What Is A Mosque?

what is a mosque

What is a mosque? A mosque is a religious place where Muslims pray to Allah (God). The mosque is derived from the Arabic term masjid meaning a place of prostration.

Mosques can now be found in almost every city worldwide, owing to the Muslim population’s spread. There are numerous aspects of mosques that we will explore in this article.

What Is A Mosque?

A mosque is an Islamic building that is commonly used by Muslims for Islamic worship (salah). The word mosque is derived from the Arabic word masjid, which means “place of prostration” (sujood).

Muslims must bow down on the floor and conduct prostrations during the Muslim prayer (salah) (sujood). A mosque is also a place of prayer.

Throughout Islamic history, the mosque was the focal point of the community, and towns sprang up around it.

Mosques can now be found on practically every street corner, especially in Muslim countries, making it easy for Muslims to attend the five daily prayers.

Now we will go over all of the key information about mosques.

Origin Of The Mosque

Mosques, according to popular belief, emerged after Prophet Muhammad declared himself a prophet. On the contrary, mosques have existed since long ago.

Even at the time of the Prophet’s birth, there was the Kaaba, which is now a central mosque for Muslims.

Kaaba was built by Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) (AS) approximately 5000 years ago.

Architectural Elements Of A Mosque

Any place that is used for salah is not a mosque. Mosques exist in many shapes and sizes, and their locations vary depending on the density of the Muslim population in a given area. Muslims have used local craftsmen and architects to create gorgeous, majestic mosques in the past and even today.

To be declared a mosque a religious place of worship needs many requirements nowadays. Let’s get to know all of them:

  • The mosque is built facing the direction of the Kaaba as Muslims pray salah facing towards the Kaaba (qibla).
  • A mihrab is a niche on the wall of a mosque or religious school that marks which direction Muslims should look when praying (qibla).
  • A minbar is a pulpit in a mosque where the imam stands to preach.
  • A minaret is a tall structure belonging to or near a mosque. It is intended so that the call to prayer, which is issued five times a day from mosques, may be heard loud and clear throughout a town or city.
  • There is a place in the mosque for Muslims to perform wudu which is necessary before prayers.
  • Restrooms are also a part of modern mosques these days.

The Role Of The Mosque

The mosque is considered not simply a place of prayer in Muslim communities, but also the heart of all Islamic life. The mosque is the mechanism through which Muslims engage in global events, both as individuals and as communities.

They are used for prayers, events during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, education, and information, social welfare, and conflict resolution. The imam is the mosque’s religious leader and the person who leads the prayers.

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Things Important Regarding Mosque

When a person enters a mosque, he or she is leaving the rush and bustle of the earthly world and retiring into a peaceful haven.

Mosques are religious structures. In a mosque, men are supposed to pray all five daily obligatory prayers in the congregation. Although women are welcome to pray at mosques, it is more suggested for them to pray at home.

Nonetheless, Muslims are allowed to pray anywhere, with the exception of dirty or impure areas such as toilets or graveyards.

Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “I have been given five things which were not given to any amongst the Prophets before me. These are: -1. Allah made me victorious by awe (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey. -2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum. Therefore my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due. -3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me (and was not made so for anyone else). -4. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation exclusively but I have been sent to all mankind. -5. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection.)

[Sahih al-Bukhari 438]

The above hadith mentions that the whole Earth has been made a place of worship for Muslims and the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

When entering the mosque, visitors must remove their shoes or sandals. When entering the mosque, one should enter with the right foot first, while blessing Muhammad and his family.

Two Rak’as are to be performed once inside the mosque. A person within the mosque must speak gently, not loudly, so as not to disturb others worshipping.

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Why Is A Mosque Important?

The dearest part of the world near Allah is a mosque.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The dearest parts on the face of the earth near Allah are its mosques, and the most hated parts near Allah are its markets.”

[Riyad as-Salihin 1841]

Mosques are Allah’s most preferred sites because they are places of meeting for believers to worship Allah s.w.t. and a lot of good actions are done in mosques.

This hadith mentions a man whose heart is attached to mosques as one of the kinds of people. This person will always want to visit mosques and pray in congregation.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Seven people Allah will give them His Shade on the Day when there would be no shade but the Shade of His Throne (i.e., on the Day of Resurrection): And they are: a just ruler; a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah; a person whose heart is attached to the mosques, two men who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah; a man whom an extremely beautiful woman seduces (for illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer and) says: ‘I fear Allah’; a man who gives in charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the left hand does not know what the right has given; and a man who remembers Allah in solitude and his eyes become tearful”.

[Riyad as-Salihin 449]

Another hadith mentions Allah preparing a dwelling in Paradise for people who go to the mosque.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah will prepare for him who goes to the mosque (every) morning and in the afternoon (for the congregational prayer) an honorable place in Paradise with good hospitality for (what he has done) every morning and afternoon goings.

[Sahih al-Bukhari 662]

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Why Do Muslims Go To Mosques?

Generally, mosques are used as a place of worship for the five daily prayers.

On Fridays, Muslims frequently attend the mosque for midday prayer, teaching, and sermon. Weddings, burials, and Ramadan festivities and prayer services are also held in mosques. They are also used as community areas and, on occasion, as homeless shelters.

What Are The 3 Most Important Mosques In Islam?

The three holiest mosques in Islam are Mecca’s Masjid al-Haram (containing the Kaaba), Medina’s Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, and Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque.

Can Females Go To Mosque?

Women are not forbidden from visiting mosques in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised Muslims not to prevent our ladies from visiting mosques.

Despite the fact that there are some rules in place. Women and men must be separated in the mosque, hence a separator should be installed.

Women are permitted, however, it is strongly advised that they pray at home.

Who Is Allowed In A Mosque?

Everyone is welcome in the mosque, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Mosques are mostly visited by Muslim men, though some mosques can accommodate Muslim women as well.

Non-Mulsims are also welcome to come and learn more about Islam.

What Do You Wear To A Mosque?

It is best to dress modestly and simply, in loose-fitting clothing. Men should wear long pants, while women should wear pants or full-length skirts or dresses with long sleeves. Muslim women also typically wear a headscarf. In the prayer hall, non-Muslim women are urged to wear a headscarf.

Can You Marry In A Mosque?

The Muslim marriage ceremony is known as the Nikah. The marriage contract is signed during the Nikah in Islamic custom, and it is during this event that the bride and groom say “I do.” Originally, the Nikah ceremony is held in a mosque, and the Nikah is officiated by the mosque’s leader or imam.

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