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Mosques are the houses of Allah on earth in which the name of Allah are celebrated at all times. They are the most beloved parts of the earth to Allah and hence, nothing evil and ungodly is allowed therein. Allah says:

فِى بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ ٱللَّهُ أَن تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا ٱسْمُهُۥ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُۥ فِيهَا بِٱلْغُدُوِّ وَٱلْءَاصَالِ

{In houses which God has permitted to be raised, and His name is celebrated therein. He is glorified therein, morning and evening} (An-Nuur: 36)

In a hadith Quds Allah said: “my houses on earth are the mosques and my guests in are those who populate them.  Blessedness indeed are such who purify themselves in their homes and then come to my house, it is the duty of the host to honor his guests.” reported by Azaila’ee in al-kashaaf

Rights of mosques

As mosques are the houses of Allah, it becomes incumbent on a Muslim to observe the necessary etiquettes and admit their rights which can briefly be summarized as follow:

1-Remembrance of Allah therein (Zikru Allah). It is the right of Mosque that it should be specifically meant for the remembrance of Allah. It is a place that is designed to remember and praise Allah excessively. Worldly activities such as trading are prohibited in the mosques. The mosque should be a place for salawaat (prayers), recitation of the glorious Qur’an, supplications, teaching and learning of the Qur’an and other branches of Islamic knowledge. Allah says:

وَأَنَّ ٱلْمَسَٰجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا۟ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ أَحَدًا

{The places of worship are for God. So do not call, besides God, upon anyone else.} {Jinn : 18}

 

2- Construction and establishment of Mosques: it is the right of the houses of Allah just as it is the responsibility of Muslims to establish them in places where they are not there. All kinds of efforts; either physical or material should be exerted in ensuring this right. Also efforts should be made to ensure that people come to the mosques for congregational prayers, listening of religious lectures and all such talks that is aimed at reforming peoples conduct, reviving their faith in Allah, the Day of Reckoning, love for the holy Prophet Muhammad(may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his Sunna.

3-Among the rights of the mosque is that it should be devoid of all such extravagant decorations and designs that may lead to the diversion of people's attentions from the remembrance of Allah. At the same time the mosques should be kept clean and pure from all filths and dirts. It is also the right of mosques that domes should not be built on their roofings but such places should be left open to serve as upper praying courts for people in times of intense crowd inside the mosques.

 

Other places of worship

Islam has also given an attention to other abodes of worships that belong to the people of the Book; namely Christians and Jews. This shows in a very wide perspective the unparalleled tolerance of this great indomitable religion. It guarantees the protection of Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims who reside in Muslim lands. Their houses of worship should be defended from attack and their right to worship according to their choice respected. The right to self-defense was granted in Islam in order to protect freedom of religion.

Allah said:

وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيرًا

{Were Allah not to check people by means of others, there would have been demolished the monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is often mentioned}. Surat Al-Hajj 22:40

Hasan Al-Basri comments on this verse, saying:

يُدْفَعُ عَنْ هَدْمِ مُصَلَّيَاتِ أَهْلِ الذِّمَّةِ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

The houses of worship for non-Muslim citizens are defended by the believers.{ Ahkam Al-Quran Al-Jassas 5/83}

Al-Qurtubi comments on this verse, saying:

قَالَ ابْنُ خُوَيْزِ مَنْدَادَ تَضَمَّنَتْ هَذِهِ الْآيَةُ الْمَنْعَ مِنْ هَدْمِ كَنَائِسِ أَهْلِ الذِّمَّةِ وَبِيَعِهِمْ وَبُيُوتِ نِيرَانِهِمْ

Ibn Khuwaiz said: Included in this verse is the prohibition of demolishing the churches of non-Muslim citizens, their temples, and their houses of worship.{ Tafseer Al-Qurtubi 22:40}

This legal requirement is part of the tolerance, compassion, and good will that Islam teaches concerning other religious groups. The Prophet defined Islam as safety and security for people in general.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: A man asked, “O Messenger of Allah, whose Islam is best?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ سَلِمَ النَّاسُ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ وَيَدِهِ

Those from whose tongue and hand people are safe.(Ahmad)

The general rule in Islam is that any peaceful and law-abiding non-Muslim who is not in war with the Muslim state enjoys the same basic human rights as Muslims. Their places of worship should be protected by the Muslim state as was the practice of the rightly guided khulafaa’(caliphs) and those after them, and this is the true Islam.

 

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