THE THIRD SERMON IN THE MONTH OF JUMĀDATH-THĀNIYAH (16TH JUMĀDATH-THĀNIYAH, 1442 AH/29TH JANUARY, 2020 CE)
All thanks are due to Allāh, the Ever Living, the Sustainer, on Whose Command and Justice the heavens and earths were established, and He is Able to do all things. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, Alone without partners in His Lordship, Godship, or Names and Attributes. None is like unto Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. I bear witness that our Prophet Muḥammad ~is Allāh’s slave and Messenger.
In our khutbah today, we shall be discussing the mosque and its essence in Islām. The masjid (mosque) is a place of worship and prayer and humility before Allāh (swt). It is a place to learn and recite and ponder over the Qur’ān. The mosques are the houses of Allāh. They have their special status and virtues. Allāh has mentioned the masājid (mosques) in 28 different places in the Qur’ān. And He gave them their biggest honour and virtue by attributing them to Himself, when He said in Sūratu’l Jinn:
وَأَنَّ ٱلمَسَٰجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدعُواْ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ أَحَدا
And the mosques are for Allāh, So do not call upon anyone besides Allāh. [Q. 72:18]
The mosques are the most beloved places on the earth to Allāh. They are the places that Allāh’s mercy descends. As mentioned in the hadith: “The best places are the mosques”
And due to their high status and importance in Islām, the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said: “Whoever makes a mosque for Allāh, Allāh will make for him a house in Paradise.”
And in contrast, Allāh gave a stern warning to any oppressor who wishes to cause harm to a mosque and the role it plays.
وَمَن أَظلَمُ مِمَّن مَّنَعَ مَسَٰجِدَ ٱللَّهِ أَن يُذكَرَ فِيهَا ٱسمُهُۥ وَسَعَىٰ فِي خَرَابِهَا أُوْلَٰئِكَ مَا كَانَ لَهُم أَن يَدخُلُوهَا إِلَّا خَائِفِينَ لَهُم فِي ٱلدُّنيَا خِزي وَلَهُم فِي ٱلأخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيم
And who are more unjust than those who prevent the name of Allāh from being mentioned in His mosques and strive toward their destruction. It is not for them to enter them except in fear. For them in this world is disgrace and they will have in the Hereafter a great punishment. [Q. 2:114]
Why this stern warning and severe punishment? Because of the negative consequences and harm that will be caused to the community and to Islām by destroying the mosques.
The first thing the messenger of Allāh (SAW) did when he migrated to Madīnah was to build a mosque. And we learned from our teacher and our guide, our beloved Prophet Muḥammad (SAW), that the mosque plays a large number of roles in the community. The mosque was a place for the 5 daily prayers, a place for meetings and gatherings, for celebrations on the days of ‘īd. It was the place that delegations would meet the Messenger of Allāh (SAW). It was a place for educating and learning. It was the place for important announcements to be made. Every important community activity, or religious activity, or matters related to governing would take place in the mosque. Every member of society and every group had a place in the mosque of the Prophet (SAW).
He (SAW) taught us that the mosque is a complete and encompassing institution, as Ibn Taymiyyah (RA) said:
The mosques were the places of the leaders and the assemblies of the Ummah … The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) established his mosque on piety. It had prayer, recitation of the Qur’ān, remembrance. In it leaders were appointed, and meeting took place. In it the Muslims gathered for all matters that concerned their religion and their daily lives.
When you leave your mother country as a traveller, or an immigrant, you find in the mosque an oasis of which you can relieve yourself, and your heart is filled with the remembrance of Allāh, and peace and tranquillity through your prayer. This is one of the only places where you can meet with your Muslim brothers and sisters. You meet with them on various occasions such as on a Friday, during Ramaḍān, on ‘īd days, and various social and religious occasions. This is the function of the mosque in which you pray, you remember Allāh, you meet one another, where your marriage contracts take place, where your celebrations take place, where your children learn the religion and they learn to recite, memorize and understand the Qur’ān. These are all from the important functions of our mosques, which we may not find taking place in many Muslim countries.
Today, brothers and sisters in Islām, we want to remind and advise all our brothers and sisters who attend this mosque and are part of our family, and we have no doubt that in the heart of each one of us is love and concern for the mosque.
