A mosque is the House of Allah s.w.t. where only He is worshipped and glorified through the five daily prayers, supplementary (Sunnah) prayers, reciting the Quran, Zikir (remembrance of Allah s.w.t.) and many other good deeds. As mentioned in the Quran,
وَأَنَّ ٱلْمَسَـٰجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا۟ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ أَحَدًا
“And (He revealed) that the mosques are for Allah, so do not invoke with Allah anyone.”
(Surah Al-Jinn, 72:18)
Its sanctity must be protected. As mentioned in the Quran,
وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ ٱللَّهِ ٱلنَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَٰمِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَٰتٌ وَمَسَـٰجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا ٱسْمُ ٱللَّهِ كَثِيرًا ۗ وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُۥٓ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ
“...Had Allah not driven back the people, some by the means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. Allah will certainly help those who stand up for Him. Allah is truly All-Powerful, Almighty.”
(Surah Al-Hajj, 22:40)
Sitting inside mosques with the intention of doing ‘Ibadah for the sake of Allah (I’tikaf) is also a form of worship in Islam.
The importance of mosques is such that the first building the Prophet s.a.w. built when he reached Madinah was the mosque. It was primarily a place of worship for Muslims. On that note, it also served as a place of gathering to learn the religion and a place of councils where the Prophet s.a.w. and his companions r.a. discuss important matters such as protecting the city of Madinah from the threats of the enemies.
There are many virtues and merits in relation to mosques. Here are 5 of them:
Abu Hurairah r.a. reported that the Prophet s.a.w. said,
أَحَبُّ البِلَادِ إلى اللهِ مَسَاجِدُهَا، وَأَبْغَضُ البِلَادِ إلى اللهِ أَسْوَاقُهَا
"The dearest parts on the face of the earth to Allah are its mosques, and the most hated parts to Allah are its markets."
The mosques are the most beloved place to Allah as they are the places of gatherings for the believers to worship Allah s.w.t. and there are a lot of good deeds being done in mosques. As for the markets and why they are the most hated parts to Allah is because they are places where people usually conduct dishonest transactions, break promises and they are usually devoid of the remembrance of Allah s.w.t. Such deviances revoke His mercy. Hence it is not the places per se but the immoralities that were attributed to these places.
Abu Hurairah r.a. reported that the Prophet s.a.w. said in a famous long hadith;
"Seven are (the persons) whom Allah will give Shade of His Throne on the Day when there would be no shade other than His Throne's Shade: A just ruler; a youth who grew up worshipping Allah; a man whose heart is attached to mosques; two persons who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah; a man whom an extremely beautiful woman seduces (for illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer by saying): 'I fear Allah'; a man who gives in charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the left hand does not know what the right has given; and a person who remembers Allah in solitude and his eyes well up"
One of the categories of people mentioned in this hadith is ‘a man whose heart is attached to mosques’. This person will always yearn to go to mosques to perform daily prayers in congregation. He or she will make time to worship Allah s.w.t, to be connected with Him. The person may also be involved in volunteering and helping out in mosques to the best of his or her ability despite the other commitments, to gain Allah’s mercy and redha.
Abu Sa'eed r.a. narrated that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said:
إِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ الرَّجُلَ يَتَعَاهَدُ الْمَسْجِدَ فَاشْهَدُوا لَهُ بِالْإِيمَانِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى يَقُولُ إِنَّمَا يَعْمُرُ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّهِ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ
“If you see a man committed to the mosque then bear witness to his faith. Because Allah, the Exalted, says: The mosques are only maintained by those who have faith in Allah and the Last Day, establish prayer and give charity (At-Taubah, 9:18)”
The companion, Abu Hurairah r.a, reported:
أَنَّ امْرَأَةً، سَوْدَاءَ كَانَتْ تَقُمُّ الْمَسْجِدَ - أَوْ شَابًّا - فَفَقَدَهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَسَأَلَ عَنْهَا - أَوْ عَنْهُ - فَقَالُوا مَاتَ. قَالَ "أَفَلاَ كُنْتُمْ آذَنْتُمُونِي". قَالَ فَكَأَنَّهُمْ صَغَّرُوا أَمْرَهَا - أَوْ أَمْرَهُ - فَقَالَ "دُلُّونِي عَلَى قَبْرِهِ". فَدَلُّوهُ فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهَا
A dark-complexioned woman (or a youth) used to clean the mosque. Rasulullah s.a.w. missed her (or him) and inquired about her (or him). The people told him that she (or he) had died. He asked why didn’t they inform him, and it appears as if they had considered the matter insignificant. He (the Prophet s.a.w.) said: Lead me to her (or his) grave. They led him to that place and he prayer for her (or him)
In another narration, her name was mentioned as Ummu Mihjan r.a.
This hadith shows the virtue of a believer who serves with sincerity in the house of Allah s.w.t. Although to some people she was just someone who cleans the mosque, in truth, she has a special place in the heart of Rasulullah s.a.w. She may be nobody in the eyes of others, but look at how Allah s.w.t. elevated her rank in the eyes of the Prophet s.a.w. Do not belittle a good deed no matter how small or trivial it may seem to us.
Abu Hurairah r.a. reported, The Prophet s.a.w. said
مَنْ غَدَا إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ وَرَاحَ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُ نُزُلَهُ مِنْ الْجَنَّةِ كُلَّمَا غَدَا أَوْ رَاحَ
"Whoever goes to the mosque at dawn or dusk (for Solat), Allah prepares a hospitable abode for him in Paradise, every time when he walks to or comes back from it"
In Singapore, we are blessed as we have many mosques all over the country where we can just drop by and perform our daily prayers. The mosques are also actively conducting various religious and social programs for the benefit of the Muslim community and Singaporeans at large. In doing so, they definitely need our support and contribution such as donations to sustain the administration and activities of the mosques.
We are grateful to Allah s.w.t. that we can still visit our mosques for prayers during the Covid-19 period and gradually for other activities too with some safety measures in place. May Allah s.w.t. grant His infinite blessings to our brothers and sisters who are working and volunteering tirelessly in mosques, day and night, to ensure that the safety measures are implemented smoothly for our safety and comfort.
May Allah s.w.t. resurrect us in the Hereafter as those whose hearts are attached to mosques and as a testimony of a true believer.