Question # 222: I live in a small village there are two mosques in my villages in which one must I pray…?? The nearest to my house as I heard the first azaan Please clarify me on this; I need hadith.

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: There is a great reward for walking to the mosque, and that the worshippers will have the greatest reward, whose houses are further away based on the authentic narrations. 

Long Answer: There is a great reward for walking to the mosque, and that the worshippers who will have the greatest reward are those whose houses are further away. Here the following ahadith:

  • Narrated Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Shall I not tell you something by means of which Allah erases sins and raises people in status?” They said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah. He said: “Doing wudoo’ properly at times when it is difficult to do so, taking many steps to the mosque, and waiting for prayer after prayer. That is constant readiness.” (Narrated by Muslim)
  • Narrated Abu Moosa (رضي الله عنه) that The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The people who will receive the greatest reward for prayer are those who walk the furthest distance to come and pray, then those who walk the next furthest.” (Narrated by Muslim)
  • It was narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka’b (رضي الله عنه) said: There was a man, and I do not know of any man who lived further away from the mosque than he did, but he never missed a prayer. It was said – or I said – to him: Why don’t you buy a donkey that you can ride when it is dark or when the sand is too hot? He said: I would not like my house to be next to the mosque. I want my walking to the mosque and my returning when I come back to my family, to be recorded for me. The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Allah has gathered all that (reward) for you.” (Narrated by Muslim)
  • It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Whoever purifies himself in his house then walks to one of the houses of Allah in order to perform one of the duties enjoined by Allah, for every two steps he takes, one will erase a sin and the other will raise him one degree in status.” (Narrated by Muslim)
  • It was narrated from Buraydah al-Aslami (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Give glad tiding to those who walk to the mosque in darkness, of perfect light on the Day of Resurrection.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood; classed as sahih by al-Albani in Saheeh Abi Dawood; It says in Daleel al-Faatiheen: “Darkness” here refers to the darkness at the time of ‘Isha’ and Fajr)

All of the above ahadith point to the virtue of living far from the mosque, so that one may take more steps, which will bring reward, the abundance of which depends on how far away one’s house is, as well as how often one comes to the mosque. Hence, the Muslim are encouraged to strive to come to the mosque walking, even if his house is far away, so long as it does not cause hardship and he does not have an excuse such as being old and so on.

(The above answer is based on answer provided by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid on similar topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.