“On the authority of Abu Huraira who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him said), “Every small bone of everyone has upon it a charitable act for everyday upon which the sun rises. Bringing about justice between two is an act of charity. Helping a man get on his mount, lifting him onto it or helping him put his belongings onto it, is a charitable act. A good word is a charitable act. Every step you take toward the prayer is a charitable act. And removing a harmful thing from the path is a charitable act.” (Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim)
“Every step you take toward the prayer is a charitable act.”
Illustrating that every step we take towards the prayer is rewardable as a charitable act, show us the importance of prayer in congregation in the mosque. Allah (swt) will bestow bounties on us for each step we take towards the prayer.
There are other hadith that talk of the virtues of walking to the mosque. In particular, a hadith in Sahih Muslim records that the Tribe of Salamah wanted to move closer to the Prophet’s (s) mosque in Madinah. The Prophet (s) advised them not to move as the steps that they took towards the mosque would be recorded for them. He (s) also told them, that for every step they took, they would be raised another rank in Paradise. From this, some scholars have also deduced that the greater the effort required in attending the mosque, the greater the reward.
Other hadith have noted the importance of the Fajr and Isha prayers in congregation (for men) in particular. The Prophet (s) said:
“One who performs Isha prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat the whole night.” (Recorded in Sahih Muslim)
“No prayers are more heavy (harder) for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the Isha prayer; but if they knew the reward for these prayers at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves (in the mosques) even if they had to crawl.” (Recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari)
SubhaanAllah, they would go even if they had to crawl. How many people do we see for Fajr prayer in the mosque? And yet the reward with Allah (swt) is so great.
These hadith reminds us of the reward not just for the act of prayer itself, but also the effort we make to attend it in congregation. A sense of community and companionship is created when we pray together. Congregational prayer brings the believers together to stand shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot in worship of Allah (swt), and Allah (swt) in His (swt) infinite mercy makes this prayer in congregation is 27 times more rewardable than the prayer performed alone. Not only this, He (swt) rewards us for every step we take to the prayer, every step we take closer to Him (swt). Let’s pray that He (swt) raises us another rank in Paradise for every step we take.