It should be remembered that Allah has termed the Mosques as his homes. Therefore, they are places where people can seek nearness to Allah. Otherwise, Allah is not restricted to any home or place. In comparison with other places, the mosque has more Favor and Blessings of Allah. Therefore it is better to offer the mandatory prayers in a mosque, preferably with a congregation. Similarly giving the Zakat (Religious Tax) in public is preferable. But the Tahajjud (late night prayer) is to be offered in loneliness.
Reliable sources narrate from Imam Muhammad Baqir(A. S) that the Prophet(PBUH) asked Jibraeel about the portion of land that is liked by Allah. Jibraeel said, “The Mosque and the people who congregate there. More than that Allah likes the person who arrives earlier than others at the mosque and is the last to leave it!”It is mentioned in the Torah that Allah said: My home on the land is in the mosques. Blessed is the person who does ablution at home before coming to My Presence in the Mosque. It is necessary for him to greet those he meets at the mosque pleasantly. Tell the persons who reach the Mosque in the darkness of the night that on the Day of Reckoning their faces will be shining with light. Every place where they offered their prayers on the earth will bear witness to their piety. The Prophet(PBUH) has said, “One who recites the Holy Qur’an and goes to the Mosque to offer prayers will be given a palace in the Heaven by Allah. ” When Allah finds a group indulging excessively in sinful acts, and if there are three men of piety in that formation, He says, “O Sinners! If these three pious persons were not in your midst, who care for each other and inhabit the Mosque, every morning they supplicate to me, then I would most certainly have sent stringent Retribution to you!” Fadl Baqiaaq narrates that Imam Jafar Sadiq(A. S) said: O Baqiaaq! Only those come to the Mosque who are the chiefs of the tribes and the heads of the families. When they return from the Mosque, they would have got at least one of the following three things: 1. The acceptance of the Prayer that would take them to the Heaven. 2. Safety from any worldly calamity for which they might have prayed. 3. Getting a brother firm in his Faith.Sweeping In the Precincts of the MosqueIt is narrated that sweeping in a Mosque is equivalent to the reward for freeing a slave. When a person removes the garbage from a Mosque, Allah will Grant to him double the Reward. It is mentioned in the traditions that whoever sweeps the mosque on Friday eve and removes the garbage from there, Allah will forgive all his sins. Imam Jafar Sadiq(A. S) said, “Don’t do any trading transactions inside the Mosque. Don’t announce about a missing person or also don’t raise a complaint for punishment to a criminal at the Mosque. A person who abstains from spitting inside the precincts of a Mosque, his ailments will be cured. ”
The Prophet of Allah(PBUH) has said, “Whoever lights a lamp in the Mosque, till that light lasts, the angels and the inhabitants of the Firmament keep praying for him!”Imam Reza(A. S) says that once Satan went to Prophet Yahya(A. S). Prophet Yahya(A. S) asked him, “Will you answer a question of mine? ” Satan said, “Why not! I can certainly oppose you!” Prophet Yahya(A. S) said, “Tell me, how you misguide people? ” Satan said, “I shall tell you tomorrow. ” The next day Satan came to Prophet Yahya(A. S) in the form of a monkey dressed in feminine garments. Prophet Yahya(A. S) asked him, “What are all these colors? ” Satan replied, “These are the different colors I use to subdue men. If one color is not effective I use the others. ” Prophet Yahya(A. S) said, “Have you ever been able to subdue me? ” Satan said, “No! But I like your nature very much!” Prophet Yahya(A. S) asked in surprise, “What is that? ” Satan said, “You eat food in a little excess and therefore you are tardy in offering prayers to Allah. You get up late for your prayer and that pleases me a lot!” Prophet Yahya(A. S) raised his hands towards the sky and said, “O my Sustainer! Yahya(A. S) shall not eat his fill from now onwards!” The people who have made music and song their way of offering prayers to Allah can only be told that no Sufi, Shi’a or Sunni, can produce a proof that the Prophets(PBUH), the Imams(A. S) or the Revered Companions ever had a singer or a dancer in their gatherings.
The Prophet of Allah(PBUH) has said: O Abu Dharr! Salat(prayer) is a pillar of the Faith! And the tongue is most respected! Whoever uses his tongue to propagate the true beliefs, the Two statements of bearing Witness(la ilaha il Allah, Muhammad Rasool Allah) and spreads the word of Allah is superior to any other prayer. Therefore Allah has said in the Qur’an, “No doubt salat prevents from bad deeds and unsavory acts, but spreading Allah’s word(Dhikr) is superior. ”(29:45)Offering the obligatory prayers at the Mosque in congregation is attendant with more rewards. It is better to offer optional prayers in the seclusion of one’s house. It is better to spend some time in the Mosque after the prayer to spread the Word of Allah. But in this, one should refrain from hypocrisy. Imam Jafar Sadiq(A. S) says that three things will bitterly complain on the Day of Judgement: A Mosque where no one offers prayers. The scholar(Aalim) who lived amongst ignorant people and they had not bothered to give him attention. The Qur’an which had been kept in the bookshelf and has taken dust because of no one reading it for long spells.
Amir’ul - Mu’mineen ‘Ali(A. S) said that a person who lives in close neighborhood of a Mosque, and for no valid reason, offers his mandatory prayers at home; his prayers will not be accepted.Any services provided to the Mosque, however small, bring high rewards to the person. The Prophet(PBUH) has said that the angels in the Heaven will pray for the person who puts lights in the mosque till that light fades off.By Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, This article first appeared on erfan. ir