Are elderly people obliged to attend Salahs in congregation?
My father is an elderly man who has lost his senses of hearing and sight. Is it obligatory for him to offer the Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer and Congregational Prayer,
bearing in mind that he does pray alone?
Allah (Exalted be He) ordered the believers to offer the Jumu`ah Prayer and made it obligatory on them and He forbade them from being distracted from it with selling, buying, or otherwise. Allah says, (Part No. 8; Page No. 42)
O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salât (prayer) on Friday (Jumu‘ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allâh [Jumu‘ah religious talk (Khutbah) and Salât (prayer)] and leave off business (and every other thing).
It is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) threatened those who absented themselves, without a legitimate excuse, that Allah would seal their hearts. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
Some people should stop absenting themselves from the Jumu`ah Prayer or Allah will seal their hearts, and they will be among the heedless.
The Ummah (nation) has agreed on its obligation.Allah also obligated the offering of the Five Obligatory Daily Prayers in congregation. Allah says about Salat-ul-Khawf (Prayer in times of fear),
When you (O Messenger Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) are among them, and lead them in As-Salât (the prayer), let one party of them stand up [in Salât (prayer)] with you taking their arms with them; when they finish their prostrations, let them take their positions in the rear and let the other party come up which have not yet prayed, and let them pray with you taking all the precautions and bearing arms. Those who disbelieve wish, if you were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to attack you in a single rush
If the congregational Salah was not obligatory, Allah would have given Muslims a concession in times of fear, but He did not permit some obligations of the Salah to be neglected due to it.It was confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, I was about to give orders for firewood to be collected, and then for the call to be made for the Salah. I would then appoint a man to lead the people (in Salah), and then go to (the houses of) those who do not come to perform the Salah, and set their houses on fire with them inside.
It is also confirmed that (Part No. 8; Page No. 43)
A blind man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I do not have anyone to guide me to the mosque.” So he asked for a concession to pray in his house. He (peace be upon him) granted him the concession. Then, when the man turned away, he called to him and said, “Can you hear the call to Salah?” He said, “Yes.” He (peace be upon him) said, “Then respond (to it)."
If your father is as you mentioned and finds that he is strong enough to go to the Masjid (mosque), and there is someone to guide him, it is obligatory on him to go to the Jumu`ah Prayer and offer the Five Obligatory Daily Prayers in congregation (in the Masjid). But if he is weak, due to his old age, or if he cannot find a guide, it is permissible for him to take the concession to not offer the Jumu`ah Prayer or pray in congregation and pray at home. Allah says,
So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.