We know that our religion has provided us with guidelines and etiquettes regarding our mosques that must be adhered to and respected by everyone who attends the mosque, such as the ethics of entry and exit, purity and ablution, and the two units of prayer we pray upon entering the mosque. Keeping the mosque clean from any dirt of unpleasant smell.
And it is our duty to advise and remind our beloved brothers or sisters when we see any mistakes that occur, either due to ignorance and lack of knowledge, or complacency and not understanding the importance of the matter.
Some things that we have noticed that we would like to point out are:
Many people are not careful about covering their ‘Awrah while prayer, especially amongst the youth or men in general that wear clothing that will uncover parts of their body that should not be seen, especially when performing sujūd or rukū῾. Allāh (SAW) tells us:
يَٰبَنِي ءَادَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُم عِندَ كُلِّ مَسجِد
O children of Ādam, take your adornment at every mosque…. [Q.7:31]
This verse was revealed to tell the believers to cover their ‘awrah (nudity) during the prayer. But the verse does not simply say, cover yourselves during prayer, but rather Allāh has encouraged us to beautify ourselves, wear our best clothing and make sure we are clean and presentable when going to the mosque to pray, and to stand before Allāh in our best appearance.
In this regard, we see the negligence of some sisters in the matter of ḥijāb and covering, which is appropriate for the Muslim women in her prayers and outside her prayers, when that what is not permissible to be from her body is not covered appropriately or properly. Or when she attends the mosque in full of make up and perfume. The Prophet (SAW) ordered women to go out to the mosque, not wearing adornments, or clothes that attract attention. He said: “If you see one of you is going to the mosque, do not touch perfume.”
And some mothers come with their daughters in clothes not suitable for those who come to the mosque – And they may not have reached the age at which they are required to cover as a adult would- but we are talking about covering and getting used to wearing appropriate clothing that covers you, especially inside the mosque! This is a matter of complacency, leniency and negligence; children should not grow up becoming used to these things, but parents should guide children and raise them to have the best appearance and choose the right clothing. There is no problem in teaching our children that the mosque is an important and sacred place. And just like they are required to wear a uniform at school and are not allowed to go to school wearing any clothes that they please, then the mosque is more deserving of such respect and importance.
أَقُولُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ المُسْلِمينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتْ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهْ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say this and ask Allāh for forgiveness for me and you, so invoke Him for forgiveness, for He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين
All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds. To Him all the good praise and the worthy gratefulness is due. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Master Muḥammad, his pure family, companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
Dear Muslim brethren! Another important matter to point our is that when the mosque is holding any event or gathering or celebration, then it is important to uphold the general guidelines that Islām has given to the mosque, such as lowering the voices and not shouting, lowering the gaze, and respecting the masjid and its sanctity. Raising voices in laughter and acting in an inappropriate manner is not suitable for the masjid at any time.
Likewise we should advise everyone that it is disliked to have debates and arguments in the mosque, just as it is disliked to raise the voices.
The Prophet (SAW) taught his companions the etiquette of being in the mosque and the ethics of standing in the rows for the prayer and so on, and he said to his companions, may Allāh be pleased with them: “Beware of the commotion of the markets.”
Likewise it is not permissible to do anything that might disturb the worshipers; the Prophet (SAW) saw people praying in the mosque, and they were raising their voices above one another while reciting the Qur’ān, and he forbade them from doing so.
This is with regards to the Qur’ān .So what do you think the case is for useless and pointless speech! Yes, it is permissible to speak in the mosque in permissible matter, but not to the extent that it disturbs people who are praying.
These were general reminders for us all to benefit from and not for us to point the finger to others, but rather to look at ourselves and see if we are making any of these mistakes.
We ask Allāh (swt) to allow us to benefit from these reminders and to respect his mosques. Amīn.
O Allāh, please confer Your blessings and grant peace upon our Prophet Muḥammad (SAW), his family and all of the companions. May Allāh have mercy on the honourable martyrs of our religion. May Allāh make their dwelling with the ones upon whom Allāh has bestowed favour of the prophets and the steadfast affirmers of truth, O the Most Gracious the Most Forgiving. O Allāh, please grant the best reward for the families of the martyrs and offer them patience and solace.
© Mubin Olatoye Raji