Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra
Question: I was recently asked by a learned scholar how to increase our prayer in congregation. I found it a beautiful question and while I had some ideas of building one’s resolve and bringing to mind the benefits of rewards of prayer in congregation,. I wasnt entirely sure if there were specific litanies to aid this. Could you please advise on how one can increase the number of prayers he prays in congregations? Are there any litanies that can aid one in this?
Answer: Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
The most crucial step towards increasing your prayers in congregation is to have a constant concern for the matter.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “He who made the ablution for prayer and made it properly, then went on foot to offer the obligatory prayer and prayed it with the people, or with a congregation, or in the masjid, Allah would forgive his sins.” [Muslim, Sahih]
I am not aware of any litany (wird) to aid in this, but you can do many other things:
1. Read about the virtues of prayer with congregation. Read about the story of the ascension and reflect on how prayer is a gift, not a burden;
2. Read and reflect on the Early Muslim’s eagerness to pray each prayer in the masjid – even the hypocrites of Madina would pray five times in the masjid daily;
3. Try to live near a masjid;
4. Have an alarm or program to alert you of the prayer times – this is useful in countries where the call to prayer is not heard;
5. Give yourself enough time to wash up and reach the masjid;
6. Carpool or make buddies who also go to the masjid so you mutually remind yourselves;
7. Plan your day around prayer, not the other way around. Schedule work breaks accordingly;
8. Don’t be gone too long each prayer time. This makes it easier on your family and work life;
9. Get your family to encourage you to go when it’s time;
10. Be productive in between prayer times so the prayer is your reward;
11. Focus on Fajr and ‘Isha, as they are the hardest on the hypocrites to perform in the masjid, and insha Allah, what’s in between will be made easier.
Finally, make supplication that Allah Most High enable you, and thank Him in your heart as you approach and leave the masjid. Allah surely increases those who thank Him.
Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani