During the month of Ramadan, our masājid are filled.
When we know the status of something, it is easier to honor it. Unfortunately, Muslims today do not honor the mosques as they should be honored. We know that the masjid is the House of Allāh, but we fail to internalize the nobility this title holds. When any object or person is connected to the Grand Name of Allāh, it shows prestigious rank. For example, Allāh calls some of His exclusive slaves, “ebaadur-Rahman”, the slaves of the Most Merciful. By connecting them with His Name; Allāh is honoring them. Similarly, the masājid are known as “Buyutullah”, the Houses of Allāh. Of all the places on this earth, the Prophet informed us that the mosques are the most beloved placed to Allāh . Think about it: Our Lord loves the masājid! Even the name holds great honor; “masjid” literally means “place of prostration (sujud)”. They are the greatest places to worship Allāh and to remember Him. Allāh says, “And the mosques are for Allāh (Alone).” (72:18)
Allāh also says, “In houses (mosques), which Allāh has ordered to be raised, in them His Name is glorified in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings.” (24:36) This āyah teaches us the two main rulings of the masājid:
a) “To be raised,” meaning to build them, to honor them and to clean them.
b) “In them His Name is glorified,” meaning we worship Allāh in the masājid. This includes all acts of worship such as praying, reading Qur'an and also learning and teaching.
Not only does the masjid itself have a great honor, but Allāh has honored certain people because of their relationship with the masājid.
1- On the Day when there is no shade, Allāh will give shade to a group of special people. Of these noble people is a person whose heart is attached to the masjid. (Agreed Upon)
2- For those who attend the masjid for learning purposes, the Prophet said, “Any group of people that assemble in one of the Houses of Allāh to study the Qur'an, tranquillity will descend upon them, mercy will engulf them, angels will surround them and Allāh will make mention of them to those (the angels) in His proximity.” (Muslim)
3- For those who attend the masjid continually for prayer, the Messenger said, “If anyone goes back and forth to the mosque [to attend the prayers], Allāh will prepare for him a feast in paradise as often as he goes back and forth.” (Bukhāri and Muslim) Another narration states, “If anyone purifies himself in his house, and then walks to one of the houses of Allāh to fulfill one of the obligations laid down by Allāh, then [each one] of his steps will erase one of his sins and the next will raise his degrees.” (Muslim)
4- Sincerely building a masjid for the sake of Allāh guarantees a house in Paradise. The Prophet said, “Whoever builds for Allāh a mosque, seeking by it Allāh's grace, Allāh will build for him a house in paradise.” (Bukhāri and Muslim) In yet another narration, the size of this mosque is clarified, “Whoever builds for Allāh a mosque, even if it be tiny, like a bird's nest, Allāh will build for him a house in paradise.” (ibn Hibban)
In the Qur'an and Sunnah, we find how we as Muslims should honor and act in our mosques. By learning and acting upon these etiquettes we will, God Willing, instill within ourselves the love and respect they deserve.
10 Etiquettes of the masājid
1) Honor and revere it. Allāh says, “And whoever honors the symbols of Allāh – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” (22:32)
2) You are Allāh's guest, so act in the best way. It is stated in a Prophetic narration that, “[The one who goes to the masjid] is the guest of Allāh.” (Tabarani) Where else can you be a guest of Allāh?!
3) Leaving your house with wuḍūʼ' (ablution). In the same narration as above, the Prophet said, “Whoever performs wuḍūʼ' (ablution) in the best manner, then leaves to the masjid, then (know) that he is a guest of Allāh, and it is incumbent on the guest to honor his host.” (Tabarani) The first two etiquettes are mental preparations while this one is a physical preparation. In another narration, the Messenger of Allāh said, “He who purifies (performs wuḍūʼ') himself in his house and then walks to one of the houses of Allāh for performing an obligatory prayer, one step of his will wipe out his sins and another step will elevate his rank (in Paradise).” (Muslim)
4) Dressing with nice clothes that are clean. Allāh says, “O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer.” (7:31) imām Sa'di explains this āyah by saying, “[wear your clothing] meaning cover yourself properly with clothing that is clean and nice. This is beautiful because firstly you are covering your private parts and secondly you are doing so with clothing that is clean and pleasant.” Usually the discussion of clothing in Islam is centered around women, but this āyah is addressing both genders. Both genders should refrain from wearing form-fitting clothes, clothes that emanate the odor of food, and clothes that do not cover us properly.
5) Reading the Prophetic supplication for leaving to the masjid. http://makedua.com/
6) Parking properly. The Prophet said, “īmān has sixty odd or seventy odd branches. The uppermost of all these is the Testimony of Faith: `La ilaha illallah' (there is no true god except Allāh) while the least of them is the removal of harmful object from the road. And shyness is a branch of īmān.” (Bukhāri and Muslim) Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen says in his explanation of this narration, “If removing harm from the path is a sign of īmān, then placing harm there is a deficiency in īmān. Today, some people park their cars wherever they want for long periods of time and in the middle of the road, no matter if the area is wide or narrow, but this is not a trait of a believer. A believer is one who has modesty in his heart and is empathetic to the needs of the people; loving for them what he loves for himself. How can you be an example while you park your car in the center of the road and you do not think about the hardship it causes the people? Sometimes they will block the path and will park in front of the masjid's entrance, constricting the road and bringing about difficultly for the people when they leave the Friday prayer. This is incorrect.”
7) Reading the supplication for entering the masjid, and entering with your right foot. http://makedua.com/
8) Greeting the masjid. How do you greet the masjid? The Prophet said, “When one of you comes to the mosque, he should pray two rak'at before he sits.” (Agreed Upon)
9) Lowering voices and refraining from disturbing those who are praying. Abu Sa'Īd al-Khurdi (may Allāh be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet was making seclusion (i'tikaf) in the mosque and he heard the people reciting aloud. He removed the covering and said: “Verily, each of you is in a private conversation with his Lord so you should not disturb each other. And you are not to raise your voices against each other in the recitation.” (Abu Dawud) The Companions did not like to raise their voices in the masjid. Umar advised two men to keep their voices down while in the masjid of the Prophet. (Bukhāri) This does not mean we cannot talk in the masjid, but it is yet another way to revere the House of Allāh. The author of Fiqh us-Sunnah, Sayyid Sabiq says, “It is not allowed to raise one's voice in such a way that it disturbs others' prayers, even if it is done while reciting the Qur'an. Teaching or imparting knowledge (to others) is exempt from this.”
10) Maintaining the masājid by keeping it clean and smelling nice. 'Aishah reports that the Prophet ordered that mosques be built in residential areas and that they be cleaned and perfumed. (ibn Hibban) We also learn from a narration in Bukhāri that a woman used to clean the masjid of the Prophet died. One day, the Prophet asked about her and the Companions told him that she passed away. He went to her grave and prayed the funeral prayer for her. This hadith shows us how much the Prophet loved this woman for cleaning the masjid.
Now imagine practicing all of these etiquettes while going to the masjid…How will we act? Will it make us respect the masājid more?
These etiquettes are taught to us by Allāh and His Messenger, so we should practice them diligently in hopes of coming closer to Allāh and being among those whose hearts are attached His Houses.