You’ve heard, and probably still hear about the fact that the place of prayer is in the Masjid. At the very least, everyone is walking around saying that the best place for the prayer of the men is in the Masjid. What if I were to tell you that this is not always the case? What if I were to try to tell you that there are many times that praying in your homes is the best thing that you could do, and the most virtuous? Many people at first glance would think that this is wrong. All I ask, is that you do not take a position of rejecting this issue until completing this short article.
It has been clearly established that the best place for the women to pray is in their homes, whether it be for the obligatory or non-obligatory prayers. This is a not an issue of dispute here. There are too many proofs and evidences to support this fact. Yet, just in case there may be one of us that may have not yet been made aware of this, I want to bring one clear proof to light to wipe away any doubt about this issue.
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “A woman’s prayer in her house is better than her prayer in her courtyard, and her prayer in her bedroom is better than her prayer in her house.” This particular hadeeth was narrated by Abu Dawood and al-Tirmidhi. It was classed as authentic (saheeh) by Sheikh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy upon him).
So we see here, that this fact is not something we are disputing or even the topic of this article. Rather, we want to look at the situation of the prayer of the men. We constantly hear that the place for the prayer for the men is in congregation in the Masjid. We hear that this is more virtuous and caries much more reward than doing other than this. I wanted to point out that this is not always the case. There are many times where it is better and more virtuous for the men to pray in their homes. This is not my statement but rather the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) made this statement, and other statements carrying this meaning, on a few different occasions.
Let’s take a look one of the statements of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) dealing with this issue, so as not to leave any sort of doubt about this matter. It was narrated from Zayd ibn Thaabit that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made a cubicle – I think he said, made from a reed mat – in Ramadan, in which he prayed at night. Some of his companions prayed behind him, and when he realized they were there he sat down. Then he went out to them and said, “I know how keen you are to pray behind me. O people, pray in your houses, for the best of prayer is a man’s prayer in his house, apart from the prescribed prayers.” This hadeeth is classified as one of the most authentic types of hadeeth because it was narrated by both Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.
I think this issue, after reading this narration is clear. As stated earlier, is from the guidance that was left for us from the best of creation. One thing though needs to be known. Some of the Scholars have pointed out that this issue of the prescribed prayers needs to be understood correctly and in proper context. It is said that this is referring to all of those prayers that were legislated to be prayed in congregation, like the eclipse prayer, the ‘eid prayer and other prayers of this sort. So we see that other than that, the best place and most virtuous place to pray these other prayers is in ones house for many different reasons.
As we previously stated, there are may authentic narrations that talk about this issue, which is the importance of not abandoning the Sunnah of praying some of your prayers in your homes. There is one particular narration that comes to mind dealing with this issue that we must to mention. In this particular narration we are told that our homes should have their share from our prayers. We were even told that Allah may create something good for us because we carry out this virtuous Sunnah. Let us take a look at this narration.
It was narrated that Jaabir said that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When any one of you finishes his prayer in his mosque, let him give his house a share of his prayer, for Allah will create something good in his house from his prayer.” This narration was narrated by Imam Muslim. It shows clearly that the issue of praying in your houses, those prayers that were not legislated to be prayed in congregation brings about good. It is a virtuous act that has much benefit to it when it is performed correctly. Therefore we must stop abandoning this practice and begin trying to establish this Sunnah as much as possible.
There is even another narration where in it, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) made a similitude to a graveyard when referring to a house which is never prayed in. Subhanna Allah. How many of us fall into this issue where we have not for a long period of time, prayed any prayers in our homes? This is a common situation that needs to be not only noticed. but fixed. Ponder for a minute upon this next narration. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Perform some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them graves.” This hadeeth is narrated by both Imam al Bukhari and Imam Muslim.
Does this sound like something that we want for ourselves? Do we want our homes to be the similitude of a graveyard? Of course this is not something that we want. We need to work hard in trying to fix this problem, and begin making our homes a place where the prayer is also practiced and performed.
So in conclusion, we just want to explain that it is important on so many levels that we begin making our homes a place of remembrance of Allah and prayer to him. Without a doubt we should not be praying all of our prayers in the house, but at the same point in time, we should not make it a place that we do not pray at all. We have to return to being those who try to practice the Sunnah in all aspects of our lives, including this one.
May Allah aide us all and make us from those people that adhere to the Sunnah of His Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) and write for us an abundance of good for doing so both in this life and the hereafter. Allahuma ameen.