Saturday, August 27, 2011

What is the distance within which it is obligatory to pray in the mosque?


Iam ging to travel to the UK and stay there for one week InshAllah ,the nearest mosque to my residence there is about one and a half kilometres away. Of course I would not here the call to prayer because adhan is not announced in the UK in most places . It would be rather difficult for me to walk this long distance five times a day back and forth for jamaa prayers( I am in very good health but this distance five times daily would be some effort). I know I could take a bus but still would be alot of work when done five times a day. Would it be permissible for me to pray alone at my residence for that week? I have read that the distance beyond which adhan could not be heard is about five kilometres but I believe this is a very long distance indeed to ask anyone to walk to reach the mosque, besides I could not imagine how adhan could be heard anyway from this very long distance even if it is very quiet. I believe there is some mistake in this calculation. Kindly please give me your opinion as to praying at my residence , is it allowed or not?

be to Allaah.  

It is obligatory upon the one who hears the call to prayer
given in a normal voice, without the use of loudspeakers, to respond
and attend the prayer in congregation in the mosque from which the call
is given, because the Prophet

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever hears
the call and does not come [to the mosque], there is no prayer for him,
except for one who has an excuse." This was narrated by Ibn Maajah,
al-Daaraqutni, Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim with a saheeh isnaad.

Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) was asked
what counts as an excuse. He said, "Fear or sickness." Muslim
narrated in his Saheeh from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased
with him) that a blind man said, "O Messenger of Allaah, I do not
have anyone to guide me to the mosque; may I have a dispensation to
let me pray in my house?" The Prophet

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "Can you hear
the call to prayer?" He said, "Yes." He said, "Then

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Ibn Mas'ood
(may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "Whoever wants to meet Allaah
tomorrow as a Muslim, then let him pray these prayers regularly when
the call for them is given, for Allaah has shown your Prophet the ways
of guidance, and they are part of the ways of guidance. If you pray
in your houses like this one who stayed at home, then you have forsaken
the Sunnah of your Prophet, and if you forsake the Sunnah of your Prophet
you will go astray. And at that time we saw no one stay behind except
for a hypocrite who was known for his hypocrisy or one who was sick.
A man would be brought to the prayers, supported by two others, so that
he could stand in the row."

In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that the Prophet

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I was thinking
of commanding that the call to prayer should be given, then the iqaamah,
then I would command a man to lead the people in prayer, and I would
go out with some men carrying bundles of wood to people who do not attend
the prayers, and I would burn their houses with them inside." There
are many ahaadeeth which speak of the importance of the prayer and urge
us to pray in the mosques. It is obligatory for the Muslims to pray
regularly in the mosques and encourage one another to do that and to
co-operate in doing so… But in the case of one who is far away from
the mosque and cannot hear the call to prayer except via the loudspeaker,
he is not obliged to attend the mosque and he and others who are with
him can pray in jamaa'ah on their own, because of the apparent meaning
of the ahaadeeth quoted above. But if they take on the hardship and
join the congregation in the mosque from which they cannot hear the
call to prayer except via loudspeakers, because they are far away from
it, that will increase their reward, because the Prophet

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "The people who
will earn the greatest reward for prayer are those who live farthest
away, (and the further away you live, the more reward you will earn)."
And there are very many ahaadeeth which speak of the virtues of going
to the mosque and encourage us to do so. And Allaah is the Source of

Majmoo' Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah
have mercy on him), vol. 12, 58-61

The scholars said concerning the guidelines on hearing
the call to prayer (adhaan):

Al-Shaafa'i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: [the
guideline is the distance within which the adhaan can be heard] if the
muezzin has a loud voice and a person can hear (i.e., he is not deaf),
and there is little noise and the wind is still – because if the muezzin
does not have a loud voice, and the people are not paying attention,
and there is a lot of noise, then fewer people would hear the call.

Al-Umm, vol. 1, p. 221

Al-Nawawi said: the guideline with regard to hearing the
call to prayer is that the muezzin stands at a certain location in the
city, there is no noise and the wind is still, and a person can hear
him; if a person can hear him he is obliged to attend the prayers in
the mosque, and if he cannot hear him, he is not obliged.

(al-Majmoo' Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, vol. 4, p. 353

Ibn Qudaamah said: The furthest place from which the call
can usually be heard– if the muezzin has a strong voice and stands in
a high place, and the wind is still and there is no noise, and the listener
is not inattentive – is the distance which is to be taken into account.

vol. 2, p. 107).


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