Importance of Mosques For Imparting Proper Islamic Worship And Knowledge!
26 May 2016
By Dr. Abdul Ruff
''In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful''
A mosque is generally a very symbolic place for a Muslim, being a humble way
for Muslims to recreate pure divine presence on earth. The primary purpose of
the mosque is to serve as a place where Muslims can come together for prayer.
Nevertheless, mosques are known around the world nowadays for their Islamic
architecture but most importantly for its general vitality to the Muslim Ummah
A mosque brings the community together as it acts as many things, a social
centre, a community centre and an educational centre etc as it has many events
which welcome both old and new members of the mosque. It is required for all
men to attend mosque on Friday for Juma'h. The sermons often have a strong
practical slant, trying to integrate and apply Islamic beliefs and historical
teachings into contemporary daily life. Sermons are significant in bringing
the community together as the congregation is standing side by side in a line,
facing Mecca, together, all united in their faith and worship of Allah
Mosques are study centres for new comers of the faith to come and learn about
the Islamic faith, about the teachings of the Holy Qur'an, learn how to read
it and pronounce . These are often take place on weekends or in the evenings.
Some mosques provide full time schools if you depend on the mosque to provide
a full time Islamic education. Nearly all mosques provide libraries which
offer a variety of books on Islam which will expand knowledge on Islamic
teachings. Education is very important in Islam and is very important to
mosques too as it is often thought that the Minaret is shaped like a
pen/pencil which is thought of as representational of education.
Muslims prefer value based life which can be imbibed from
various sources: from educational institutions, from genuinely principled
parents or guardians, elders, friends, others. Mosques can also play very
vital role in this respect. Islamic prayers learned properly and preferably in
mosques will strengthen truly human values and sharpen human character so that
Muslims can hope to attain perfection but also are useful to Islam and society
Mosques are center of Islamic life in inculcating Islamic values onto Muslims
seeking to imbibe Islamic cultural and religious ethos in order to live as
It appears many Muslims, not taught by the mosques about Islamic prayers in a
proper manner, pray as they know and in a deformed manner. That is not good
for them and for Islamic faith. Though even a genuine visit to mosques by
Muslims is itself has positive meaning for them, praying in the mosques is
very important for Muslims.
However, prying in Islamic
way in its proper format is a must for every Muslims.
Islam enjoins Muslims to offer five prayers throughout the day at dawn, noon,
mid-afternoon, sunset and night. In fact, Muslims can pray anytime except at
the exact sunrise and sunset times. Prayer enables Muslims to physically and
mentally take a break from their worldly activities to connect with God
several times a day. In prayers the believers communicate with the Almighty in
The prayers consist of praising God while standing, bowing and prostrating,
maintaining the practice of Islamic prophet Muhammad (SAS), Jesus, Moses and
all the other prophets, peace be upon them all.
On Fridays, Muslims attend a special congregational noon prayer in mosques,
complete with a brief sermon. Muslims are not supposed to miss this unless
they are unable to pray due to illness and journeys, etc. here one's
determination to participate in Friday prayers in mosques
Holy Quran, the Word of God. The Holy Quran, which literally means the
'oft-repeated,' is, according to Muslim belief, the final revelation of God to
humanity. It provides guidance in all areas of life. The recitation, study and
memorization of Quran form a central facet of worship for Muslims. The Quran
is also recited during every prayer. Although it is widely read in its
original Arabic, various translations in numerous languages are also
Since the beginning of human history,
worship has played a central role in people's lives. Devotion to a higher
being continues to tie humanity together despite differences in customs and a
variety of beliefs. We often associate worship with specific religious acts
performed to a deity, distinguishing it from other facets of one's life.
However, the concept of worship in Islam is all-encompassing and incorporates
ritual worship as well as common daily tasks. This pamphlet discusses the
balance Islam encourages between our spiritual and worldly endeavors, while
also explaining core rites Muslims perform to worship God.
In Islam, worship is the very purpose of our existence. God declares in the
Quran, the holy book of Islam, ''I did not create … mankind except to worship
Me'' (51:56). Muslims worship God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe,
out of love and submission. They believe that He is the One God (Allah in
Arabic) who is completely unique and only He deserves to be worshipped.
