Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: “When he enters the mosque, he is in a state of prayer so long as the prayer is what is keeping him there, and the angels send blessings on any one of you so long as he remains in the place where he prayed, saying, ‘O Allaah, forgive him, O Allaah, have mercy on him…’”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (477) and Muslim (649)
Arriving early to the congregational prayers and being keen to be one of the first ones there is a sign of respect and eagerness for the prayer, and it is also indicative of a person’s righteousness, religious commitment and piety.
Sufyaan al-Thawri (rh) said: Your coming to the prayer before the iqaamah is a sign of respect for the prayer.
Fath al-Baari (3/533)
Ibraaheem al-Taymi (rh) said: If you see a man being careless about the first takbeer, then wash your hands of him. End quote.
Siyar A’laam al-Nubala’ (5/84)
Wakee’ ibn al-Jarraah (rh) used to say: Whoever does not catch up with the first takbeer, do not hope for any good from him.
Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Eemaan (3/74)
Some of the people of the past regarded coming to the mosque after the adhaan as a shortcoming, and that it was better to go to the mosque before the call to prayer.
Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah (rh) said:
Do not be like the bad slave who does not come until he is called. Come to prayer before the call is given.
Al-Tabsirah by Ibn al-Jawzi (131)
The following Hadeeth was narrated by Muslim (438) from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri: that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) saw some of his (saw) Companions falling back (in the rows for prayer) and he (saw) said to them: “Come forward and follow me (in prayer) and let those who come after you follow you. People will persist in falling back until Allaah puts them back.”
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (ra) said concerning the meaning of this Hadeeth:
There is a fear that if a person gets used to falling back in worship, he will be punished by Allaah by putting him back with regard to all good things.
From Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 13/54
Al-Shawkaani (rh) said in Nayl al-Awtaar:
It was said that this is about the hypocrites, but the apparent meaning is that it is general and refers both to them and to others, and that it encourages worshippers to be keen to be in the front row and to put them off hanging back from the front row.
If someone’s ibaadah is weak, then it doesn’t matter how much knowledge they possess, their relationship with Allah will be weak and their da’wah will be weak!
The Prophet (saw) said: “Your Lord said: ‘O son of Adam, pray for Me four rak`ats at the beginning of the day and I shall take care of your needs the rest of it.'” Narrated from Nu`aym ibn Hammar by Abu Dawud, Ahmad, and al-Darimi; and from Abu Dharr or Abu al-Darda’ by al-Tirmidhi (Hasan Gharib).
Some scholars have authenticated this narration and it is referring to Duha salaah.
If a person performs the prayer and doesn’t feel better than they did before it, then they must accuse themselves!
Ibn Taymiyyah (rh) said, if a person concentrates too much on tajweed during the prayer, they are missing the primary purpose! Tadabbur!