Are we really aware of the significance of the Masjid in Islam, do we know the last public place that the Messenger of Allah was seen? He was seen in the Masjid, about 3 days before he passed away.
Abu Bakr (RA) was leading the prayer and the Masjid was full with an Ummah of men and women prepared to illuminate the world with their message of peace and submission to God. The Prophet’s house opened up to the Masjid and there was a curtain separating his room and the prayer hall. He opened the curtain and saw the congregation and saw Abu Bakr (pbuh) leading the prayer. The Prophet (pbuh) smiled like a moon.
The companions saw him while they were in prayer, and from their happiness, almost lost control of the prayer. The Prophet (pbuh) then drew his curtain and three days later returned to his Lord.
The Prophet in his famous narration said, “There are seven whom God will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of God, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosque; two men who love each other for God’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position, but he says: ‘I fear God’, a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered God in private so much that his eyes shed tears.” (Narrated by Abu Hurairah & collected in Saheeh al-Bukhari)
During the life of the Prophet (pbuh) there was a women who used to sweep the Masjid with her hands, picking up the dirt and disposing of it. In the sight of the community her status was not that high, but in the sight of Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) she held a different rank. She passed away one night and the companions, not wanting to disturb the Prophet (pbuh), washed and buried her without informing him. The next day, the Prophet (pbuh) detected her absence and inquired about her. They told him about her demise and how they did not want to disturb him. The Prophet (pbuh) was not happy at the action they took. He went to her grave and prayed for her there. And we are aware that the Du’a of the Prophet (pbuh) acts as a successful intercession by the Will of Allah (swt).
Women, Youth & Children
The Masjid was a place where the youth and children would accompany their parents and grow up under the shade of it’s walls. As related in Bukhari, Abu Qataadah narrated that the Messenger of Allah used to pray and carry Umamah the daughter of Zaynab. When he would fall into prostration, he would rest her aside. And when he stood up again, he would again pick her up.
The Masjid was the nucleus of education. Throughout history, the Masjid was the university that taught and from which graduated the great scholars and imams of each era. To name only a few, there was the Masjid of Al-Azhar, Masjid Al-Umawee in Syria, and Masjid Az-Zaytoonah in Tunis.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “No gathering gathers in a house from the houses of Allah, reciting the book of Allah and teaching it to one another, except that serenity befalls them, Mercy envelops them, the angels surround them and Allah mentions them to (the inhabitants of the heavens).” [Sahih Muslim]
The Masjid is where hundreds of Muslims come, all in straight rows, following the lead of Allahu Akbar, all beginning when the Imam begins, all ending when the Imam ends.
Shelter for the Weak and Travelling
In Masjid An-Nabawi, we know that there was a platform, known as the Suffah. There the poor and the strangers would find shelter and the Messenger of Allah would grant them shares of the collected charity.
The Masjid is where the Muslims would meet one another and socialise. When someone missed a prayer, he was followed up. Relationships were formed, brotherhood and sisterhood was nurtured.
When important issues and challenges arose, the Prophet (pbuh) would gather the Companions in the Masjid and consult them in the matter. The Masjid was centre for the organisation and administration of all communal affairs.
The charity would be collected and distributed from the Masjid. It was in the Masjid that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Give, if only with a half a date.”
Whenever the Prophet (pbuh) felt sad he would go and pray. And he (pbuh) would say to Bilal, “Relax us with (the prayer) O Bilal.”
There is great encouragement in the Sunnah for men to pray in the mosques and the reward associated with it is tremendous. Not only does it make the person eligible for God’s Shade on the day of Judgement, but, “he does not take a step [towards the mosque except that because of it, he is raised by one rank and one sin is removed from him. Then when he prays, the Angels do not cease supplicating for him as long as he remains at his place of Prayer [saying]: O Allah send blessings upon him, O Allah have mercy upon him…” [Sahih Bukhari]
“The mosques of God shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in God and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity, and fear none (at all) except God. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance” [Al Qur’an 9:18].
The Prophet Muhammed said,”Prayer in congregation is twenty-seven times more superior than praying individually” [Sahih Bukhari & Muslim]
May Allah (swt) make us from amongst the blessed people that help build His House and establish regular attendance in it, and thus be amongst those whom Allah (swt) loves. Ameen