Alhumdu'lillah, with the grace of Allah All Mighty, without a mosque or no official space, Abingdon Muslims have begun performing regular Maghrib & Isha Salah with Jama'ah, in Abingdon.
A local brother Muhammed Saqib, has open heartedly provided a space for the Muslims of Abingdon to perform Salah and become friends of Allah free of charge.
All we ask of the jama'ah and any new individuals to remember that they are attending for the sake of Allah, their conduct and intention should reflect this. I pray that Allah protects the purity of our intentions, I ask Allah to protect us from any individuals with intentions other than the worship of Allah and love of the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (pbuh).
"Salah was the first and foremost thing ordered by Allah, and it shall be the first and foremost thing to be reckoned for on the Day of Judgment"
The five daily prayers are very important in the day to day life of a Muslim. The Prophet (pbuh) has compared Islam to a canopy resting on five supports. The Kalimah is the central support, the other 4 pillars of Islam are so to say, the remaining supports, one at each corner of the canopy. Without the central support the canopy cannot possibly stand, if anyone of the corner supports is missing, the canopy shall most certainly collapse.
Salah for every individual Muslim adult is compulsory; Hadhrat Nawfil bin Muawigah narrates that he heard the Prophet (pbuh) saying; "A person who has missed one Salah is like the one who has lost all his family and wealth".
There are many blessing & rewards for Salah recorded in the books of hadith and we cannot possibly list them all here. A particular hadith comes to mind, "Salah ensues daily bread, promotes health, drives out diseases, strengthens the heart, brings light and beauty on the face, pleases the soul, refreshes the body, cures insolence, relieves the mind, feeds the soul, illuminates the heart and guarantees Allah's fear, it grants protection from Allah's doom, it keeps the devil away and brings us near to Allah"
Salah is a guarantee for all that is described, and a protection against all that is undesirable for both body and soul, equally in this world and the hereafter.
I pray Allah opens our hearts and makes it easy for us to perform our Salah.
We all know that Salah is a pillar of Islam and on the Day of Judgement the account for the prayers will have to be rendered first. Salah in jama'ah (congregation) is also very important. The importance of Salah with Jama'ah has been emphasised in the Quran and Hadith.
Allah All Mighty has said in the Quran "& bow your head with those who bow in worship" (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayah 43). The message in this verse is clear; perform Salah with jama'ah (congregation).
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: "Prayer surpasses the love of the lone man's prayer by 27 ranks in excellence." (Sahih Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: "It is better to join another person and pray, than to pray alone. It is more superior in the company of 2 men and the larger the congregation the more liked it is by Allah" (Abu Dawud)
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: "He who attended the congregation for Isha Salah, he received the reward of half the nights worship & he who attended both Isha & Fajr Salah with the congregation he received the reward of the whole nights worship." (Tirmidhi)
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith of Dehli says: "By establishing this divine purpose is nothing but that Allah's superiority may be established and no other faith on the surface of the earth may be superior to the Islamic faith. But this can be conceived only when it may be the Ummah regular practice that the elite as well as the common run of the city folk as well as the villagers and the young as well as the old assemble daily for that worship which is the greatest sign of the faith and the most famous among all the devotions."
An eminent American Sociologist & Physiologist, John Hopkin Denison has written in his book
"Emotion as the basis of civilization' "Historians have wondered at the phenomenal success of Islam in conquering the world and have attributed it to the unity and solidity Islam has engaged among its adherents, but no historian he says could solve the riddle as to how this came to pass."
Mr John Hopkin Denison says that he has not the least doubt that a great and very effective means of this is the congregational prayer.
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: "If you were to know the reward in performing the prayer in the first row, you would fight amongst yourselves to stand in the first row."
From this hadith we can see why it is necessary to perform the 5 'fardh' daily prayers with the congregation. May Allah All Mighty, give us all the ability to perform our prayers with the congregation.