DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic on this Friday. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translator and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from God.
Dear Brothers and Sisters
The masjid is a place of worship and prayer and humility before Allah (swt). It is a place to learn and recite and ponder over the Quran. The Masjids are the houses of Allah. They have their special status and virtues. Allah (swt) has mentioned the masaajid in 28 different places in the Quran. And He gave them their biggest honour and virtue by attributing them to Himself , when He (swt) said in Surah Al-Jinn:
“ And the Masajid are for Allah, So do not call upon anyone besides Allah.” [Surah Al Jinn, 72:18]
The masajid are the most beloved places on the earth to Allah (swt). They are the places that Allah's mercy descends. As mentioned in the hadith:
“ The best places are the masaajid” [ Sahih Ibn Hibaan].
And due to their high status and importance in islam, the messenger (saw) said:
“ Whoever makes a masjid for Allah, Allah will make for him a house in Paradise.” [ Sahih Al-Jami’] .
And in contrast, Allah (swt) gave a stern warning to any oppressor who wishes to cause harm to a masjid and the role it plays . He (swt) said:
“And who are more unjust than those who prevent the name of Allah from being mentioned in His mosques and strive toward their destruction. It is not for them to enter them except in fear. For them in this world is disgrace, and they will have in the Hereafter a great punishment.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:114]
Why this stern warning and severe punishment? Because of the negative consequences and harm that will be caused to the community and to Islam by destroying the Masaajid.
The first thing the messenger (saw) did when he migrated to medinah was to build a masjid. And we learned from our teacher and our guide , our beloved prophet Muhammad (saw), that the masjid plays a large number of roles in the community. The masjid was a place for the 5 daily prayers, a place for meetings and gatherings, for celebrations on the days of eid. It was the place that delegations would meet the messenger (saw). It was a place for educating and learning. It was the place for important announcements to be made. Every important community activity , or religious activity, or matters related to governing would take place in the masjid. Every member of society and every group had a place in the masjid of the messenger (saw).
He taught us (saw) that the masjid is a complete and encompassing institution, as Ibn Taymiyyah (ra) said: “
The mosques were the places of the leaders and the assemblies of the Ummah ... The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) established his mosque on piety. It had prayer, recitation of the Quran, remembrance. In it leaders were appointed, and meeting took place. In it the Muslims gathered for all matters that concerned their religion and their daily lives. “
When you leave your mother country as a traveller, or an immigrant, you find in the mosque an oasis of which you can relieve yourself, and your heart is filled with the remembrance of Allah, and peace and tranquillity through your prayer. This is one of the only places where you can meet with your Muslim brothers and sisters. You meet with them on various occasions such as on a Friday, during Ramadan, on Eid, and various social and religious occasions ... This is the function of the masjid ,in which you pray, you remember Allah, you meet one another, where your marriage contracts take place, where your celebrations take place , where your children learn and religion , and they learn to recite, memorize and understand the Quran . These are all from the important functions of our masjids, which we may not find taking place in many Muslim countries.
Today, brothers and sisters, We want to remind and advise all our brothers and sisters who attend this masjid and are part of our family, and we have no doubt that in the heart of each one of us is love and concern for the masjid.
We know that our religion has provided us with guidelines and etiquettes regarding our masjids that must be adhered to and respected by everyone who attends the mosque, such as the ethics of entry and exit, purity and ablution, and the2 units of prayer we pray upon entering the masjid. Keeping the masjid clean from any dirt of unpleasant smell. And it is our duty to advise and remind our beloved brothers or sisters when we see any mistakes that occur, either due to ignorance and lack of knowledge, or complacency and not understanding the importance of the matter.
Some things that we have noticed that we would like to point our are:
Many people are not careful about covering their ‘Awrah’ while prayer, especially amongst the youth or men in general that wear clothing that will uncover parts of their body that should not be seen, especially when performing sujood or rukoo. Allah (swt) tells us:
“ O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid…”.[ Surah Al-A’raaf, 7:31] .
This verse was revealed to tell the believers to cover their awrah during the prayer. But the verse does not simply say, cover yourselves during prayer, but rather Allah (swt) has encouraged us to beautify ourselves, wear our best clothing and make sure we are clean and presentable when going to the masjid to pray, and to stand before Allah in our best appearance.
In this regard, we see the negligence of some sisters in the matter of hijab and covering, which is appropriate for the Muslim women in her prayers and outside her prayers, when that what is not permissible to be from her body is not covered appropriately or properly! Or when she attends the mosque is full of makeup and perfume. The Prophet (saw) ordered women to go out to the mosque, not wearing adornments, or clothes that attract attention. He said:
"If you see one of you is going to the mosque, do not touch perfume." [ Muslim]
And some mothers come with their daughters in clothes not suitable for those who come to the mosque – And they may not have reached the age at which there are required to cover as a adult would- but we are talking about covering and getting used to wearing appropriate clothing that covers you, especially inside the mosque! This is a matter of complacency, leniency and negligence; children should not grow up becoming used to these things, but parents should guide children and raise them to have the best appearance and choose the right clothing. There is no problem in teaching our children that the mosque is an important and sacred place. And just like they are required to wear a uniform at school and are not allowed to go to school wearing any clothes that they please, then the masjid is more deserving of such respect and importance.
Another important matter to point our is that when the masjid is holding any event or gathering or celebration, then it is important to uphold the general guidelines that Islam has given to the masjid, such as lowering the voices and not shouting, lowering the gaze, and respecting the masjid and its sanctity. Raising voices in laughter and acting in an inappropriate manner is not suitable for the masjid at any time.
Likewise we should advise everyone that it is disliked to have debated and arguments in the masjid, just as it is disliked to raise the voices.
The Prophet (saw) taught his companions the etiquette of being in the mosque and the ethics of standing in the rows for the prayer and so on, and he said to his companions, may Allah be pleased with them:
" Beware of the commotion of the markets." [Muslim].
Likewise it is not permissible to do anything that might disturb the worshipers; the Prophet (saw) saw people praying in the mosque, and they were raising their voices above one another while reciting the Quran. And he forbade them from doing so.
This is with regards to the Quran .So what do you think the case is for useless and pointless speech !! Yes, it is permissible to speak in the mosque in permissible matter, , but not to the extent that it disturbs people who are praying.
These were general reminders for us all to benefit from and not for us to point the finger to others , but rather to look at ourselves and see if we are making any of these mistakes.
We ask Allah (swt) to allow us to benefit from these reminders and to respect his masjids. Ameen.