In Shu’ab al-Eemaan by al-Bayhaqi there is a marfoo’ hadeeth narrated from Anas ibn Maalik according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays Fajr and ‘Isha’ in congregation and does not miss one rak’ah, he will be recorded as being free from two things: free from the Fire and free from hypocrisy.”
(Shu’ab al-Eemaan, 3/62).
It says in al-‘Ilal al-Mutanaahiyah: This hadeeth is not saheeh and its narrators are not known apart from Bakr ibn Ahmad narrating from Ya’qoob ibn Tahiyyah, both of whose condition is unknown. (1/432).
But a different version was narrated in Sunan al-Tirmidhi, where it says: “Whoever prays to Allaah for forty days in congregation, catching up with the first takbeer, he will be recorded as being free from two things: free from the Fire and free from hypocrisy.” (al-Tirmidhi no. 241; classed as da’eef by al-Tirmidhi but as hasan by al-Albaani).
This hadeeth was also classed as da’eef by a number of earlier scholars, who stated that it is mursal, but it was classed as hasan by some of the later scholars. See Talkhees al-Habeer, 2/27.
The hadeeth is not limited to Fajr prayer only, rather the reward mentioned in the hadeeth is connected to being present for the opening takbeer of all the five daily prayers.
Undoubtedly being keen to catch up with the opening takbeer for this period of time is an indication of the strength of a person’s religious commitment.
So long as the hadeeth can be interpreted in a sound manner, there is the hope that the one who is keen to do what is mentioned therein will attain this great virtue. The least that he will attain by means of this keenness is training himself to regularly observe this important ritual of Islam.
We ask Allaah to write for us and for you freedom from hypocrisy and from the Fire, for He is the All-Hearing, Ever-Responsive.