Worshipping God is a comprehensive concept within Islam. Along with
traditional rituals, such as praying and fasting, it also consists of any
lawful action a person does with God-consciousness and in the hopes of earning
reward from Almighty God. Therefore, devoting oneself to God in Islam does not
require a person to enter a place of worship nor embrace monasticism. Rather,
fulfilling this purpose of life is an active daily pursuit from the Islamic
perspective. Hence, a Muslim can be engaged in worship throughout the day, be
it at home, work or anywhere else.
The mosque is the center for all Islamic activity as it used to be in the
mosques of the Prophet in Medina. In these mosques, not only prayers took
place, but it was a school of knowledge where companions used to study the
Quran and ask questions. It was a place for the Government to receive
delegations from foreign countries. It was a treasury from which charity work
was done and it was a war-room where decisions and planning for wars imposed
on Muslims were made. In fact, the mosque extended to the care of the needy
and orphans, and the sick as well as a place for giving D'awa to non Muslims
who love Islam. Thus we need our mosques not only to be a place of prayer but,
a place for seeking Islamic Knowledge for Muslims
Building a mosque is a prophetic and Islamic tradition of Muslim Communities.
One of the first things that the Prophet Mohammed ''Peace be upon him'' did
when he entered Medina, is to build a mosque, the mosque of Quba. Subsequently
wherever the Muslim's have gone, they have built a Mosque for their needs in
Factually the number of Muslims or the
number of Mosques could reflect the true parameters in the strength of Islam?
Unless we build a community around the mosque to support and maintain the
Mosque and strengthen the community, the mosque itself will not protect the
Anti-Islamic forces always target mosques
and Muslims. For instance, at the peak of communist rule in Russia, there were
only 400 mosques left in the whole of the USSR while during the revolution in
1914, there were 24, 000. Most of these mosques under communist operations
were closed on week days and open only for Friday Prayer or Sundays. 700
mosques in Bosnia were destroyed by Serbs and there are many mosques in India
that have been left behind, abandoned, or converted to Hindu Temples. Many
mosques are still under Hindu occupation, backed by the governments and courts
and there has been a serious threat to mosques by Hindutva forces that now
rule India with the backing of USA that leads anti-Islamic forces at global
stage to target Islam and Muslims.
Indian government and then Opposition BJP, seeking to keep Hindus sin good
humors, jointly engineered the demolition of historic but defenseless Babri
Mosque in 1992 in the broad day light. Since the Hindutva forces, backed by
the Congress government, pulled down the Islamic Babri Mosque on fake pretext,
the many state governments ruled by Hindus, their police and military media
and even courts backed the anti-Islamic conspiracy against an innocent Mosque.
They have shown in India only Hindus have the power and right to do what they
Collective communication with Allah
need mosques for collective prayers. Of course, a Muslim can pray at home
where he can live a comfortable Islamic life with himself and his family, but
and his home cannot be a mosque. However, we must remember that Islam is a
religion to be practiced collectively therefore, all good things if they are
done together has more of a reward than the same things done alone. Never in
the Holy Quran does Allah address Muslims as believer but, always as
The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) did allow non
Muslim delegations not only to come and talk to him about Islam but, he
allowed them to stay and pray in their own way too. This is Islamic
compassion. That is indeed the true Islam of the Holy Prophet who trusted in
Allah, almighty. Anti-Islamic fanatics spread false stories of making Islam
popular by ''sward''.
The house of worship in Islam is
called a mosque. Many Muslims congregate at mosques for prayer while others
choose to pray at home, work or wherever they may be. While the primary use of
a mosque is prayer, it also serves as a community center with people gathering
to listen to lectures, attend study groups or enjoy communal dinners. Mosques
are especially active on Fridays for the congregational noon prayer and during
Ramadan for the nightly prayers.
Mosques are in the
centre of all Islamic activities starting from regular prayers and as such
they could play vital role in making the prayers of Muslims as perfect as
possible so that they worship with clear s conscience and confidence of doing
the right thing in prayers.
Unless worship in other religions, Islamic payers are performed in a
systematic manner and different methods some Muslims use are their own and
they are accountable for any imperfection caused to the prayers.
Of course, Muslims can pray in mosques five times under the Imam appointed by
the Mosque committee as per the time table of each mosque. Since the believers
stand behind the Imam for offering prayers and pray apart of team or Jamaat,
they need not know the Arabic prayers themselves. But when they pray
additional prayers (Sunnah) they need to know the prayers thoroughly.
