Erection of Masaajid

Among the rights (huqooq) of the Masjid are:

· Performing Salaat in the Masjid.

· Estabilishing performance of Salaat in jamaat.

· Cleaning and maintaining the Masjid in good condition.

· Visiting the Masjid in abundance.

· Respecting and revering the Masjid.

Some Qur’aanic aayaat and Ahadith in this regard will now be narrated.

1. Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan Majeed: “Who is more unjust than the one who prevents (others) from the thikr of Allah in the Masaajid and who prevents (others) from visiting the Masaajid (for purposes of ibaadat)? (And who is more unjust than the one) who strives to ruin the Masaajid?

2. “In reality, construction and maintaining the Masaajid of Allah are the duties of only those who believe in Allah and the Last Day; who establish regular Salaat; who pay Zakaat and who fear none besides Allah. Such people shall attain their goal (Jannat and Najaat in the Aakhirah).” (Taubah)

This aayat conveys the glad tidings of Jannat and Najaat (salvation) for those who erect, administer and maintain the Masaajid.

3. They (the people of Hidaayat) are in such places (for purposes of ibaadat) in regard to which Allah has ordered respect. In these places the Name of Allah is remembered.”(Surah Noor)

The ‘places’ mentioned in this aayat refer to the Masaajid. The way of respecting the Masaajid is explained in the Ahadith which appear hereunder.

4. Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khurdi (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “When you observe any person concerning himself with the Masjid, then bear witness that he is a believer because Allah Ta’ala says:
‘Verily, only those who believe in Allah, the Last Day, perform Salaat pay zakat and fear none besides Allah, erect (and maintain) the Masaajid of Allah.” (Surah Taubah)

Performing Salaat in the Masjid, visiting the Masjid in abundance, cleaning the Masjid, maintaining the Masjid, etc, all come within the scope of this hadith.

5. Hadhrat Utmaan (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever erects a Masjid purely for the sake of gaining Allah’s Pleasure, Allah will erect for him a mansion in Jannat.”(Bukhari, Muslim)

Sincerity of intention is conditional for the obtainal of this thawaab. This promise of reward applies to the erection of new Masaajid as well as to the repair and renovation of existing Masaajid. This is clear from the fact that Hadrat Uthmaan (radiallahu anhu) narrated this hadith on the occasion of renovating Masjidun Nabwi. Other ahadith too confirm that this great reward is even for those who assist in the construction of the Masjid no matter how small their contribution may be. Allah Ta’ala rewards on the basis of the sincerity of one’s intention.

6. It is narrated that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) himself carried bricks on the occasion of the construction of Masjidun Nabawi. In the hadith it is stated that no matter how small one’s contribution may be towards the construction of a Masjid, Allah Ta’ala will erect a mansion in Jannat in return for the contribution. (Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Majah)

7. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever erects a Masjid for Allah Ta’ala (with sincerity), Allah Ta’ala will erect for him a mansion in Jannat, far greater than the Masjid.” (Ahmad)

The quality and size of the palace which Allah Ta’ala will bestow on the one contributing towards the erection of a Masjid will be commensurate with one’s sincerity.

8. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Allah Ta’ala will erect a palace of pearls and emeralds in Jannat for one who erects with halaal (lawful) earnings a house (Masjid) for Allah Ta’ala.” (Tabraani, Ausat)

The sanctity of the Masjid demands that only lawful and wholesome wealth and materials be expended in its erection. Lawful in this context applies to all things which go into the erection of the Masjid. Nothing haraam should be employed in the Masjid.

In some places, especially rural areas, people build Masjids on land which belong to others. When the owner objects, the builders of the Masjid take offence and brand him as being anti-Islam. If the owner happens to be a non-Muslim, the builders of the Masjid consider it a great act of thawaab in confronting him and refusing to hand over his land. When the owner happens to be a non-Muslim the errant Muslims responsible for the structure, consider their dispute and intransigence against the non-Muslim landlord as a conflict between kufr and Islam. This attitude of the Muslim is unjust and sinful. Remember well, that a structure reared on the land of a person without his consent is not a Masjid. The Shariah does not accept such a building erected on usurped ground as a Masjid.

9. Hadhrat Abu Saeed (radiallahu anhu) narrates: “There was an African woman who used to sweep the Masjid. One night she passed away. In the morning Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was informed of her death. He said: ‘Why did you not inform me?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then accompanied by the Shaabah went to her grave and recited takbeer there (he made dua for her).” (Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah)

In one narration it is said that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked her (i.e. the dead woman who was buried – this was one of the miracles of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): “Which act did you discover to be of great significance’ The dead woman replayed: “Sweeping the Masjid.” (Abu Shaikh Isbahaani)

This hadith indicates the great significance of caring for the Masjid. Even the simple task of sweeping the Masjid was an act honoured greatly by Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The importance and significance of this act of sweeping rendered by the little-known and forlorn African lady were such that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) voiced his displeasure at not being informed immediately of her death. Her service of sweeping the Masjid was so noble that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) specially went with a group of Sahaabah to her grave. Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) regard the service of sweeping the Masjid most highly. But, alas! Nowadays, people consider this task lowly and below their dignity.

10. Hadhrat Abu Qursaafah (radiallahu anhu) narrates a lengthy hadith in which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Removing dust particles and waste from the Masjid is the mahr (dowry) of large-eyed damsels of Janat.” (Tibraani, Kabeer)

11. Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
“Whoever removes from the Masjid any offensive item, Allah Ta’ala will in return erect for him a palace in Jannat.” (Ibn Majah)

12. Hadhrat Aishah (radiallahu anhu) narrates: “Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) commanded us to build Masaajid in all neighbourhoods and he ordered us to maintain the Masaajid clean.” (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah)

The existence of Masaajid in all neighbourhoods facilitates the regular and easy performance of Jamaat Salaat by all residing in the neighbourhood. In this way everyone can acquire the maximum benefits of Salaat and all other advantages attendant to Jamaat Salaat. Since Masaajid are places of sanctity, nothing impure should be taken in. Impure garments and people in the state of impurity should not enter the Masaajid. Regular cleaning of the Masaajid also comes within the scope of the command stated in the abovementioned hadith.

