The earth as a mosque:
Allah the Exalted has conferred a special blessing upon this ummah - that is, the whole earth has been declared a mosque for it. Therefore, when the time for prayer comes, a Muslim may pray wherever he may be. Abu Dharr asked the Prophet, "What was the first mosque on the earth?" He said: "The Masjid al-Haram [in Makkah]." Abu Dharr asked: "which is the next oldest mosque?" The Prophet sallallahu alehi wassalam said: "The al-Aqsa Mosque." Abu Dharr asked: "How much time was there between [the building of the two]." The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam replied: "Forty years." Then, he said: "Wherever you may be, at the time of salah, you may pray for it [the earth] is all a mosque." This is related by the group.
The excellence of building mosques:
'Uthman reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Whoever builds for Allah a mosque, seeking by it Allah's grace, Allah will build for him a house in paradise." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Ibn 'Abbas reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Whoever builds for Allah a mosque, even if it be tiny, like a bird's nest, Allah will build for him a house in paradise." This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, and al-Bazzar with a sahih chain.
Supplications while going to the mosque:
It is sunnah to make supplications while going to the mosque. The following are examples of such supplications:
Umm Salamah reports: "When the Messenger of Allah left the house he would say: 'In the name of Allah, I put my trust in Allah. O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee lest I stray or be led astray or cause injustice or suffer injustice or do wrong or have wrong done to me !" This is related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmidhi, who calls it sahih.
Anas reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever says upon leaving from his house: 'In the name of Allah, I put my trust in Allah. There is no power or might except with Allah,' it will be said to him: 'That is sufficient for you...you are guided, defended, and protected and the devil will be driven away from you."' This is related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, and at-Tirmidhi who calls it hasan.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Ibn 'Abbas that the Prophet left for the mosque saying: "O Allah, make light in my heart, and light in my vision, and light in my hearing, and light on my right, and light behind me, and light in my nerves, and light in my flesh, and light in my blood, and light in my hair and light in my skin."
In Muslim's version, we find "O Allah, make light in my heart and light on my tongue, and make light in my hearing, and light in my sight, and make light behind me, and light in front of me, and make light above me, and light below me . O Allah, give me light."
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reports that the Prophet said: "If a man leaves his house to go to the prayer and says, 'O Allah, I ask You by the right of the suppliant upon You and by the right of this walking - as I have not come out in an arrogant or unthankful manner or for show or for fame; I came out in fear of Your anger and desiring Your pleasure - I ask You to rescue me from the Fire and to forgive my sins as no one forgives sins, save You," Allah will assign for him seventy thousand angels to ask forgiveness for him and Allah turns His face to him until he finishes his prayer." This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Khuzaimah, and Ibn Majah. Al-Hafez said that it is hasan.
Supplications upon entering and leaving the mosques:
It is a sunnah for one who wants to enter the mosque to enter with his right foot first and to say: "I seek refuge in Allah, the Exalted, and by His honorable face, and in His everlasting authority, [away] from the outcast Satan. In the name of Allah! O Allah, shower blessings upon Muhammad. O Allah, forgive my sins for me and open for me the doors of Your mercy."
When one wants to leave the mosque he should step with his left foot first and say: "In the name of Allah! O Allah, shower blessings upon Muhammad. O Allah, forgive my sins for me and open for me the doors of Your bounty. O Allah, protect me from the accursed Satan."
The excellence of proceeding to the mosque to attend salah:
Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If anyone goes back and forth to the mosque [to attend the prayers], Allah will prepare for him a feast in paradise as often as he goes back and forth." This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim.
Abu Sa'id reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If you see a man frequenting the mosque, then testify that he has faith. As Allah says,'The attendants of Allah's mosque are those who believe in Allah and the last day [At-Taubah 18]."' This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban, and by at-Tirmidhi, who says it is hasan, and by al-Hakim who says it is sahih.
Muslim records, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that the Messenger of Allah said: "If anyone purifies himself in his house, and then walks to one of the houses of Allah to fulfill one of the obligations laid down by Allah, then [each one] of his steps will erase one of his sins and the next will raise his degrees."
Abu ad-Darda' reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "The mosque is a house for every pious person, and Allah provides everyone whose house is the mosque with comfort, leisure, and a path to Allah's pleasure, to paradise." This is related by at-Tabarani and al-Bazzar with a sahih chain. We have already mentioned the hadith which begins with words "Shall I not point out to you [an act] by which Allah erases sins and raises degrees. . . ?"
