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12. Erection of Masaajid
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Hayaatul Muslimeen(Life of Muslims)
12. Erection of Masaajid
This section deals with the construction, caring, repairing and maintenance of Musjids. The Huqooq (Rights) of the Musjid are also discussed in this Rooh. Among the rights (huqooq) of the Musjid are:
•      Performing Salaat in the Musjid.
•      Establishing performance of Salaat in jamaat.
•      Cleaning and maintaining the Musjid in good condition.
•      Visiting the Musjid in abundance.
•      Respecting and revering the Musjid.

Some Qur'aanic aayaat and Ahadith in this regard will now be narrated. Allah Ta'ala states in the Qur'aan Majeed:

1.“Who is more unjust than the one who prevents (others) from the Masâjid of Allah - that the Thikr of Allah should take place therein, and who strives to ruin the Masâjid?” (Aayat 114 Surah Baqarah)

2. "In reality, construction and maintaining the Masâjid 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)." (Surah Taubah)

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

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 Masâjid. The way of respecting the Masâjid is explained in the Ahadith, which appear hereunder.

4. Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"When you observe any person concerning himself with the Musjid, 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 Zakaat and fear none besides Allah, erect (and maintain) the Musjids of Allah.'" (Surah Taubah)

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

5. Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"Whoever erects a Musjid purely for the sake of gaining Allah's Pleasure, Allah will erect for him a mansion in Jannat." (Bukhaari, Muslim)

Sincerity of intention is conditional for the obtainal of this thawaab. This promise of reward applies to the erection of new Masâjid as well as to the repair and renovation of existing Masâjid. This is clear from the fact that Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated this hadith on the occasion of renovating Musjidun Nabawi. Other Ahadith too confirm that this great reward is even for those who assist in the construction of the Musjid 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 alayhi wasallam) himself carried bricks on the occasion of the construction of Musjidun Nabawi. In the hadith it is stated that no matter how small one's contribution may be towards the construction of a Musjid, Allah Ta'ala will erect a mansion in Jannat in return for the contribution. (Ibn Khuzaimah. Ibn Majah)

7. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: `Whoever erects a Musjid for Allah Ta'ala (with sincerity), Allah Ta'ala will erect for Him a mansion in Jannat, far greater than the Musjid.” (Ahmad)

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

8. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi 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 (Musjid) for Allah Ta'ala," (Tibraani, Ausat)

The sanctity of the Musjid 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 Musjid. Nothing haraam should be employed in the Musjid.

In some places, especially rural areas, people build Musjids on land, which belong to others. When the owner objects, the builders of the Musjid take offence and brand him as being anti-Islam. If the owner happens to be a non-Muslim, the Builders of the Musjid 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 Muslims is unjust and sinful. Remember well, that a structure reared on the land of a person without his consent is not a Musjid. The Shariah does not accept such a building erected on usurped ground as a Musjid.

9. Hadhrat Abu Saeed (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:
"There was an African woman who used to sweep the Musjid. One night she passed away. In the morning Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was informed of her death. He said:

'Why did you not inform me?'

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then accompanied by the Sahaabah 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 alayhi wasallam) asked her (i.e. the dead woman who was buried - this was one of the miracles of Rasulullah - sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

"Which act did you discover to be of great significance”?

The dead woman replied: "Sweeping the Musjid." (Abu Shaikh Isbahaani)

This hadith indicates the great significance of caring for the Musjid. Even the simple task of sweeping the Musjid was an act honoured greatly by Allah Ta'ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The importance and significance of this act of sweeping rendered by the little-known and forlorn African lady were such that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) voiced his displeasure at not being informed immediately of her death. Her service of sweeping the Musjid was so noble that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) specially went with a group of Sahaabah to her grave.

Allah Ta'ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) regard the service of sweeping the Musjid most highly. But, alas! Nowadays, people consider this task lowly and below their dignity.

10. Hadhrat Abu Qursafah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates a lengthy hadith in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Removing dust particles and waste from the Masjid is the mahr (dowry) of large-eyed damsels of Jannat." (Tibraani, Kabeer)

11. Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"Whoever removes from the Musjid any offensive item, Allah Ta'ala will in return erect for Him a palace in Jannat.” (Ibn Majah)

l2. Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) narrates:
"Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) commanded us to build Musjids in all neighbourhoods and he ordered us to maintain the Masaajid clean." (Ahmad. Tirmithi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah)"

The existence of Musjids 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 Musjids are places of sanctity, nothing impure should he taken in. Impure garments and people in the state of impurity should not enter the Masaajid. Regular cleaning' of the Musjid; also comes within the scope of the command stated in the above-mentioned hadith.

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

13. Hadhrat Waathilah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah
(Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"Perfume the Masaajid on Fridays." (Ibn Majah, Kabeer, Tibraani)

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

l4. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"When you see someone trading (buying and selling) in the Musjid, then say: `May Allah not grant you profit in your trade.' When you see someone calling out in the Musjid for his lost article, then say: 'May Allah not return your article.' " (Tirmithi, 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. Musjids 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 Musjid. By this is meant making an announcement inside the Masjid regarding an article lost outside the Musjid. The curse ordered by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) for such announcements and worldly activities inside the Musjid is to serve as a warning. However, if there is fear of creating a commotion inside the Musjid by uttering the curse, which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has commanded for such occasions, then utter the curse (viz., May Allah not return your lost article) silently. The sanctity of the Musjid does not allow the perpetration of mundane acts in it.

15. Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"There are several acts which are improper in regard to a Musjid. The Musjid should not be used as a thoroughfare (a short-cut to get to the other side of the road); weapons should not be borne inside the Musjid; raw meat should not 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 respect of the Musjid, 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 Musjid, is not allowed in the Musjid.

16. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas'ood (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasullullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"Soon will there he such people who will indulge in (worldly) conversation inside the Masjid. Allah cares not for them." (Ibn Hibbaan)

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

17. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"For every step taken by one who proceeds to the Musjid 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 Musjid."

The thawaab for proceeding to and even returning from the Musjid is indeed colossal. There is no limit to Allah's mercy.

18. Hadhrat Abu Dardaa (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"Whoever walks to the Musjid in the darkness of the night, will meet Allah with Noor on the Day of Qiyaamah." (Tibraani)

19. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) say:
"Allah Ta'ala will grant His Shade to seven (types) of persons on the day when there will he no shade besides His Shade. (Among the seven) one is a man whose heart is attached to the Masjid.” (Bukhaari, Muslim)

20. Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Refrain from these foul-smelling (vegetables) before coming to our Musjids. 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 Musjid. Other Ahadith specifically mention garlic and onions.

21. Hadhrat Abu Umaamah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

"Whoever proceeds to the Musjid having only the intention of learning or teaching some goodness (something of the Deen), will receive the thawaab of a perfect Hajj." (Tibraani)

From this hadith we learn that a Musjid, 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 Musjid 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 place - cities, towns and villages - Musjids should be built in accordance with the needs of the                            place.

b. All means and agencies employed in the construction of the Musjid must be halaal.

c. The Musjids 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 offence and violates the sanctity of the Musjid.

d. Males must perform Salaat in the Musjid. They must not forgo Jamaat (congregational Salaat) without a valid reason. In addition to the increased thawaab for performing Salaat in Jamaat in the Musjid, 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 Musjid 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 Musjid and become engaged there in Deeni activity.

The Ahadith make it abundantly clear that it is by far better for women to perform Salaat at home. (In fact, it is no longer permissible for women to attend the Musjid for performance of their Salaat. - Translator)
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