SHAFAQNA- CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER AT HOME
It is during the five daily prayers when man, a mere slave of God, stands before his Creator and humbles himself to His will and prostrates in His Obedience. But what is the word of a slave alone? Is it more worthy than that of several, standing in unity, shoulder to shoulder, uttering and attesting to His will and complying to it with no hesitation?
In our daily lives, in our walk and talk, we see that it takes more than just our initiative to complete our tasks and be successful in this world. However perfect we may find ourselves to be, our inner conscience is well aware that in order to perform and be successful, we require the help of those around us. Likewise, a servant, in his due position before his Lord, can see a mightier reward from his Sustainer when performing the obligatory prayers in unison with others striving to reach the same goal and standing there with the same purpose.
How many of us pray in congregation, be it in the comfort of our own homes, with our families, or at the mosque with our community members? Do we know the benefits and rewards of praying in congregation?
As we hear the call to prayer, do we see the beauty of thousands of Muslims leaving their work and hurrying to perform their duty to Allah? The Adhan obligates every Muslim to hurry to prayer. Our religion is based on unity and brotherhood, and the opportunity we have been given is Salat, for all of us to unite and pray together five times a day.
Sometimes we cannot make it to the mosque, but that does not eliminate the option of congregational prayer. It is an act that can be performed easily and comes with great reward. We have families, children, siblings, parents, even grandparents. Keep aside a room that is only confined to prayer. When the time comes and the Adhan is called, do not hesitate to leave whatever it is you are doing and gather in your prayer room. You do not have to pray in congregation, but just being in the same room at the same time with one purpose and one goal has a myriad of benefits within itself. It is a great way of growing together spiritually as a family, as well as an excellent way to go about inculcating the habit of prayer and spirituality among children.
In the Munajaat of Imam Ali (peace be upon him), we say that a time will come, on the Day of Judgment, when fathers will not look at their sons, mothers will not look at their daughters, and families will not be eager to recognize one another, all in fear of their own accounts. Do we ever wonder how that day will be? Do we ever wonder how we will feel? But the promise is there that if a family prays together and is unified in its goal towards Allah, then on that day when the world will be in chaos, that family will remain together and will reach the gates of paradise together.
If you are capable of doing so, attend congregational prayers and reap the benefits of praying with your community members. But if it is not in your reach, then let us at least keep the unity within our own homes.