Offering Salah five times a day is obligatory and compulsory for every Muslim. It is highly recommended for Muslim men to pray in a mosque except the Friday prayer which is compulsory for men to go to mosques and pray. Praying five times a day has great significance and benefits in Islam . the importance of prayer is highly emphasized in both the Quran and the Hadith and it is one of the greatest source of attaining Allah (SWT) good pleasure for the Muslims. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said:
“That anyone who makes a mosque this world Allah will make a house for him in Paradise. So the Quran and Hadith both emphasize on this fact.”
In regards to praying in the mosque Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
“And who are more unjust than those who prevent the name of Allah from being mentioned in His mosques and strive toward their destruction. It is not for them to enter them except in fear. For them in this world is disgrace, and they will have in the Hereafter a great punishment.” -Surah Al-Baqarah (114).
Allah (SWT) said that the person who is fearful of Him and fearful of the hereafter should only enter the mosque which makes complete sense because the person who has the fear of Allah (SWT) and want to go to the paradise will go to the mosque and pray to Him.
Allah has also explained in detail regarding the benefits of praying in mosque for the people who walk the path of righteousness. In one Ayah of the Quran Allah (SWT) says that before entering the mosque one should make make ablution, washing their faces, hands and feet.
“O you who believe! When you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads, and wash your feet to the ankles.”-(Quran 5:7)
In another verse of the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) explains the importance of prayer and the way of praying mosque. He says:
“The faithful come to the mosque and take off their shoes so that they may enter the house of worship in bare feet… “When he came to the Fire, a voice was uttered: O Moses! I am thy Lord, therefore put off thy shoes, for thou art in the sacred valley of Tuwa.”-(Quran 20:11-12).
The commandments related to praying in the mosque are almost similar to those who pray at home or work, but the reward for praying in mosque is 23 times better to pray in home or at work. This reward exceeds to 100000 times better if the prayer is offered in the house of Allah (SWT). The Muslim men and women both are allowed to pray in the mosque but women are encouraged to pray at homes.
So even though the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) has said
“The world, the whole of it, is a Mosque.”
And Allah (SWT) has said
“Wherever you turn, there is the face of God. ” (2: 115Q.)
we must remember that the greatest reward is praying in the mosque.