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Joining the Congregational Prayers from My Hotel Room in Makkah

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt


Can worshipers attain multiplied rewards for ṣalāh (ritual prayers) anywhere at the Ḥaram in Makkah or is it restricted to a specific area around the Ka’abah?

Also related is the question of whether worshippers can follow the imam in congregational prayers from inside the nearby hotels? There are prayer-rooms in some of these hotel towers. What would be the ruling?


In the Name of Allāh, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.

Jazāk Allāh Khayr / Thank you for your question.

Multiplied Rewards at the Ḥaram

Even though there are multiple views regarding the extent of where additional multiplied rewards are attainable, majority jurists are of the view that one is graced with the special multiplied rewards anywhere in the Ḥaram (sacred space). This area spreads a few kilometers around the Ka’abah at the Grand Mosque. This is the view of the jamhūr (majority) from the Ḥanafī, Shāfʿīe, Mālikī and some Ḥanbalī experts. (See Al-Mawsū Al-Fiqhīyyah)

“‘Aṭā’ ibn Abī Rabāḥ (may Allāh’s mercy be with him) said, “Whilst Ibn Zubayr (may Allāh be pleased with him) was addressing us he said, “The Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “One prayer in this masjid of mine is better than a thousand prayers anywhere else except Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām, one prayer in Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām is a hundred times superior.” ‘Aṭā’ said, “It is as if it is one hundred thousand.” He said, “I said, O Abū Muḥammad, does this virtue apply only to Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām or to the [entire] Ḥaram?” He replied, “Rather to the [entire] Ḥaram, for the entire Ḥaram is a mosque.” (Ṭabrānī, Musnad Aḥmad)

The great scholar, Mujāhid (may Allāh’s mercy be with him) said, “The Ḥaram, in its entirety is the masjid.” (Dīwān Al-Sunan Wa Al-Āthār)

Following the Imam in Congregational Prayers from One’s Hotel in Makkah

While in Makkah and Madīnah, every effort should be made to attend congregational prayers at the main masjid facility. This is the true spirit of both pilgrimage and also congregation. That being said, the question at hand relates to the acceptable and allowable distance from the imam and congregation.  When following an imam leading congregational ṣalāh (ritual prayer), there shouldn’t be a great distance, remoteness or obstacle between the imam and followers, such as a public street, a river and or a bridge. (see Fatāwā Al-Hindīyyah)

The above is according to the Ḥanafī school of jurisprudence. In the Shāf’īe school, it is stated that if there is a worshiper following the imam leading ṣalāh from outside the masjid, a gap of more than three hundred dhirā’a (arms length distance) should not exist, nor a closed door between them. In the Ḥanbalī school, the condition for the validity of such a prayer, is that it must be possible for the worshiper to see the imam or at least see the worshipers standing right behind the imam. The Mālikī school’s verdict is that if, at such a distance one is able to grasp the movements and actions of the imam, the prayer would be valid. (see Al Fiqh ‘Alā Madhāhib Al-Arba’ah)

After explaining the above requisites, the ruling in reference to your question would be that if worshipers and pilgrims are in a hotel adjacent to the courtyard of the masjid, such as the clock tower at Makkah, it would be permissible to follow the congregation provided they are able to see the imam or rows of the congregation that connect with the imam leading. Recitation and posture movements are usually transmitted via audio apparatus. In the prayer halls of these hotels, large windows that give a clear view of the congregation are seen. Therefore, the ritual prayer is acceptable and valid if one follows the congregation from inside such hotels.

It is worthy to note that even though the prayer is valid in the above scenario, the one who goes through the struggles, inconveniences and sacrifices to join the actual congregation at the masjid by leaving early, coming down elevators, walking to join the closest rows possible and waiting for the congregation to start, is rewarded much more than the one praying in the hotel. Thus, the most rewarding, for one following the main congregational prayer, will be in order of merit below:

  1. Inside the masjid, in the rows closest to the imam leading
  2. In the courtyard of the Ḥaram
  3. In the prayer-hall of a hotel that is adjacent to the courtyard that has a view of the main congregation at the masjid
  4. In a room that has a view of the main congregation. (Following individually in one’s room that has a view will be considered disliked)

‘Seeing’ the congregation or the imam leading must be in reality and not over screens or online broadcast.

And Allāh Knows Best

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.