Islamic prayer in mosques consists of verses, expressions said silently during
the worship and steps of movements and their repetitions to make prayers
complete. These verses and expressions Muslims have to learn by heart.
Prayers in mosques with Jamaat are considered the best way of offering prayers
to God. Most Muslims prefer prayers in Jamaat and avoid individual prayers for
fear of using faulty sayings and in wrong ways. .
Possibly many Muslims pray faulty and using wrong prayers. Even frauds,
criminals, and crooks pretend to be praying in mosques, in fact more
obediently than others do both in Jamaat and on their own. They have no fear
of Allah and no respect for the Holy prophet or Holy Quran. They do not
believe in the Hereafter. Maybe they don't even now they are going astray or
they just don't bother about it all. Many people think since they are punished
for their crimes or wrong doings or even mischief, there is no way they would
be punished later.
Many Muslims are indeed rebels and they fight Allah but they are not aware of
their wrong steps.
May Allah forgive them if they are really innocent!
Prayers in mosques are highly structured and not every abled Muslim is able to
perform prayers correctly, let alone perfectly. Perfection, of course, is a
boon if at all some Muslims at least have acquired. Muslims should believe
that only God can make a true redelivers pray perfect. Prayers offered at home
or any place by individuals and groups are the least perfect, to say the
The Tableage organizations functioning across the world to impart Islamic
education, prayers, explain the Holy Quran and Prophet's life and teachings,
etc, but usually take away people to another place, preferably another town
for 40 days, or 4 months or six months or 4 one year, etc as per the
convenience of the interested Muslims. But today's high speed world, time off
from duty or work like months is difficult. But they refuse to do their
services in their own mosques and benefit the Muslims of the locality. One has
no idea why should prayers be taught in the mosques where Muslims pray.
Muslims are the
believers who trust God, Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad (SAS). Muslims are
those who have complete trust in God; those who believe that God is with them,
knows what they think, say and do.
knowledge. Islam prompted mankind to learn. Thus, from the beginning of
Islamic history, the concrete symbol of Islam (the Mosque) became the centre
of learning. The Arabic word for university, Jami'a, was derived from Jami'
(mosque). The Quran recurrently urges the faithful to acquire knowledge,
knowledge that would bring them closer to God and to His creation. Many verses
of the sacred book command this act, for example: Then 'Say [unto them, O
Muhammad]: Can those who know and those who do not know be deemed equal? But
only those who are endowed with insight will keep this in mind' (Quran 39: 9).
The mosque played a major part in the spread of education in
the Muslim World, and the association of the mosque with education remained
one of its main characteristics throughout history , and, the school became an
indispensable appendage to the mosque. From the earliest days of Islam, the
mosque was the centre of the Muslim community, a place for prayer, meditation,
religious instruction, political discussion, and a school. And anywhere Islam
took hold, mosques were established, and basic religious and educational
instruction began. Once established, mosques developed into well-known places
of learning, often with hundreds, even thousands, of students, and frequently
contained important libraries.
The first school
connected to a mosque was set up at Medina in 653, and by 900 nearly every
mosque had an elementary school for the education of both boys and girls The
basic format in which education took place in the mosque was the study circle,
better known in the Muslim World as ''Halaqat al-'Ilm'', or Halaqa for short.
A Halaqa is literally defined as 'a gathering of people seated in a circle' or
'a gathering of students around a teacher'
Islam blame the decline of Muslim civilization on Islam rather than on the
occupation and devastation, by powerful anti-Islamic forces, of its centres of
learning, such as Cordoba, Baghdad, and Seville, we conclude that from its
earliest days, Islam went hand in hand with scholarship and knowledge. As well
as the verses of the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet which urged people
to learn and seek knowledge, the mosque, the concrete symbol of Islam, was the
most important centre of learning in the Muslim world. Indeed, in most Muslim
countries, the word Jami' means at once both mosque and school. Muslims
consider mosques, where Muslims offer regular prayers, as places or houses of
God that are very dear to them.
Muslims are very sure that their actions are being watched by God and they are
accountable for any wrong doings. Muslims do not take god for granted thinking
that He does not immediately punish the guilty and hence people keep
committing crimes and thefts.