The prayer of salutations to the mosque (tahyyatul masjid):
Abu Qatadah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "When one of you comes to the mosque, he should pray two rak'at before he sits." This is related by the group.
Three most excellent mosques:
Jabir reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "Prayer in the inviolable mosque [in Makkah] is like 100,000 prayers [elsewhere]. And prayers in my mosque [in Medinah] is like one thousand prayers [elsewhere]. And a prayer in Bait al-Maqdis [in Jerusalem] is like five hundred prayers [elsewhere]. This is related by alBaihaqi, and as-Sayuti says it is hasan.
Ahmad records that the Messenger of Allah said: "Offering salah in my mosque is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere, save for those offered in the inviolable mosque. And salah in the inviolable mosque is better than salah in my mosque by one hundred prayers."
The Prophet said: "One should not undertake a journey, save to three mosques: the inviolable mosque [in Makkah], my mosque here [in Medinah], and Masjid al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem]." This is related by the group.
Embellishing the Mosques:
Anas reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "The Hour will not come to pass until the people vie with each other in (building) the mosques." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, anNasa'i, Ibn Majah, and Ibn Hibban who calls it sahih. Ibn Khuzaimah's wording is: "A time will come when the people will vie with each other in (building) the mosques but very few will attend (the mosques)."
Ibn 'Abbas reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "I have not been ordered to build high and lofty mosques." Abu Dawud's version adds: "Ibn 'Abbas said: 'You will certainly embellish them as the Jews and Christians embellished [their places of worship]."' The preceding hadith was related by Abu Dawud and by Ibn Hibban who calls it sahih.
'Umar ordered mosques to be built and would say: "Protect the people from the rain. Beware of red and yellow decorations for they distract people." This is related by Ibn Khuzaimah in his sahih and by al-Bukhari in mualaq form.
Keeping the mosques clean and scenting them:
'Aishah reports that the Prophet ordered that mosques be built in residential areas and that they be cleaned and perfumed. This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Ibn Hibban with a good chain. Abu Dawud's wording is: "He ordered us to build the mosques in the residential areas, to build them well, and to purify them. 'Abdullah would burn incense when 'Umar would sit on the pulpit."
Anas reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "The rewards of my ummah were placed before me, even for removing a speck of dust from the mosque." This is related by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Khuzaimah who calls it sahih.
Maintaining the Mosques:
The Mosques are houses of worship and it is obligatory to keep them clean and free of filth and noxious smells.
Muslim records that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "These mosques are not meant for urine or filth but they are for the remembrance of Allah and the recital of the Qur'an.
Ahmad records, with a sahih chain, that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If one of you expectorates, he should cover it lest it should besmear a believer's body or clothing and harm him." Ahmad and al-Bukhari record from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: "When one of you stands to pray, he should not spit in front of him as he is facing Allah when he is in prayer. And he should not spit to his right as there is an angel on his right. So, he should spit to his left or under his feet and he should bury it."
Jabir reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Whoever eats garlic, onion, or leek should not come close to our mosque for the angels are harmed by what harms the children of Adam." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
On Friday, 'Umar addressed the people saying: "O you people, you eat of two plants which I consider bad [onion and garlic] for I have seen the Prophet, when he perceived their smell from someone, he would order the man to go to al-Baqi'. Whoever eats them should suppress their odor by cooking them." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and an-Nasa'i.
Prohibition of announcing lost objects, trading or reciting poetry in the mosques:
Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "If you hear a man announcing in the mosque about some object which he has lost tell him: 'May Allah not return it to you for the mosques are not built for that."' This is related by Muslim.
Abu Hurairah also relates that the Prophet said: "If you see someone buying or selling in the mosque, say to him: 'May Allah not give you any profit in your trading."' This is related by an-Nasa'i and at-Tirmidhi. The latter calls it hasan.
'Abdullah ibn 'Umar reports that the Peophet forbade buying and selling in the mosque, reciting poetry in it, or announcing lost items, and he especially prohibited making a circle [i.e., a meeting in a circle] before the Friday prayer. This is related by the five, and at-Tirmidhi calls it sahih.
