The decline of quality Muslim men begins with their abandonment of praying in the masjid. The leeway that Islam has given to women in regards to praying at home due to their homely responsibilities is now being adopted by careless teenage boys and grown, lazy men who are not disciplined enough to go to the House of Allah to worship Him.
We, as Muslims, have terribly underestimated the importance and value of men’s prayer that is offered in the masjid.
Ahadith Regarding the Importance of Men Praying the Fard (Obligatory) Prayers in the Masjid
Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar:
Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “The prayer in congregation is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “No prayer is harder for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the `Isha’ prayers and if they knew the reward for these prayers at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves (in the mosques) even if they had to crawl.” The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) added, “Certainly I decided to order the Mu’adh-dhin (call-maker) to pronounce Iqama and order a man to lead the prayer and then take a fire flame to burn all those who had not left their houses so far for the prayer along with their houses.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Regarding Sunnah & Nafl Prayers
Jabir reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) As saying:
“When any one of you observes prayer in the mosque he should reserve a part of his prayer for his house, for Allah would make the prayer as a means of betterment in his house.” (Sahih Muslim)
From this hadith, it is apparent that because of the Sahabah’s regularity in praying obligatory prayers in the masjid, they probably would have prayed their Sunnah prayers in the masjid as well if it wasn’t for the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) telling them that Sunnah/Nafl prayers are better when prayed at home (for both men and women).
Zaid bin Thabit said: “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) built a chamber in the mosque. He used to come out at night and pray there. They (the people) also prayed along with him. They would come (to prayer) every night. If on any night the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) Did not come out, they would cough, raise their voices and throw pebbles and sand on his door. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) came out to time in anger and said: O people, you kept on doing this till I thought that it will be prescribed for you. Offer your prayers in your houses, for a man’s prayer is better in his house except obligatory prayer.”
(Sunan Abi Dawud, Graded Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albani)
If you are a grown man, you need to try your utmost best to make it to the masjid. Part of perfecting your Fard prayer is to offer it in the masjid.
If you are a parent, you need to get your young boys in the habit of going to the masjid with you.
If you are a wife/mother/sister/daughter, encourage the men in your homes to go pray in the masjid.
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: “A man came to the Prophet, who encouraged the people to give charity to him. A man said: ‘I have such and such,’ and there was no one left in that gathering who did not give him something in charity, to a greater or lesser extent. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever initiates a good practice that is followed, he will receive a perfect reward for that, and a reward equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest. And whoever introduces a bad practice that is followed, he will receive the complete burden of sin for that, and a burden of sin equivalent to that of those who follow it without that detracting from their burden in the slightest. ‘” (Sunan Ibn Majah)