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Importance of Mosques in Islam

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Importance of Mosques in Islam
Muslim places of worship, mosques, hold immense importance in Islam. Originating with the Prophet Muhammad’s establishment of Masjid Quba in Medina, mosques are hubs for prayer, learning, and community gatherings. Noteworthy is Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site, symbolizing the profound connection between Islam and spirituality, education, and social welfare.

Introduction

A Muslim place of worship is called a Mosque in Islam. The term mosque is derived from the Arabic word masjid which means place of prostration. The area where the worshipers gather is known as the prayer hall. There is also a special place on one of the walls that indicates the direction of the mouth when praying, called mihrab (niche). The direction of prayer is called Qibla.


Read our other blog on the Five Daily Prayers in Islam.


The importance of mosques in Islam is so great that they were first built by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). When he reached Medina, he built a mosque. It was primarily a Muslim place of worship. On that note, it also served as a gathering place for religious learning and a place of gatherings where the Prophet (SAW) and his Companions—discussed important issues such as protecting the city of Madinah from the threats of the enemies.


Want to learn How to Pray in Islam.


The First Mosque in Islam

The first mosque has great importance in Islam. This is the Masjid Quba, built in the holy city of Medina. This mosque marks a sacred place where the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) laid its foundation, emphasizing its sanctity.


The Quba Mosque was built in 622 AD when the Prophet (PBUH) migrated from Mecca to Medina. They stayed there for 14 days and prayed in the direction of Jerusalem. The mosque was later expanded and renovated by various Muslim rulers, such as Umar bin Al-Khattab, Uthman bin Affan, and Abdul Malik bin Marwan.


4th Holiest Mosque in Islam

The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus is 4th the fourth holiest mosque in Islam. One of the four authorized copies of the Qur’an was kept here, and the head of Yahya Ibn Zakaria is believed to be in the shrine.


The most Sacred Mosque in Islam

The Kaaba in Mecca is the most sacred mosque in Islam. Muslims around the world turn to the Kaaba during prayers, expressing unity and devotion to Allah.


Read our other blog Jummah Prayer.


The Kaaba is a cubic structure covered with a black cloth located at the center of Masjid al-Haram. It is believed that it was built by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Ismail (AS) to worship Allah. The Kaaba contains the Black Stone, which is said to be the remains of a meteor that fell to earth.


Riaz ul Jannah is often referred to as the “Garden of Paradise.” It is believed that prayers offered in this space are akin to praying in Paradise. Discover the serenity of Riaz ul Jannah, a piece of paradise on earth within the Prophet’s Mosque. Click on the link to learn more about Riaz ul Jannah in Masjid-e-Nabawi.


The Role of the Mosque

Mosques are the center of Islamic life. Mosques play an important role in Islam, they also serve as places for prayers, and celebrations during Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan, centers for education and information, and places for social welfare, and conflict resolution. The imam is the religious leader of the mosque and the person who leads the prayer. They promote unity among Muslim communities and provide spiritual guidance.


Mosques are not only buildings but also institutions that serve the needs of Muslims. They offer a variety of services, such as charity, counseling, health care, and mediation. They also organize social events, such as weddings, funerals, festivals, and celebrations.


Read our other in which we discuss the Islamic Charity: Sadaqah, Zakat, and More.


As a sign of purity and reverence, Muslims must perform ablution before entering the mosque. It is also expected to wear modest and clean clothes that cover their awrah (parts of the body that are to be hidden). They should refrain from talking loudly or engaging in worldly affairs inside the mosque. They should also observe the etiquette of prayer, such as standing in straight rows, avoiding distances, and following the lead of the imam.


The First Mosque Built in Islam

The first mosque has great importance in Islam. This is the Masjid Quba, built in the holy city of Medina. This mosque marks a sacred place where the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) laid its foundation, emphasizing its sanctity.


The Quba Mosque was built in 622 AD when the Prophet (PBUH) migrated from Mecca to Medina. They stayed there for 14 days and prayed in the direction of Jerusalem. This construction involved community efforts, in which the Prophet (PBUH) took an active part. It was built with humility and simplicity, emphasizing the essence of worship.


Masjid Quba was built on a piece of land that belonged to two orphans of the Banu Najjar crew. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) bought it from them for 10 dinars (gold coins). He then asked his companions to bring stones and bricks for the construction of the mosque. He carried the stones on his shoulder and held them with his hands. During the construction of the mosque, he also recited the verses of the Holy Quran.


Various Muslim rulers later expanded and renovated the mosque, such as Umar bin Al-Khattab, Uthman bin Affan, and Abdul Malik bin Marwan.

It is mentioned in the Quran;


History of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Islam

Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem has a rich history. It is the third holiest place in Islam, marking the night journey of the Prophet of Islam. Al-Aqsa Mosque is also called the Farthest Mosque, as it is mentioned in the Holy Quran as the destination of the Prophet of Islam’s miraculous journey from Mecca to Jerusalem. He was then taken up to the heavens, where he met Allah and other prophets. He was also ordered to pray five times a day.


Al-Aqsa Mosque was first built by Hazrat Sulaiman (AS) as a temple to worship Allah. Later, it was destroyed and rebuilt many times by different civilizations. It was finally restored and expanded in the 7th century CE by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Mulk and his son al-Walid. Since then, it has been a place of pilgrimage and prayer for Muslims.


Importance of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Islam

Al-Aqsa Mosque is also the third holiest mosque in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Madinah. Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem played a very important role in the life of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH). The main reason for the importance of the Al-Aqsa Mosque was that it was the home of many prophets before the departure of Muhammad. It was the center of preaching monotheism. Later, by Allah’s order, the believers turned to Kaaba.


An important part of Al-Aqsa’s history, which makes it an important mosque in Islam, is the Night of Journey or the Night of Isra‘. During this journey, the Prophet (SAW) slept on the Kaaba late at night. At that time, Gabriel gave him a feathered burqa, which took the Messenger of Allah (SAW) to this mosque. After that night, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) left for Paradise.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is it called a Mosque?

The mosque is also known as a masjid in Islam. The word Masjid means ‘place of ritual prostration’. A mosque is a place of prostration and submission to Allah. It is where Muslims perform their obligatory and voluntary prayers, recite the Qur’an, and remember Allah.

What is the purpose of the Mosque in Islam?

Mosques typically serve as prayer, Ramadan observances, funeral services, marriage and business contracts, alms collection and distribution, as well as homeless shelters. Historically, mosques have served as a community center, a court, and a religious school.

What is the most important part of a Mosque?

The mihrab, indicating the direction of Mecca, is an important part of the mosque. It guides Muslims during prayer, as they line up with the mihrab to face the qiblah. A mihrab is usually a carving in the wall of a mosque decorated with calligraphic or geometric patterns. The mihrab also marks the place where the imam, or leader, stands.

Why is a Mosque Sacred?

Mosques are sacred because they are dedicated to the worship of Allah. They symbolize the relationship between the divine and the community. Mosques are revered and respected by Muslims, who follow certain etiquette when entering or leaving them.

Who built Al-Aqsa Mosque?

According to some sources, Hazrat Suleiman (AS) built the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the place where Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) tried to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS) as a test from Allah.

Which was the First Qibla of Islam?

The first Qibla of Islam was Bayt al-Maqdis (Al-Aqsa).

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