The poetry which is prohibited is that which ridicules a Muslim, praises a wrongdoer or some lewdness, and so on. Concerning that which contains wisdom or praises of Islam or encouragement to piety, there is nothing wrong with it. Abu Hurairah reports that 'Umar passed by Hassan as he was reciting poetry in the mosque. 'Umar looked at him in a disapproving manner. Hassan said: "I used to recite when one better than you was present." He turned to Abu Hurairah and said: "I adjure you by Allah to state that you have heard the Messenger of Allah say: 'Respond for me [Hassan]. O Allah, support him with the Angel Gabriel.'" Abu Hurairah said: "Yes, [I heard it]." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Begging in the mosque:
Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyah says: "Begging is forbidden whether it is in the mosque or outside it, unless there is a real need for it. If necessary, one may beg in the mosque as long as one does not harm anyone and does not lie in begging, or disturb the people by stepping over them or with one's loudness, for instance, when the people are listening to the Friday khutbah, and one distracts them by one's voice.
Raising one's voice in the mosque:
It is forbidden 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 prohibition. Ibn 'Umar relates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam entered upon some people while they were praying and they were raising their voices in the Qur'anic recital. The Prophet said: "One who is praying is in a private conversation with his Lord so he should be mindful of whom he is conversing with. And you should not raise your voices against each other in [the recital of] the Qur'an." This is related by Ahmad with a sahih chain.
Abu Sa' id al-Khurdi 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." This is related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, al-Baihaqi, and al-Hakim who grades it sahih according to the criteria of al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Talking in the mosque:
An-Nawawi says: "It is permissible to engage in lawful conversation in the mosque and one may discuss worldly affairs and other things and even laugh, as long as it is about something permissible. This opinion is based on the hadith of Jabir ibn Samurah who said: 'The Prophet would not rise from his place of the morning prayer until the sun had risen, and when the sun rose, he would get up. And they would talk and laugh about [pre-Islamic] days of ignorance, and he would smile.'" This is related by Muslim.
Permission to eat, drink, or sleep in the mosque:
Ibn 'Umar says: "During the time of the Messenger of Allah, we would sleep and take nap in the mosque, and at that time, we were young men."
An-Nawawi said: "It is confirmed that ahl as-suffah, 'Ali, Sufyan ibn Umayyah, and a number of the companions used to sleep in the mosque. Thumamah slept there before he embraced Islam. All of that was during the time of the Messenger of Allah." Ash-Shaf'i writes in al-Umm: "If a polythiest could sleep in a mosque, then definitely a Muslim can." In alMukhtasar it is said: "There is no harm in a polythiest staying in any mosque except the inviolable mosque [in Makkah]." 'Abdullah ibn al-Harith says: "During the time of the Messenger of Allah, we would eat meat and bread in the mosque." This is related by Ibn Majah with a hasan chain.
Clasping the hands or intertwining the fingers:
It is disliked to clasp one's hands while going to the mosque or while waiting for the salah in the mosque, although it is perfectly permissible to do so at other times, even in the mosque. Ka'b relates that the Messenger of Allah said: "When one of you makes wudu', perfects the wudu', and leaves with the intention of going to the mosque, he should not intertwine his fingers as he is [considered to be] in salah." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and atTirmidhi .
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri says: "I entered the mosque with the Messenger of Allah while a man was sitting in the middle of the mosque with his fingers intertwined. The Messenger of Allah motioned to him but the man did not notice or understand him. The Messenger of Allah turned and said: 'If one of you is in the mosque, he should not intertwine his fingers as intertwining of the fingers is from the Satan, and you are in the prayer while you are in the mosque until you leave it."' This is related by Ahmad.
Salah between walls and enclosures:
It is allowed for the imam or one who is offering salah by himself to pray between two walls or enclosures. Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Ibn 'Umar that when the Prophet entered the Ka'bah, he prayed between two walls.
Sa'id ibn Jubair, Ibrahim at-Taimi, and Suwaid ibn Ghuflah led the people in salah while they were between two columns. It is disliked for the followers to pray between them if they have enough room because it cuts the row, but they may do so if they are constrained to it.
Anas says: "We were prohibited to offer salah between walls and we would keep others from it." This is related by al-Hakim who says it is sahih.
Mu'awiyyah ibn Qurrah relates that his father said: "We were prohibited to make rows between walls during the time of the Prophet and we kept others from it." This is related by Ibn Majah but one of its narrator is majhul (unknown as a trustworthy person). Sa'id ibn Mansur records in his Sunan that Ibn Mas'ud, Ibn 'Abbas, and Hudhaifah prohibited it. Ibn Sayyid an-Nass said: "There is no known difference among the companions [on this point]."
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