• Shabbir Hassan

Praying With Your Spouse & Family Members at Home

How does a husband lead his wife in prayer? What are the benefits of praying in congregation at home? What does the Qur'an and Sunnah say about men & women who remember Allah together? The Nikah Co has the answers for you.

Praying at home in Ramadan.

With the current COVID-19 situation we are all facing and the arrival of Ramadan, many of us will be offering our prayers at home due to the lockdown and closure of mosques across the world. It will therefore be a great opportunity to pray at home together with the family, which will not only be ideal for family bonding but also a chance to grow together spiritually. This may be a new experience for some, and for others it may be something they've never had to do before, which is why we've broken it down for you into simple steps below.

What are the benefits of praying at home in congregation?

With the closure of mosques, we find ourselves in a unique situation whereby we will have to offer our prayers at home. Some may just do what they normally do when they can't attend the congregational prayers - which is to pray by themselves at home or in their workplace. There's nothing wrong with that, however involving your spouse and leading other family members has many hidden benefits:

You get to revive the remembrance of Allah in your homes.

Our Prophet PBUH said: "Do not turn your houses into graveyards." (Sahih Muslim)

In the same narration, he mentions that Satan flees from the home in which Surah al-Baqarah (the second chapter in the Holy Qur'an) is recited. Generally speaking, the more we recite the Qur'an and remember Allah, the more life we bring to our homes through God's remembrance, the more the angels descend, and the more blessings we accumulate.

A great reward is promised for those who do.

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah PBUH said: "When a man wakes up in the night, and he wakes his wife, and they pray two units together, they will both be recorded among the men and women who remember Allah often." (Abu Dawud)

It is from the Sunnah to involve your family members in worship.

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: "When the last ten nights of Ramadan would enter, the Messenger of Allah PBUH would stay up the night, awaken his family, and become more diligent in his worship." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

How do I lead my spouse in prayer?

When a man leads his wife in prayer, he will stand in front of her and she will pray directly behind him. The great scholar Ibn Rushd said: "I do not know of any difference of opinion about the Sunnah that a woman should stand behind the man or men." (Bidayah al-Mujtahid)

The famous Hanafi jurist Ibn 'Abidin said: "It is best for the woman to stand completely behind her husband." He also mentions: "It is not disliked for a man to pray in congregation with his wife alone. In fact, the basic reward of praying in congregation is attained in this way." (Radd al-Muhtar)

If it is an obligatory prayer, the man will call out the iqamah before proceeding to lead. If a man leads his other family members in a mixed congregation, then the women of the household will again pray behind the men. Anas ibn Malik reports that he went into the Prophet's home on day. 'I was with my mother, Umm Sulaim, and my aunt, Umm Haram. When he came to us, he said: "Shall I pray with you?" It was not time for an obligatory prayer. One man in the audience asked: "Where did he have Anas stand in relation to him?" Anas answered: "He put him to his right. He then prayed with us and said supplication for us, the people of the house, praying that we may have the best of blessing in this life and the life to come."' (Sahih al-Bukhari)

If a husband and wife are praying individually then there is no issue with them standing next to each other, with the wife besides him or in front of him, as there is no connection between their prayers.

Those who pray together, stay together.

Praying with each other most definitely strengthens the bond between the couple and brings about blessings in their home. Couples always want to do things together and share those experiences; from going out on walks, to dinner dates, to holidays. Why would couples then not want to grow together spiritually and increase in their love for God? It is indeed a blessing if we capitalise on this opportunity to pray at home together and remember our Lord often.

"And the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward." [Al-Ahzab, 33:35]

Imam Shabbir Hassan (Founder & Officiant, The Nikah Co)


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