Congregation: Joining it from neighboring house

Q117 :We live very close to a mosque and we can hear the Imam reciting the Qur'an and announcing every new action in the prayer. Is it acceptable that my wife joins the congregation staying at home?

A117 : What scholars say about such questions as joining the congregation at a distance is that there should be an easy access for a person who joins his congregation to reach the imam. If it was his intention to go to the Imam then he should be able to walk to him without any serious barrier. They give the example of a congregation at one side of a river and a group of people on the other side. Can they join the same congregation? The answer is that if they joined the congregation, their prayer is valid, but it is not particularly encouraged to have such a congregation. It will probably be more appropriate for the people on the other side of the river to have a congregation of their own. Inside your home, with probably staircases to go down and then go out of the building to reach the mosque, the impediments are more serious than that of a medium-size river. If a congregation is not advisable on both sides of such a river, it is more so for a person in his home joining the congregation in the mosque. Indeed, if we were to say that it is appropriate, then it would be appropriate for the whole neighborhood to join the congregation from within their homes. The Imam would then be offering the prayer with a fewer people in the mosque and with more people joining him in their flats and apartments in surrounding buildings. That is not the purpose of the congregational prayer. Congregational prayer serves a very important social purpose. It would be missed if people were to stay in their homes and join the congregation in their separate flats. The proper congregation is when they come to the mosque and join together. If women are keen to join the congregational prayer, they should also go to the mosque where a place should be provided for them. The Prophet says: "Do not prevent female servants of God from going to God's mosques."

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )