It should be the desire of every Muslim to be in the house of Allah at all times. A Muslim should feel that if he had no commitments, he would have spent his entire time in the Masjid. The heart should always yearn to be in the most beloved place. Any place beloved to Allah will certainly become beloved to that person who has love for Allah. Love for Allah is an essential requisite of Imaan.
In one Hadith, the Holy Prophet said the most beloved places to Allah are the Masajid. Even when he is occupied with the matters of the word, such as family, work etc, the heart of a Muslim should always be attached to the Masjid.
The Holy Prophet stated in another Hadith that the condition of a believer outside the Masjid is that of a fish out of water. A fish obviously has no desire to be out water, and if it is taken out will long to return, and will remain restless for as long as it is out of water. In the same Hadith, the sign of a Munafiq (hypocrite) has been described as a bird in a cage longing to be released from there as soon as possible. A Munafiq anxiously waits for the Salaah or speech to end so he can leave.
The point to reflect upon is that do we feel restless outside the Masjid longing to return to it? And if not then are we not displaying the sign of a Munafiq?
This Hadith encourages us to inculcate love for the Masjid, thereby visiting them frequently and remaining within them as long as possible. It is indeed regrettable to witness that even when we are not preoccupied with necessary commitments, many Muslims, at Salaah times remain seated in their comfortable chairs with their eyes glued to the television, or wondering the streets waiting for the Salaah to be completed.
If they do attend, they will try their utmost best to come late and then leave immediately after Salaah has been completed, only then to hang around outside the Masjid chatting away with friends. Many have become so neglectful that in their haste to leave, they discard the performance of a Sunnah Muakkadah as well.
If however, an inclination to remain in the Masjid does not exist within the heart then it should be created by compelling oneself to come to the Masjid at least ten minutes before the prayer starts and the person should then engage in some form of Ibaadah until the prayer starts.
If one finds it difficult to come any earlier then one should try their utmost to spend time after Salaah, moreover it would also be beneficial to participate in the regular lessons of the Holy Qur'an or Hadith or similar Islamic lectures that take place in the Masjid.
The benefits of visiting the Masjid are numerous. The Holy Prophet has said the he who purifies himself in his house and then walks to one of the houses of Allah for performing an obligatory act, one step of his will wipe out his sins and another step will exalt his status in paradise. Subhanallah!
May Allah first give me the ability to act upon the Hadith and spend more time in the Masjid and create more love for the Masjid and may He also give you the ability. Ameen
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