(It should now be clear that the practice of taking into the Masjid groups of kuffaar tourists on sight-seeing, is not permissible. Firstly, the kuffaar are constantly in the state of ceremonial impurity (the states of hadith and jananabat); secondly, the kuffaar’s attire is not in accord with the reverence of the Masjid; thirdly, the garments of the kuffaar are generally najis (impure); fourthly; the kuffaar visitors attend the Masjid in mixed groups of male and female. This in an act of the greatest immorality in so far as Islam is concerned. – Translator)

13. Hadhrat Waathilah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Perfume the Masaajid on Fridays.” (Ibn Majah, Kabeer, Tibraani)

This hadith does not mean that the act of perfuming the Masjid should be restricted to only Fridays. Friday has been mentioned because more people are present for Juma’ Salaat, hence the greater significance of cleaning the Masjid on Fridays.

14. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
“When you see someone trading (buying and selling) in the Masjid, then say: ‘May Allah not grant you profit in your trade. “When you see someone calling out in the Masjid for his lost article, then say: ‘May Allah not return your article’.”
(Tirmizi, Nisaai, Ibn Khuzaimah and Haakim)

In another hadith it is said: “The Masaajid are not made for this.”
(Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah)

The Masaajid are not places for mundane activities. Masaajid are not places for mundane activities. Masaajid are erected purely for the thikr and ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala, hence worldly activities such as buying, selling and making announcements pertaining to worldly affairs are not permissible. The hadith mentions the prohibition of searching for lost articles inside the Masjid. By this is meant making an announcement inside the Masjid regarding an article lost outside the Masjid. The curse ordered by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for such announcements and worldly activities inside the Masjid is to serve as a warning. However, if there is fear of creating a commotion inside the Masjid by uttering the curse which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has commanded for such occasions, then utter the curse (via., May Allah not return your lost article.) silently. The sanctity. The sanctity of the Masjid does not allow the perpetration of mundane acts in it.

15. Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “There are several acts which are improper in regard to a Masjid. The Masjid should not be used as a thorough-fare (a short-cut to get to the other side of the road); weapons should not be borne inside the Masjid; raw meat should not to be taken in; punishment should not be meted out inside it; and, it should not be made a place of trade.”
(Ibn Majah)

All such worldly acts are negatory to the sanctity and respects of the Masjid, hence forbidden. The prohibited activities are not restricted to those mentioned in this hadith. Everything which is in conflict with the sanctity and dignity of the Masjid is not allowed in the Masjid.

16. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu) narrate that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
“Soon will there be such people who will indulge in (worldly) conversation inside the Masjid. Allah cares not for them.”
(Ibn Habbaan)

This hadith refers to the prohibition of worldly talk inside the Masjid. It mentions the displeasure of Allah Ta’ala. Such people are deprived of His Mercy and instead invite Allah’s Wrath.

17. Hadhrat Abudullah Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “For every step taken by one who proceeds to the Masjid for Jamaat Salaat, a sin (which he had already committed) is wiped out and a good deed is recorded. This happens in going to as well as in returning from the Masjid.”

The thawaab for proceeding to and even returning from the Masjid is indeed colossal. There is no limit to Allah’s mercy.
18. Hadhrat Abu Darda (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever walks to the Masjid in the darkness of the night, will meet Allah with Noor on the Day of Qiyaamah.” (Tibraani)

19. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) say: “Allah Ta’ala will grant His Shade to seven (types) of persons on the day when their will be no shade besides His Shade. (Among the seven) one is a man whose heart is attached to the Masjid.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

20. Hadhrat Anas (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Refrain from these foul-smelling (vegetables) before coming to our Masaajid. If you wish to eat these, then eliminate the bad odour with fire. (i.e. by means of cooking).” (Tibraani)

This hadith prohibits the eating of raw garlic, onions and the like before coming to the Masaajid. Other ahadith specifically mention garlic and onions.

21. Hadhrat Abu Umaamah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever proceeds to the Masjid having only the intention of learning or teaching some goodness (something of the Deen), will receive the thawaab of a perfect Hajj.

From this hadith we learn that a Masjid while it is a place of Salaat is also a place of acquiring knowledge of the Deen. It is therefore highly beneficial and meritorious if in the Masjid there always remains a person who can impart teachings of the Deen.

From all the aforementioned narrations, the following program of actions is established for Muslims:

a) In all places-cities, towns and villages-Masaajid should be built in accordance with the needs of the place.

b) All means and agencies employed in the contruction of the Masjid must be halaal.

c) The Masjids must be respected and honoured. They have to be properly maintained and kept free of all offensive odours and uncleanliness or any activity which causes offense and violates the sanctity of the Masjid.

d) Males must perform Salaat in the Masjid. They must not forgo jamaat (congregational Salaat) without valid reason. In addition to the increased thawaab for performing Salaat in jamaat in the Masjid, there is also the benefit of fostering good ties with Muslims. One remains informed of the condition of the community. This is clear from the ahadith.

e) The community should retain in the Masjid the service of such a man who is competent enough to instruct the community in the teachings of the Deen.

f) Whenever one finds the opportunity, proceed to the Masjid and become engaged there in Deeni activity.
The ahadith make it abundantly clear that it is far better for women to perform Salaat at home. (In fact, it is no longer permissible for women to attend the Masjid for performance of their Salaat. – Translator)