Muslims should know that they are bestowed with good favors of God for good
things they do or intent and they are denied good things if they commit wrong
things, and they are answerable for their mischief.
Charity and supplication
Muslims must give 2.5% of their annual savings to help the poor, the needy and
the oppressed. This act of devotion acknowledges that all wealth comes from
God and purifies the soul from material greed. In addition, Islam encourages
voluntary acts of charity, be they monetary or physical. A famous prophetic
tradition states, 'Smiling is charity.'
supplicate to and address God directly for their needs and desires anytime and
anywhere. This direct relationship is an essential element of worship in
Islam. Whether asking for guidance, seeking solace or beseeching God for
forgiveness, Muslims reach out to God at any time, without an intermediary.
The practice of confession to another being does not exist in Islam.
Nothing is a mere formality in Islam. Even the usual wishing 'assalamu
alaykum' has a message and importance. Fasting is not a just formality that
every Muslim has to observe but we must observe it with heart and soul so that
God gives the necessary changes in our hearts thoughts, lives.
It would be better if the honorable Islamic pundits (Ulema)
request all mosques to impart proper education on regular prayers so that
Muslims pray properly and their prayers don't go a waste. They also need to
explain the best ways of independent learning of prayers so that Muslims
correct themselves. .
Muslims fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, by
refraining from eating, drinking and sexual interaction from dawn to sunset.
Fasting instills self-restraint, provides spiritual cleansing and strengthens
one's willpower. While fasting, Muslims strive to increase charitable acts and
control bad habits such foul language, gossip and anger.
Worship: A Holistic View
Worshiping God adds
meaning to our lives and constantly renews our purpose. In the good times, we
are thankful for His blessings, and in challenging circumstances, we trust God
will see us through. Therefore, worship strengthens our relationship with the
Creator – instilling a sense of gratefulness for the countless favors we enjoy
as His creation as well as enabling us to develop values such as patience,
perseverance and resilience when faced with trials and tragedies. As a result,
it helps us achieve humility, recognizing God as the Originator and Sustainer
of the universe and surrendering to Him in worship.
Muslims consider their earthly existence as temporary and prepare for the real
life ahead, the eternal life of the hereafter. As God clearly states in the
Quran, He ''created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in
Salvation in Islam is connected with
doing good deeds and refraining from bad ones. One who excels in goodness will
be rewarded generously, but one whose evils outweigh his virtues will be
punished. The fear of accountability and hope for God's mercy in the afterlife
inspires Muslims to be mindful of God in their daily lives, encouraging them
to more fully worship Him.
Indeed, Islam enjoins Muslims to lead balanced lives in this world while
striving for success in the hereafter by living righteously. Therefore, the
concept of worship in Islam encompasses not only the outward religious duties,
but also the development of a strong moral character, good relations with
people, and striving for just and harmonious societies.
Worship in Islam is as broad as life itself. It could be removing an obstacle
from the road, helping someone in need, being good to your family, doing an
honest day's work, sharing food with your neighbor, visiting a sick person,
attending a funeral and so on. Of course, the above-mentioned criteria apply
here as well: to be considered worship, the act must be done earnestly to
please God and should be consistent with divine guidance.
Therefore, Islam blurs the line between 'religious' and 'worldly,' because
practically any action can become spiritual in nature and is rewarded by God –
whether it is seeking knowledge or maintaining good neighborly ties. When
someone keeps this comprehensive approach in mind, they naturally steer clear
of cheating, lying and exploiting others. Instead, they strive to be honest,
compassionate and tolerant in their dealings.
When it comes to worship, Muslims draw inspiration from the life of Muhammad (SAS),
the final messenger of God. He was the quintessential human being who
successfully fused his 'worldly' and 'religious' acts into a seamless whole.
His entire being was focused on submission to God, whether he was with his
family or in the mosque.
Muslims endeavor to follow
his example and stay mindful of God throughout their day.
In the end, worship in Islam extends to all aspects of life, transforming
mundane tasks into spiritual ones. Muslims balance their religious duties and
everyday responsibilities, aware of their accountability to God in the
hereafter. When people fulfill their true purpose of worshiping God, it
enables them to attain a profound sense of peace that results from submitting
to the Creator, the only One worthy of worship. ''… Truly it is in the
remembrance of God that hearts find peace.'' (Quran, 13:28)
Foundations of Worship: Morality in Islam
However, since Muslims, particularly the youth are not properly taught and
trained in Islamic prayers by elders, mosques or by Islamic organizations,
they pray as they have learned in their own ways.
