about ninety years old! And when Maymoun ibn Mahran came to the Masjid and it was said to him that the people had gone he said:

“Truly, to Allah we belong and truly to Him we will return! The excellence of this prayer is dearer to me than ruling Iraq.” (Mukashafat Al-Qulub: 364)

Yunus ibn Abdullah said:

“

  Why do I feel sad for missing a chicken and do not feel sad for missing prayer in congregation?!” (Heliat Al-Awliâ`: 3/19 and Sifat As-Safwa: 3/307).

The true servants of Allah are those whom He Almighty described by His saying:

  They fear a Day

i.e. the Day of Resurrection

  when hearts and eyes will be overturned [Surat An-Nûr 24:37]

i.e. out of the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection.

  That Allâh may reward them according to the best of their deeds [Surat An-Nûr 24:38]

by accepting their good deeds and forgiving their evil deeds

  and add even more for them out of His Grace [Surat An-Nûr 24:38]

i.e. He will multiply their rewards and grant them Paradise

  And Allâh provides without measure to whom He wills. [Surat An-Nûr 24:38]

May Allah make us among them and gather us with them.

And prayers and peace of Allah be upon our prophet Muhammad ‎ﷺ and all his family and companions.

Footnote

Adapted from the department of studies in Ibn khuzaymah House

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)



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