Assalaamu alaikum [peace be to you],
In order to allow Non-Muslims to learn more about Islam and get familiar with Islamic culture, I'd like to start a new series of articles with 'Mosques' as its theme. here, I will explore several aspects of Islamic culture, customs regarding mosques, and we will see, in sha'Allah [God willing] different mosques from different eras from around the world.
I hope my humble contribution here this will benefit you all: The Role of the Mosque
In Islam, mosques are not just “places of prayers.” Mosques are – in modern terminology – community centers.
The role of the mosque in Islam is one of the major things that have to be reformed before the Muslim nation is capable of recovering from its present status.
How do Muslims judge what the role of the mosque is from what is not?
The answer is clearly by referring to the tradition (Sunnah) of the last prophet of Islam, Mohammed -peace be upon him- in the days of the message. A quick survey reveals the following roles for the Prophet’s mosque during his lifetime:1- A Place for Prayers for All:
The mosque of the Prophet -peace be upon him- in Madinah was the main place for the believers to meet for collective prayers five times a day. This is the one and only role that the mosque is playing today. However, there is still a major difference, which is that the mosque of the Prophet -peace be upon him- was opened for everybody, men and women, old and small, Arab and non-Arab. Even Christians prayed in the mosque when the delegation of Najran went to debate with the prophet. Refer, for evidence, to numerous hadith narrated in the books of Bukhari and Muslim, for example, under the chapters referring to mosques. There are currently shortcomings in mosques in this area in the following senses:
- Women are generally not allowed in the majority of mosques in the Muslim world and their “prayer area,” if exists, is usually uncared for than the “men’s area.” The Prophet’s mosque was different. There was only one area for everybody to pray. Women prayed behind men in their own lines, and the rationale was clear: Islam is avoiding that non-related men and women have such a close physical contact while – supposedly – praying to God. Praying in the Kabah is an exception from this rule for the obvious reason of space limits. Banning women from the mosques happened a couple of decades after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him) despite the protest of some companions who narrated the Hadith: “Do not prevent the maids of Allah from visiting the houses of Allah (the mosques).”
- We see, especially in nowadays West, mosques for Arabs and others, in the same vicinity, for Indians, mosques for Turks and yet others for Afros, etc. All of this is non-Islamic. The Prophet’s companions were from all sorts of backgrounds and all walks of life and they all prayed together.
- We also see some people banning small children from entering the mosque, which is also contrary to the tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him).from [link]
... to be continued, in sha'Allah [God willing].IN THE PHOTO:
Built in 1917 during the reign of Sultan Idris Murshidul'adzam Shah, Masjid Ubudiah (or Ubudiah Mosque) stands proudly and majestically in Kuala Kangsar with its golden dome and minarets. This mosque ranks high on the list of Malaysia's most beautiful mosques. It was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback and commissioned on the orders of Sultan Idris who vowed that he would build a mosque of great beauty as thanksgiving for recovery from an illness which plagued him in those early days...
I hope this was beneficial.
More from this series:
If I am right, it is from the God. if I am wrong, it is from myself.