Do I Have to Pray in Congregation at Home If the Mosque Is Too Far Away?
Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi
If I miss congregational prayer repeatedly due to me living far away which apparently is a valid excuse, is it obligatory for me to pray in congregation at home? What if no one wants to do it with me?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
I pray this finds you in the best of states.
The Prophet – peace be upon him – is reported as having said that “Praying in congregation is twenty-seven times better than praying alone.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
According to the Hanafi school, it is not obligatory but it is an emphasized sunna for men who have no excuse to pray in a congregation. [Taqrirat Ar-Rafi’i on Hashiyat Ibn Abidin]
To get used to missing the congregational prayer is sinful. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]
The sunna is fulfilled even by praying in a congregation outside of the mosque, even though it is better to perform it in the mosque. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]
Failing to pray in a congregation after trying your best to do so is of course excused.
Allah Most High says, “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear: each gains whatever good it has done, and suffers its bad…” [Quran, 2:286]
Being Far from the Mosque
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, may Allah protect him, mentions in a previous answer that:
“As for ‘being far from the mosque,’ major scholars have explained at being an Arab mile (1.85 km) away from the mosque is considered being far, and considered an excuse. Others have chosen to explain it as being ‘such that there is genuine hardship in getting to the mosque.’ When one is ‘far from the mosque,’ one is no longer blameworthy for not praying at the mosque.
One should, however, take the means and establish prayer in a congregation when able.”
And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani