Volume - IV / CHAPTER - 2 / LESSON NO: 15
ETIQUETTES FOR MOSQUES
Q 1: What is mosque?
A. The place which is reserved for offering prayer and "Jama'at" (five times a day) is established there with "Azaan" (call to prayer) and "Iqaamah"(call for the commencement of prayer), is called mosque. A mosque needs no building i.e. if one declares his empty land mosque that becomes mosque. And once a place is declared mosque that will remain mosque for ever (till the Doomsday).
Q 2: What is the excellence of offering prayer in mosque?
A. An "Hadees" to this effect says: the prayer a man offers in mosque with Jama'at is twenty-five times more excellent in degree than that which he offers at home or in market. Another "Hadees" says: going to mosque in the morning and evening (i.e.for Fajr and 'Ishaa prayers) is a sort of "Jehad Fee-Sabee-lillah" (holy crusade in the way of Allah). Yet another "Hadees" says: when someone walks to mosque after having performed ablution well (for congregational prayer) each of his steps upgrades his position and obliterates his sins. This is also vindicated by the Holy Qur-aan that a worshipper earns good deeds and reward on each step he takes to a mosque.
Q 3: What are the etiquettes of mosque?
A. The following etiquettes should be observed in mosque:
(1).When entering a mosque say "Salaam" to those present there provided they are not busy in preaching and remembrance of Allah,(2).offer two Rak'ahs of "Tahi-yatul Masjid" prayer if it is not odious time, (3). do not raise voice except for remembrance, (4) do not indulge in worldly talks. Worldly talks in mosque eat up goodnesses as the fire burns wood to ashes, (5). do not jump over (the necks of) people, (6). do not quarrel with others for space,(7)do not encroach upon space causing inconvenience to others,(8).do not pass in front of worshipper,(9).do not snap the fingers, (l0).remember Allah extensively,(11).do not let even a drop of water fall on the ground of mosque after ablution,(12).listen to "Takbeer" sitting and stand up on "Haiy-ya 'Alas-Salah". It is "Makrooh" to listen to "Iqaamah" in standing positional, (3). try utmost to suppress sound on sneeze. Likewise, restrain coughing, belching and yawning. If can not help then suppress the sound, (14). it is forbidden everywhere to stretch out the legs towards the Qiblahh and stretching them out towards any direction in mosque is opposed to etiquettes, (15). it is strictly forbidden to run or put heavy steps or to put or drop something like stick, umbrella, hand-fan etc. noisily in mosque.
Q 4: Is it lawful or not to eat and drink in a mosque?
A. It is not lawful to eat, drink or sleep in mosque except - for stranger, traveller or the one who observes
"Etikaaf (retirement to mosque for a specified period). So if one intends to eat or sleep in mosque should enter mosque with the intention of "Etikaaf and then do so after having remembered Allah or offered prayer. Intention of Etikaaf: "Bismillahi Dakhaltu wa 'Alaiehi Tawakkaltu wa Nawaietu Sunnatal 'Etikaaf (In the name of Allah, I entered the mosque and relied on Him (Allah) and I intended for Sunnatal Etikaaf). And in the holy month of Ramadaan break the fast outside the sacred precinct of mosque. If there is a space adjacent to mosque for the purpose then do "Iftaar" there, otherwise in mosque after having formed "Niyah" of Etikaaf. However, care should be taken to ensure that floor or mats of the mosque are not polluted.
Q5: Is begging in mosque lawful or not?
A. It is forbidden, nay, "Haraam" (unlawful) to beg in a mosque for oneself and it is also forbidden to give something to the beggar. The Muslim scholars have gone to the extent of saying that if one gives a penny to a beggar in mosque should give seventy pennies in the way of Allah to atone for. However, seeking financial help for other indigent than oneself and collection for any religious work is lawful but is Sunnah provided that no noise is made and worshippers are not disturbed. Similarly, it is commendable and also a practice of Hadrat Moula 'Alee (may Allah be pleased with him) to help an indigent in mosque who does not beg for himself.
Q 6: What injunction is there about coming to mosque with the foul-smelling things?
A. It is "Haraam" to come to mosque after having eaten any foul-smelling thing or with the foul smell emanating from the body or cloths and to offer prayer in such state is forbidden unless it is cleansed. Hubble-bubble and cigarettes (and the ilks i.e. Bidi) addicts and tobacco-chewers must take special care about the foul smell their mouths give off. Likewise, it is "Waajib" (essential) to protect mosques from every foul-smelling and disgusting thing like kerosene oil, (uncooked) garlic, onion etc. Shoes should not be kept in mosque unless cleaned.
Q 7: What about using belongings of a mosque for other purposes?
A. It is not lawful to use anything (irrespective of small and big) of a mosque unnecessarily or for other purposes (than the mosques" own). For example, to take water in a spouted-jug to somewhere or to use its mats or coarse-carpets at home or other place or to use mosque's can and rope for drawing water (from well) or to take water to home from mosque's large earthen jars, tank or geyser or to take fire from mosque's wood-burning stove attached to water-tank for one's home or for fire-bowl of the hubble-bubble.
Q 8: Is offering prayer in neighbouring mosque superior to that of principal mosque of the locality?
A. Offering prayer in a neighbouring mosque even though the worshippers are few therein is superior to offering prayer in "Jaam'a Masjid" (principal mosque of the locality) notwithstanding a large number of worshippers are there.- It is even better to proclaim "Azaan", utter "Iqaamah" and offer prayer in the small (neighbouring) mosque if Jama'at was not established there. However, one can go to other mosque if there is any "Shar'i" defect or shortcoming in Imaam of the neighbouring mosque and offer prayer under the leadership of that Imaam who is religious minded, pious and fulfills prerequisites of Imaamat.
Q 9: Is it lawful to establish second "Jama'at" in a mosque or not?
A. It is lawful but excellent to establish second Jama'at (after the first one was over) with fresh Azaan and Iqaamah in a mosque situated on a thorough-fare where people after people come to the mosque and leave after offering prayer (i.e. worshippers are not residents). Every new group of people can establish Jama'at within the prescribed time if the former was over. This rule is also applicable to those mosques which are situated at or near railway stations and in inns.
As for the mosque of a populated area, it is Makrooh to arrange second Jama'at with fresh Azaan and Iqaamah where an appointed Imaam has established first Jama'at with Azaan and Iqaamah according to the accepted mode of prayer. However, second Jama'at can be established in case the first Jama'at was established either without Azaan or Azaan was not uttered loudly or strangers, travellers (not residents) established their own Jama'at. This Jama'at will not be second Jama'at. Imaam should not lead this prayer from arch but instead should stand either to the right side of the arch or to the left to distinguish it from the first Jama'at already established.