Anas said, “The Prophet said, ‘O Bani Salima! Don’t you think that for every step of yours (that you take towards the mosque) there is a reward (while coming for prayer)?” Mujahid said: “Regarding Allah’s Statement: “We record that which they have sent before (them), and their traces” (36.12).
‘Their traces’ means ‘their steps.’ ”
And Anas said that the people of Bani Salima wanted to shift to a place near the Prophet but Allah’s Apostle disliked the idea of leaving their houses uninhabited and said, “Don’t you think that you will get the reward for your footprints.” Mujahid said, “Their foot prints mean their foot steps and their going on foot.”
Prophet (SAW) didn’t want Bani Salima to leave their houses empty. He didn’t say ‘there’s no need to do so and so’ or anything hurtful like that. He provided a better alternative: a motivation. That every step that they’ll take to come to the masjid, they’ll be rewarded for it. And the number of steps obviously increase with distance.
Bani Salima liked Prophet (SAW)’s suggestion and understood that they shouldn’t move. Simple and easy.
Lesson: Don’t think the masjid is too far away from your place. The farther, the better. ;)
And pray for wisdom like that of the Prophet (SAW). Us Muslims need it so badly today! Sigh.