Muslims who are denied proper teaching and training in Islamic worship are not
at fault for their faulty prayers.
Certain criteria determine whether an act can be considered worship. For
instance, Islam teaches that the merit of a person's action depends on the
intention. Muslims believe that God looks at people's hearts, not just their
physical deeds. For an action to be regarded as worship, it must be performed
with the pure intention of pleasing God. Therefore, the concept of worship in
Islam encourages people to connect with God in every action they take,
strengthening their bond with their Creator.
In doing so, a person gains a sense of true peace that comes with carrying out
their purpose in life. In addition to purifying one's intention, a person's
deeds must also be consistent with divine guidance. While God has inspired an
intuitive moral sense in every individual, people do not always act in a just
and ethical manner. In fact, our ability to judge between right and wrong can
often be muddled by external influences, outward appearances or ulterior
motives. Hence, having a moral compass alone does not enable one to
internalize righteousness or bring one closer to God.
In order to guide humans to His worship and to truly differentiate between
good and evil, God sent prophets as teachers and role models. He also revealed
Holy Scriptures which provide us with knowledge directly from God and serve as
manuals for virtuous living. The combination of prophetic examples and divine
scriptures reinforces our moral inclinations and equips us with the knowledge
to discern between right and wrong. They also provide us with the criterion
which enables us to assess our own motives and deeds. Above all, they teach us
how to worship God and to lead a life that pleases Him.
Islam is the culmination of God's message since the time of Adam. The God of
Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all the other prophets, is the same God who
sent Muhammad as His final messenger to humankind and revealed the Holy Quran,
God's last scripture, to him. The Quran, the only divine book to remain intact
in its original text, upholds the pure teachings of previous revelations. It
is a testament to the continuity of God's message from the beginning of human
history, guiding people to achieve their fundamental purpose in life.
The guidance of the Quran and the example of Prophet Muhammad,
whose teachings have been meticulously preserved, form the basis of worship in
Islam. It must be noted here that while Muslims esteem all of the prophets
sent by God, including Jesus and Muhammad, they do not worship any of them. In
fact, worshipping any one besides the One God is strictly prohibited in Islam.
Rather, Muslims invoke God to send blessings upon all the messengers and
Indeed, every single aspect of a person's life can fit under the umbrella of
worship in Islam, so long as the person's intention is to please God and the
action is consistent with the Quran and prophetic example. At the same time,
certain core rituals form the basis of a Muslim's worship of God.
Holy Hajj: The Journey and achievement of a Lifetime- not every year affair
The pilgrimage to Mecca must be performed by every Muslim once
in their life if they are physically and financially able. It symbolizes the
unity of humankind as Muslims from every race, nationality and social status
assemble together in equality to worship God, following the traditions of
The two Eid festivals mark important holy days for Muslims. Eid-ul-Fitr is
celebrated at the completion of Ramadan while Eid-al-Adha falls during the
days of Hajj. Both occasions begin with a congregational prayer and a sermon;
these are followed by festive meals, gift-giving and socializing.
Every Muslim has a right to know and practice real Islamic worship. When
mosques take the responsibility of imparting Islamic worship, including
prayers in detail, Muslims would learn the prayers properly and confidently.
When Muslims make mosques the centre of their life activities
the quality of their life would change drastically for the better and much
As more and true Muslims come to mosques the
fake ones who use them for personal benefits alone would withdraw themselves
Muslims should have in their mosque a
reference library where they can go and study Islam. From the mosque, there
should be collection and distribution of all Sadaqa and Zakat. It would
benefit the community if each mosque would incorporate a free medical clinic
which can meet after Friday Prayer or after Sunday school. Muslims without
insurance or those who are in need of emergency help can receive treatment.
Muslims are not those who think since Allah has not punished
those who are anti-Islam, who have boldly committed crimes against humanity,
crimes against believers, they can also do exactly what they want against the
Allah knows everything we do and
hide, Allah has His own way of judgment and punishment.
May Allah save us and guide us away from devils that are eager
to destroy Islam in us.