By Shaykh Syed Anisul Haque | 28 June 2024

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

In this week’s khutbah, I spoke about the exalted status of the mosque in Islam and the etiquettes we should observe when visiting these sacred spaces.

Allah Almighty has elevated certain people, places, and times above others. Among the places Allah has chosen for special honour are the mosques. Indeed, our beloved Prophet ﷺ said:

The most beloved of places to Allah are the mosques, and the most hated of places to Allah are the markets.

[Sahih Muslim]

This hadith underscores the lofty status of mosques in Allah’s sight. They are referred to as “the Houses of Allah” in numerous Qur’anic verses and prophetic traditions. This attribution to Allah Himself signifies the tremendous honour and status of mosques.

The mosque is where tranquillity descends, where angels surround those reciting and studying the Qur’an, and where individuals are mentioned by name before Allah, as informed by our beloved Prophet ﷺ:

No people gather in one of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and teaching it to one another, but the angels will surround them, tranquillity will descend upon them, mercy will surround them, and Allah will mention them to those who are with Him.

[Sahih Muslim]

On the Day of Judgement, when the sun will be brought terrifyingly close and people will sweat according to their deeds, there will be special groups granted Allah’s shade. Amongst them will be ‘a man whose heart is attached to the mosque’. This individual who frequents the mosque, never missing a congregational prayer and finding more comfort there than at home, will be protected on that terrifying day.

The immense value of this attachment to the mosque is further emphasised by the rewards associated with attending congregational prayers in the mosque. Our beloved Prophet ﷺ said:

A man’s prayer in congregation is twenty-five times more rewarding than his prayer at home or in his shop. That is because when he performs his ablution properly and proceeds towards the mosque with the purpose of performing prayer in congregation, he does not take a step without being raised a degree (in rank) for it and having a sin remitted for it, till he enters the mosque.

[Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim]

Given the mosque’s exalted status, it is incumbent upon us to honour it by observing proper etiquettes when visiting. Here are some key points I mentioned in the sermon:

  1. Dress well and use the miswak (tooth-stick) – Allah commands in the Qur’an, “O children of Adam, take your adornment at every mosque.” [7:31] This includes wearing clean, modest clothing that properly covers the awrah (parts of the body that must be concealed). Using the miswak before prayer is also highly recommended, as the Prophet ﷺ said, “Had I not thought it difficult for my Ummah, I would have commanded them to use the miswak before every prayer.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim]

  2. Arrive early and avoid rushing – The Prophet ﷺ highlighted the virtue of arriving early for prayer, saying, “If people knew the reward for pronouncing the adhan and for standing in the first row, and found no other way to get it than drawing lots, they would draw lots for it.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim] However, if running late, one should not rush, as the Prophet ﷺ advised, “When you hear the iqamah, proceed to offer the prayer with calmness and solemnity and do not make haste. And pray whatever you are able to pray and complete whatever you have missed.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim]

  3. Minimise worldly talk – The mosque is a place of worship and remembrance of Allah. We should avoid excessive speech about worldly matters within its walls. Our Prophet ﷺ warned, “There will come a time when people will sit in circles in the mosques and they will have no concern except this world. Allah has no need of them, so do not sit with them.” (Mustadrak Al-Hakim)

As we reflect on these teachings, let us strive to renew our connection with the mosques and treat them with the reverence they deserve. May Allah attach our hearts to His houses, make every place we prostrate a witness for us on the Day of Judgement, and forgive us for our shortcomings in observing the rights and etiquettes of the mosque.

In our mosques we find not only the opportunity for prayer but also the environment for spiritual growth, community building, and earning tremendous rewards. Let us take full advantage of the mosques in our communities, frequenting them not just for obligatory prayers but also for learning, remembrance, and strengthening our bond with fellow Muslims.

We are encouraged to make a renewed commitment to honouring the mosque. Whether it’s arriving a few minutes earlier for prayer, taking extra care in our appearance, or being more mindful of our speech within the mosque, every small step contributes to upholding the sanctity of these places of worship.

May Allah accept our efforts, increase our love for His houses, and make us among those whose hearts are truly attached to the mosques.

Ameen.


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