Is the congregation considered a condition for the validation of the prayer?

Our Shaykh, the ‘Allaamah, the Sincere Adviser, Abu ‘Abdirrahman Yahya bin ‘Ali Al-Hajoori – may Allaah preserve him – said in his explanation of the 22nd hadeeth in Arba’een An-naw-waweeyah – the hadeeth of Jaabir bin Abdillah- may Allah be pleased with them both:

His ﷺ saying: “do you see if you pray the obligatory prayers”

This is from the evidences to prove that the congregational prayer isn’t a condition in the correctness of the prayer as the majority of the scholars say.

So if he prays the obligatory prayers, even by himself, then his prayer is correct and he has lost out on the virtue and he is sinful for leaving off the congregation for no legislated reason due to it being waajib. However that does not necessitate that his prayer is not correct, and that which supports this is that which has been reported in the saheeh from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him – the prophet said:

“the prayer of a man in congregation is more rewarding than his prayer in his home and in his shop by 23 to 29 levels”

They said this indicates to the correctness of the prayer of one who prays by himself, and the congregation isn’t a condition in the validity of the prayer in opposition to ibn hazam.

And that which is close to him is sheikhul islaams speech, for he has a beneficial speech: that the congregation is a condition in the validity of the prayer for whoever hears the call and the proof for that is the hadeeth:

“whoever hears the call (to prayer) and doesn’t answer it then there is no prayer for him except for the one who has a (legislated) excuse”

And his speech -may Allah have mercy on him- has a point, however the most correct is the opinion of the majority.

Translated by : Abu Huthayfah Saamy Al-hindy

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