What is the excellence in being present for the Takbeer of Ihram, and in which Masjid should one be for it? Also, is a woman who is praying in her home able to receive its reward if she prayed with the congregation after hearing the Takbeer? Lastly, if I am on my way to the Masjid and I hear the Takbeer, will I receive its reward? I hope for a detailed answer to this issue.
All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
The importance of being diligent in catching the Takbeer of Ihram in congregation with the Imam is firmly established.
In the Sunan of At-Tirmithi, there is the Hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik who said:
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "Whoever prayed to Allah for forty days in congregation, catching the first Takbeer, two absolutions are written for him: an absolution from the Fire and an absolution from hypocrisy." [Al-Albani: good]
In the Musannaf of ‘Abd Ar-Razzaq, it has been narrated from Mujaahid that he said:
I heard a man from the Companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who witnessed the Battle of Badr, ask his son, "Did you catch the prayer with us?" He replied, "Yes." He said, "Did you catch the first Takbeer?" He replied, "No." He said, "The goodness that you missed is better than one hundred female camels, all with black eyes."
The reward of the Takbeer of Ihram comes with any Masjid in which a congregation prays. If a woman prays in her home, following the Imam, while separated by some barrier between him and her, then, according to the scholars who allow her to follow the Imam from behind a barrier, like the Hanafis – and the Maalikis agreed with them except for the Friday prayer – she may receive the reward of those who caught the Takbeer of Ihram with the Imam.
The Hanbalis and the Shaafi‘is do not consider it valid to be led by an Imam from behind a barrier that comes between them.
Imam An-Nawawi said in Al-Majmoo‘:
If someone prays in a house or something like it, following the Imam in the Masjid, and between them is a barrier, then that is not valid according to us. Ahmad said the same. Maalik said that it is valid except for Jumu‘ah (the Friday prayer). Abu Haneefah said that it is always valid.
Hearing the Takbeer of Ihram while you are on your way but have not yet entered the prayer with the Imam does not mean that you have achieved the excellence of the Takbeer of Ihram with the Imam.
Allah knows best.
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