“In houses (mosques) which Allah has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned and to be honoured), in them His name is remembered (i.e adhan, iqamah, solat, innovations, recitation of the Qur’an, etc). Therein, glorify Him (Allah) in the morning and in the evening.” (Q24:36-37).
The symbolic house of Almighty Allah here on earth is the mosque.
This shi’aar (symbol/sign) is to depict the essence of our creation and the purpose of our existence. We are created essentially to worship Allah. Before this mission can be accomplished, there should be a place specifically established for that purpose.
The mosque (masjid) is nowhere comparable to our residential houses established for our rest and protection. There are many characteristics of the masjid which elevate its position over other places. The mosque does not compare to our big sitting rooms, esteemed and well furnished offices, luxurious cars or even the government house or supreme court. The mosque belongs to Allah, the sovereign Lord and Ruler of the universe.
Therefore, it becomes highly imperative to remind us of the respect this lofty edifice deserves in its treatment.
We need to be reminded that the only house on earth where the pious are raised is the mosque. It is that structure where the name of Allah is praised 24/7. The divine focus and presence of Allah is on the masjid every time.
Abu Omamah narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “Whoever starts off from his home for the masjid with ablution will have a great deal of reward. His reward is equivalent to the reward of a person who departs from his home with ihram for Hajj. Whoever departs from his home for the masjid with ablution for solat is rewarded equivalent to an umra. If this person stays in the masjid after solat and waits for the next solat, his name will be written in Illiyeen.” (Muslim).
You will agree with me that those who meet every day in the White House or even Aso Rock are not guaranteed these noble rewards. To buttress the superiority of the mosque over all other places or assembly, Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said: “Praying in masjid is better than praying at home or elsewhere.” In fact, when a person starts off from his home towards the masjid with ablution and with the sole intention to pray there, then his level is raised with Allah with his each step till he reaches the masjid. When he is waiting in the masjid for the congregational prayer, he receives reward from Allah as if he is offering solat. Angels keep praying for him during this waiting period as long as he maintains his ablution and does not harm anybody. Angels request Allah: “O Allah, please shower your blessing on this person and forgive his sins.” (Muslim).
Believers, in order to merit the immense reward, specially set aside for those who frequent the mosque for the purpose for which it was established, there is the need for us to accord the mosque the respect it deserves. On approaching the mosque, we should give salutation to Allah, the Lord of the house before saluting any other person who is also a guest/visitor in the house. The best manner to do this is to observe two rakaats or nawafil: This is called “tahiyyatul-masjid.”
Another plea to users of the mosque is to desist from raising their voices therein. The voice should not be raised in the remembrance of Allah or any discussion in the mosque. There should be designated rooms (conference rooms) in the mosque where matters relating to religion and other affairs could be discussed. The central columns of the mosque should not be used as meeting places as practised by some cooperative groups in our time. This tends to disturb those engaged in devotion to Allah and distracts their attention. It is also forbidden to argue or quarrel in the mosque. The imam has the right to warn those who discuss politics or sports in the mosque; it is a reflection of the approach of the last hour.
Also, the use of cell phones in the mosque should be discouraged.