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 SIGIFICANCE OF A MOSQUE

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PostSubject: SIGIFICANCE OF A MOSQUE   Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:02 am

The Masjid or Mosque is the base and the foundation stone for Muslim society. It is the place where believers congregate to get to know each other and share their pleasures and their problems. It is the center from where the voice of the Oneness of Allah is raised and devotion to His Oneness is practiced. It is the place where the remembrance of Allah takes place continuously. It is the center from where the light of knowledge and wisdom emanate and enlighten the surroundings.

A MOSQUE is a place dedicated to the worship of God. Muslims are enjoined to observe Salat in congregation. If one is unable to reach a Mosque conveniently, or the journey to the mosque is unsafe, the Salat may be observed wherever convenient. The Holy prophet, (Peace be on him) has said that the whole earth has been sanctified and made a Mosque for Muslims.

The Mosque plays an extremely important role in a Muslim's life. Islam emphasizes that congregational prayers should be said in the Mosque. In the early state of Islam, when the Muslims were still unable to build a Mosque of their own, the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) chose Arqam's house who was a companion of the Holy Prophet as the gathering place for the believers to say their congregational prayers. This house was also used by the Holy Prophet as the center for the preaching and propagating of Islam.

When the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) migrated to Madina, the first action he took was to build a Mosque there, which is now known as the Prophet's Mosque or (Masjid-e-Nabwi). This Mosque became the center of all Muslim activities. Deputations coming from other countries were received there and were generally put up in this Mosque such as the group of Christians from Naijran. This Mosque also served as the center for education, learning, and training.

Muslim Mosques or houses of worship are therefore, not only for the purpose of worship alone but, also serve as the center for all social, cultural, political and various activities. There is no special design or structure for a Mosque. Any building erected or used for congregational prayers is a Mosque.

Mosques in Islam are not only centers for worship but are also the reflection of the characteristics of Muslim society and its civilization. Due to this fact, the Muslims have been asked to follow certain rules which can be considered to be the earliest state for the development of Muslim character and to form true Muslim social structure.

The Mosques are centers of Islamic social development, therefore, there are quite a few instructions for a Muslim to follow when he comes to the Mosque. From the very beginning of his development, it starts according to the Islamic teachings.

These are some of them:
When a Muslim enters a Mosque he/she should say:
"I begin in the name of Allah. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. O my Lord forgive my sins and open for me the doors of your mercy."

When he/she leaves the Mosque, he/she should say:
"I begin in the name of Allah. Peace and blessing upon the messenger of Allah. O my Lord forgive my sins and open for me the doors of your bounty."

When a Muslim goes to the Mosque, he/she should wear clean, modest, and dignified cloths. There is no special dress prescribed for the Muslims when the prayer is being offered, do not run to join, but come at a dignified pace.
A Muslim should not eat any odorous foods such as onions, garlic or raw radish before coming to the Mosque.
Worshippers should not enter the Mosque with their shoes on.
Making noise is also disapproved of the Mosque.
Punishments are not allowed to be carried out in the Mosque.
Mosques, being the places of worship, are expected to be kept absolutely clean.
As prayer demands concentration and full attention, it is therefore forbidden to jump over the shoulders or pass in front of the worshippers.

Mosques are centers for the worship of Allah, therefore, no body should be forbidden access to the Mosque. Allah says in the Holy Qur'an; "All Mosques belong to Allah, so call not on anyone besides Allah." (72:19) This verse of the Holy Quran clearly dictates that Mosques are the property of Allah and Allah Alone. Therefore, no one is allowed to prevent anybody from entering the Mosques for the purpose of worship. The Holy Prophet (PBOH) himself set the best example in this regard.
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