We are well into the holy month of Ramadan now, and in the flow of waking up for suhur, fasting with lesser complaints, praying five times a day on time, and attending (almost) every night of Tarraweh.
At the end of Ramadan, almost all of us will be the best version of ourselves, as compared with the person we were prior. tweet
So before this wonderful and spiritual month ends, we need to start talking about the things we will carry with us after Ramadan.
This might mean better habits, better conduct towards others (especially towards those you don’t necessarily *like*) and reading the Quran more often for most people.
One practice that is often overlooked after Ramadan is attending the mosque. tweet
That’s right. After Ramadan, those once crowded and straight rows of people standing shoulder to shoulder for hours on end–those fleets of cars overcrowding the mosque parking lot and resorting to occupying small lots nearby regardless of the heavy fine & repercussions–those groups of men and women coming into the mosque early to read an extra Juz or two…all of these wonderful blessings and practices vanish in one full sweep.
The mosque was described by our beloved Prophet (peace by upon him) to be the “blessed spot of land on Earth.” In this very spot, all people are looked at as one before Allah. There is no distinction between the rich and the poor, the black and the white, the straight and the LGBTQ, and the young and the old. tweet
Our neglect of praying in the mosque after Ramadan mostly comes from a lack of time or a lack of awareness of the merits of attending the mosque on a daily basis. We need to make time for the deeds that will carry us forward in the day of the Akira. The Prophet (peace be upon him) many a times has emphasized the importance of attending the mosque for men, and the reward that comes when a group of people who love him and Allah come together for worship. Here are 10 places, both in ahadith and the Quran, that the merits of attending the mosque are emphasized:
1. Praying in Congregation
The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, “The prayer of a man offered in congregation is more than twenty degrees greater in merit than his prayer offered in his marketplace or in his home. Therefore, when one of them makes a fine ablution and comes to the mosque with no desire except for the prayer, and nothing motivated him except the prayer, his degree is raised for every step he took and a sin is removed up until he enters the mosque.” (Bukhari)
Whether this means attempting to go to your local mosque in lunch breaks or even getting a group of Muslim co-workers together for Zhuhr or Asr Salah, make it happen.
2. Reward for every step taken to the Masjid
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “He who purifies (performs Wudu’) himself in his house and then walks to one of the houses of Allah (mosque) for performing an obligatory Salat, one step of his will wipe out his sins and another step will elevate his rank (in Jannah).” (Bukhari)
And even if the mosque is far away from you, Allah’s reward for doing so goes above and beyond the sacrifices you’ve made for your long trip.
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (pbuh) listed the following actions by which Allah effaces the sins and elevates the ranks (in Jannah), “Performing the Wudu’ properly in spite of difficult circumstances, walking with more paces to the mosque, and waiting for the next Salat (prayer) after observing Salat.” (Muslim)
3. Praying the Isha and Fajr Prayers in Congregation
Even if you can’t squeeze in time to attend the mosque during the day because of work, you have no excuse when it comes to making the time for Isha and Fajr in the mosque.
Uthman ibn ‘Affan narrated that the Prophet said (RA) said, “If someone prays Isha in a group, it is as if he had prayed half of the night. If someone prays Subh (Fajr Prayer) in a group, it is as if he had prayed the entire night.” [Muslim]
4. No More Room for Hypocrisy
Allah (swt) time and time again mentions the punishment that is in store for the hypocrites. Attending the mosque on a regular basis will keep you away from these evils. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “There is no prayer heavier on the hypocrites than Fajr and Isha. If they only knew what is in them, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.”
5. The Angels will pray for you
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “When he enters the mosque, he is considered to be in a state of prayer as long as the prayer keeps him until its time; and the angels continue to pray for him as long as he remains in his place of prayer, and they supplicate saying: O Allah have mercy on him, O Allah, forgive him, O Allah accept his repentance, for as long as he does no harm there, and so long as he does not loose his state of purity (wudu).” (Bukhari & Muslim)
6. Mosque in the morning and the evening
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the the Prophet (pbuh) said, “He who goes to the mosque in the morning or in the evening, Allah prepares for him a place in Jannah whenever he goes to the mosque in the morning and returns from it in the evening.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
7. Coming Early to Friday Prayer
If you cannot make it a habit to attend the mosque daily, at least make the the effort to come in early to the mosque for Friday Prayer.
Rasulallah (Pbuh) said: “On the day of Jummah, the angels stand at the entrance of that Masjid in which Jummah salaat is to be offered. They write down the name of the person who enters the Masjid first, and thereafter the name of the person who follows, and they continue doing this. The person who entered first will receive the reward of sacrificing a camel in the path of Allah; the one who followed him will get the reward of sacrificing a cow, thereafter a chicken, thereafter the reward of giving an egg as charity in the path of Allah. Once the khutbah commences, the angels close the register and begin listening to the khutbah.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
We have long neglected the many mentions and benefits of praying Salah in congregation. Attending the mosque on a regular basis will give you the sense of belonging, love, and encouragement that you both need and deserve. The brothers and sisters that you meet at the mosque will remind you of Allah, and help you keep the deen close to your heart. May Allah (swt) give us the Hidayah (guidance) to make a habit of going to the mosque and accept all the intentions we have of doing so.