“COME TO PRAYER! COME TO SALVATION!”
اَلصَّلاَةُ عِمَادُ الدّ۪ينِ “Salah is the pillar of religion.”1
أَوَّلُ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ الصَّلاَةُ “The first of man’s deeds for which he will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection will be salah.”2
مِفْتَاحُ الْجَنَّةِ الصَّلاَةُ “The key to paradise is salah.”3
Salah, one of the five pillars of Islam, is our turning towards our Lord (SWT) with both body and soul, thus, establishing a permanent and strong bond with Him. Lonely in crowds, it is our meeting with Allah, talking with Him (SWT), and expressing our situation to Him.
We perform the prayer, and the prayer makes us perfect believers. The prayer guides those who perform it properly to goodness and keeps them away from evil. This truth is expressed in the Holy Qur’an as follows: “Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, genuine prayer should deter one from indecency and wickedness…”4
There is a great virtue, and there are countless wisdoms in performing the five daily prayers, which are obligatory upon every Muslim in the congregation at the mosque. Performing the prayer in congregation is so important that in the Holy Qur’an, Allah the Almighty (SWT) explains in detail how to pray in the congregation, even during jihad on the battlefield.5 Our beloved Prophet (saw) says in this regard, “Praying in congregation is twenty-seven degrees better than praying alone.”6 Prayer in congregation binds our hearts together. It increases love, respect, and affection between us. It also serves as an opportunity to meet and get closer to each other and share one another’s joy and sorrow.
Our beloved Prophet (saw) also says, “Command your children to pray when they become seven years old.”7
So, let us invite our children to prayer using affectionate language, with a smile on our faces, and in a patient and understanding manner. Let’s hold their hands and run together as a family to the mosque. May our children also benefit from the inspiring climate of mosques that gives awe and peace. Of course, we should teach them mosque etiquette. But we should also tolerate them playing and running in the mosques as children being children. We should not cause our children to turn away from the mosque and the congregation by a wrong step we may take.
 Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-Iman, 3, 39.
 Nasa’i, Muharaba, 2.
 Tirmidhi, Taharah, 1.
 Ankabut, 29/45.
 Nisa, 4/102.
 Bukhari, Adhan, 30.
 Abu Dawud, Salah, 26.
FRIDAY KHUTBA OF TOKYO CAMII “COME TO PRAYER! COME TO SALVATION!” (PDF)