Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling of a person who lives near the mosque or surau but is always late to prayer? He’s a constant masbuq congregant in prayer although he hears the adhan and iqamah were called out?
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.
We begin with the statement of Allah SWT:
إِنَّمَا يَعْمُرُ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّـهِ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَلَمْ يَخْشَ إِلَّا اللَّـهَ
“The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give zakah and do not fear except Allah,” 
The meaning of maintaining the mosque is to always worship in it in order to attain His blessings. Among them is praying, performing dhikr to Allah SWT and learning religious knowledge. It is also included in the meaning of developing the mosque, taking care of and protecting it.  A person is said to maintain the mosque when he always got o the mosque. 
Furthermore, there are various specific advantages for those who perform the congregational prayer. The Prophet PBUH said:
صَلاةُ الجَماعَةِ تَفْضُلُ صَلاةَ الفَذِّ بسَبْعٍ وعِشْرِينَ دَرَجَةً
“Prayer said in a congregation is twenty-seven degrees more excellent than prayer said by a single person.” 
Likewise, there are also great rewards for those who walked to the mosque as stated in a hadith:
فإنَّ أحَدَكُمْ إذا تَوَضَّأَ فأحْسَنَ، وأَتى المَسْجِدَ، لا يُرِيدُ إلّا الصَّلاةَ، لَمْ يَخْطُ خَطْوَةً إلّا رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ بها دَرَجَةً، وحَطَّ عنْه خَطِيئَةً، حتّى يَدْخُلَ المَسْجِدَ
“When one of you performs ablution and does it well, then he comes to the mosque with no other motive but prayer and not seeking anything other than the prayer, he does not take one step but Allah raises him in status one degree thereby, and takes away one of his sins, until he enters the mosque.” 
Syeikh Hasan bin Ahmad al-Kaff lists several advantages of congregational prayer, among them are:
- Free and safe from the hellfire
- Safe from the characteristic of a hypocrite
- His prayer is accepted
- His sins are forgiven
- Greatly rewarded
- Cured of the disease of being doubtful and protected from the shaytan 
House Located Near the Mosque but Arriving Late
Coming back to the above question, the issue of those who live near the mosque but purposely come late to the mosque to pray, there are several narrations and athar that discussed this. Among them is a narration from Ibnu Abbas R.Anha where Rasullullah PBUH said:
مَنْ سَمِعَ النِّدَاءَ فَلَمْ يَأْتِهِ فَلاَ صَلاَةَ لَهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ عُذْرٍ
“Whoever hears the call for prayer and does not come (to the mosque for prayer), his prayer will not be accepted from him, unless he has a (legitimate) excuse.” 
According to this hadith, it doesn’t specifically name those who live the mosque, rather, it is a general hadith that includes anyone who hears the adhan, whether those who live the mosque or far away to go the mosque to perform the congregational prayer, answering the adhan. If not, then the prayer performed isn’t considered imperfect and incomplete. The reason is the phrase فَلاَ صَلاَةَ لَهُ is نفي الكمال (rejection of the perfection) and not نفي الصحة (rejection of the authenticity).
In discussing the issue of debilitation that exempts a person from attending the mosque is stated in a hadith, it is the same as the question asked to Ibn Abbas RA:
وَمَا الْعُذْرُ قَالَ خَوْفٌ أَوْ مَرَضٌ
“What is meant by an excuse? He answered: Fear and illness.” 
We state that the debility or excuse isn’t limited to only the two matters stated by Ibn Abbas. Rather the debility is also taken from syarak’s I’tibar that includes heavy rain and others which is also included in the meaning of this hadith.
Coming back to the question presented, there is a narration from Abu Hurairah RA, where Rasullullah PBUH said:
لَا صَلَاةَ لِجَارِ الْمَسْجِدِ إِلَّا فِي الْمَسْجِدِ
“A prayer is incomplete for those who live near a mosque except at the mosque.” 
In this hadith, there is a specification and emphasis for those who live near the mosque to perform the congregational prayer at the mosque. However, here we state that it doesn’t mean for whoever doesn’t attend the mosque that his prayer is invalid. His prayer is valid, but he wouldn’t receive the complete and perfect rewards for his prayer.
While regarding the sanctioning and encouragement to attend early to the mosque, it is sufficient with several narrations and evidences from the Quran and hadith that explain this matter. Among them is the statement of Allah SWT:
وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.” 
Likewise, it is narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, where Rasullullah PBUH said:
“Be prompt in doing good deeds,” 
To close, we state that delaying oneself from going to the mosque without any debility when his house is near the mosque is makruh (discouraged). It is our priority to first settle our worldly affairs early so that we can get ready earlier to go and perform the prayer at the mosque in congregation.
 See Aisar al-Tafasir, 2/66
 See al-Tafsir al-Kabir, 5/9
 Narrated by al-Bukhari (645)
 Narrated by al-Bukhari (477) and Muslim (649)
 See al-Taqrirat al-Sadidah, pg. 289-290
 Narrated by Ibn Majah (793)
 Narrated by Abu Daud (5510)
 Narrated by al-Hakim (1/373)