The virtue of walking to the Masjid

Q: I hope you would mention the legal proofs on the virtue of walking to the Masjid (mosque) for Salah (Prayer), or to any other religious obligations such as Hajj (Pilgrimage) rituals. Please, provide proofs from the Qur'an and Sunnah. There is a Hadith denoting that every step made to perform a righteous act or a religious duty is accounted for as a good deed or a charity work, is this applicable to performing the rituals of Hajj?

A: There are general texts on the virtue of one's pursuit towards good deeds in addition to specific texts regarding seeking the different types of charity works, among which is what Allah (Exalted be He) says: Verily, We give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before (them), and their traces and all things We have recorded with numbers (as a record) in a Clear Book. This Ayah is generic with respect to recording the steps made by a Muslim to perform Salah (prayers) in Masjids, to engage in the fields of battles to fight in the cause of Allah, to seek beneficial knowledge as well as to maintain the ties of kinship. It is also generic in the sense that it clarifies what a person leaves such as endowments, books of knowledge, righteous children, and the like of which their benefit lasts for others after one's death.There is another proof where Allah (Exalted be He) says regarding the Mujahidin (those fighting in the Cause of Allah): It was not becoming of the people of Al-Madinah and the bedouins of the neighbourhood to remain behind Allâh’s Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم when fighting in Allâh’s Cause) and (it was not becoming of them) to prefer their own lives to his life. That is because they suffer neither thirst nor fatigue, nor hunger in the Cause of Allâh, nor they take any step to raise the anger of disbelievers nor inflict any injury upon an enemy but is written to their credit as a deed of righteousness. Surely, Allâh wastes not the reward of the Muhsinûn (Part No. 6; Page No. 327) Allah also says concerning the virtue of walking to Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer and what follows of Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) and listening to the Khutbah (Sermon): 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). That is better for you if you did but know! It was narrated by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih (Authentic Book of Hadith) on the authority of Anas ibn Malik That Banu Salamah wanted to leave their dwellings and dwell nearer to the Prophet (peace be upon him), Anas said: but the Prophet (peace be upon him) disliked to see the Madinah vacated and said, " Do not you seek the reward you have on your traces?!" Mujahid clarified that the word traces means: their footsteps to the Masjids. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever goes to the mosque at dawn or dusk (for prayers), Allah prepares a hospitable abode for him in Paradise, every time he walks to or comes back from it (the mosque)". It was also narrated by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: The reward of the prayer offered by a person in congregation is twenty five times greater than that offered in one’s house or market (alone). This is because if you perform ablution perfectly, (Part No. 6; Page No. 328) then you go out to the mosque with no intention but to pray, you are upgraded one degree in reward and one sin is taken off (crossed out) from your account (of deeds) for every step you take towards the mosque. At the same time, when you perform your prayers (in this state), angels continue on conveying Allah’s Blessings and forgiveness for you as long as you are (staying) in your Musalla (place of prayer). Angels pray, "O Allah! Bestow Your blessings upon them, O Allah! Be Merciful with them. Moreover, your are still regarded as if you are praying as long as you are waiting for prayer in this state. . Muslim narrated in his Sahih that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "If anyone pursue a way of seeking knowledge, Allah will pave for them a way to Paradise" .It is authentically reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim in the contexts of the Hadiths of Farewell Hajj that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she started (Ihram for) `Umrah from Al-Tan`im after performing Hajj: The more you are tired and you spend of your money, the more you are rewarded by Allah. .All these texts indicate that the charity doers will be rewarded for their deeds, as well as for the means they assume to give charity. They also indicate that reward varies according to the variance of expenditure and hardship, whether walking or riding, according to the honor of the place to which they walk and the time this takes place, and according the variance of sincerity (Part No. 6; Page No. 329) and submissiveness of the heart. The aims and introductions have the same rulings of the objectives with regard to Good and Evil, Reward and Sin. However offering Hajj or `Umrah while riding is better than offering them on foot in case a person comes from a remote spot, for this is what corresponds to the conduct of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) says: Indeed in the Messenger of Allâh (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) you have a good example to follow May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.