Is it compulsory to pray Salah with congregation?
Praying Salah in congregation is Wajib and there are many Ahadith illustrating its excellences and virtue, and also many that warn those who do not attend the Masjid for the prayer.
Hadith: The Messenger of Allah SallAllahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam has said, “Praying in congregation is more virtuous than praying alone by 27 times.” (Al-Bukhari, chapter on al-Adhaan #645).
Hadith: “Whoever performed complete ablution, and went to the Masjid for the prayers and prayed with the Imam, all his (minor) sins shall be forgiven.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, The chapter on al-Salah #1489).
Hadith: “Whoever for the sake of Allah prays with congregational for forty days and attains the initial Takbeer, then two freedoms will be written for him. One (freedom) from hypocrisy and the other from the Hellfire.” (Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, The chapters on al-Salah #241).
Hadith: “If a person was to learn the loss of not coming to the mosque for the congregational prayer, he would come crawling.” (Al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer #7886).
Hadith: “Whosoever prayed the Isha (late night) prayer with congregation then it is as if he spent half the night in Qiyam (standing in prayer). And whosoever prayed the Fajr (Dawn) prayers with congregation then it is as if he spend the whole night in Qiyam. ” (Muslim, the book of al-Masajid #656).
Hadith: “I intend to tell the Muazzin (person who calls the Azaan) to call out the takbir and ask someone to lead the prayer and I myself set the house of that person on fire who did not attend the congregational prayer.” (al-Muslim the book of al-Masajid #252).
From the above Ahadith we perceive the importance of attending the congregational prayer. It is necessary to attend the congregational prayer and a person not attending will be liable of the Wrath of Allah, Allah Forbid.
The Scholars have stated, “It is Wajib (necessary) upon every mature, sane, free and capable adult male to pray with congregation. To miss it once without a valid legislative reason is a sin and leave it continuously will lead a person to become a Fasiq (transgressor) and his testimony will not be accepted.” (Al-Durr al-Mukhtar and Radd al-Muhtar, the Book of al-Salah, vol.2, p.340)
Allah give us the ability, Ameen
Allah Knows Best
Muhammad Husain Qadri