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The Prescribed Prayer: Chapter Two (cont.)


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SALAATUL JAMAA'AH (CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER)

Salaatul Jamaa'ah is a Sunnah Muakkadah, an emphatic Sunnah. There are several Hadeeth that strongly emphasize the advantages of Jamaa'ah over individual prayer, among them Hadeeth related by Ibn 'Umar in which the Prophet said:

"Congregational prayer is twenty-seven degrees more excellent than the prayer said by a single person." (Al-Bukhaaree/Muslim)

He has also been reported as saying:

"There shall be no three people in a town or a village who do not offer congregational prayer lest Shaitaan will overwhelm them, therefore, maintain Jamaa'ah for the wolf preys on the far off sheep." (Abu Daauud)

Thus, leaving ones dwelling for Al-Masjid is traditionally recommended, but one should attend Al-Masjid with sakeenah, calmness and gentleness.

WOMEN ATTENDING JAMAA'AH

The Sharee'ah allows women to attend Al-Masjid to offer prayer in Jamaa'ah provided that they avoid things that may excite and stir up lustful feelings, or may lead to temptation, such as wearing immodest dress, provocative make-up, and the like. Ibn 'Umar reported the Prophet said:

"Do not prevent women to attend the masaajid, but (their prayer) in their houses is better for them." (Ahmad)

Also Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet said:

"Do not prevent Allah's servants (women) from attending the houses of Allah, but they should attend them without perfume." (Ahmad)

"Any women who use perfume should not attend with us the last 'Ishaa." (Muslim)

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