Islamic Date26 Jumada al-akhirah
English Date20 February
Benefit of Going to the Masjid
Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He who purifies himself (performs Wudhu) in his house and then walks to one of the houses of Allah (Masjid) for performing an obligatory Salat, one step of his will wipe out his sins and another step will elevate his rank (in Jannah).” [Sahih Muslim]
This hadith tells us the merit of offering Salat in the Masjid. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) encourages us to go to the Masjid for Fardh prayers by offering us alternatively the wiping out of minor sins and the elevation of one’s rank in Jannah by one degree with each step that one takes towards the Masjid.
This hadith also indicates the superiority of cleansing and readying oneself in one’s house rather than in the Masjid. One should try to go to the Masjid in one’s best condition. This is practical advice to help prevent unnecessary crowding and mess in the Masjid’s bathrooms and Wudhu areas. Since the Masjid is one of the houses of Allah we should try to keep our presence in it as pleasant as possible.
There is a story of a man who would wake up every morning for Fajr, do Wudhu, then leave to pray with the Jamaat (congregation) in the Masjid. One day as he was on his way to the Masjid he tripped and fell. As his clothes had gotten dirty and wet he went back home to change. He got ready again and set out for the Masjid once more. As it was dark, on the way to the Masjid he tripped again in the same spot and his clothes got soiled yet again. So he went back home, cleaned himself up, changed, and set out for the Masjid a third time.
On this trip to the Masjid he found a man waiting for him with a lantern in the place that he would keep tripping. This man led him with his lantern safely to the Masjid. As he was turning back to leave, the man who would keep tripping thanked him but asked him why he wouldn’t enter the Masjid and pray in Jamaat with them.
The man with the lantern replied that he was actually Shaitaan. It was he who would keep tripping the man up on his way to the Masjid. The first time that the man returned home, changed and set out for the Masjid again Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) forgave the man all his sins. The second time that the man changed and set out for the Masjid, Allah forgave all the sins of each member of his household. Seeing this Shaitaan got afraid that should the man trip again Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) might forgive the sins of all the people in the village next, so instead of tripping him Shaitaan made sure that the man got to the Masjid safely!