This is the lecture # 13:
We start by thanking and praising Allah and invoking His prayers on His prophet Muhammad and his family.
The topic of today’s khutba is the etiquettes (good manners) one should observe in the mosque.
Allah said: "And the mosques are for Allah (alone): So invoke not any one along with Allah.
Allah said: (Lit is such a Light)in houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised and for His name to be mentioned in them. In them He is glorified in the mornings and in the evenings, (again and again) by men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah.
Know dear servants of Allah that masajid are houses of Allah and that there are rules and decorum that should be observed while visiting them.
We address this topic today because several requests were made by many of the brothers about the need to address this issue.
‘Abd al-Razaq narrated that ‘Amr b. Maymun said that “He heard the companions of the prophet state that mosques are the houses of Allah on this earth, and Allah guarantees to host hospitably those who visit Him in them.
However, the guest should observe the decorum and abide by the proper manners that the place merits and show respect to the host, who is—in this case—our Lord Allah, the Exalted.
While in the mosque we should keep in mind that we are in His house and that we have come to worship Him, remember Him, to prostrate before Him, to keep our tongues moist with His dkir. Our presence in His house, our standing in perfectly lined rows, unified in speech and acts reflect the lofty meanings of brotherhood and sisterhood. This experience revives the hearts, elevates the spirit and unifies the community.
How could we engage in acts that spoil these moments and these feelings?
Ibn Kathir, the renowned commentator of Quran, may Allah bless his soul says:
Allah has proclaimed as true believers those who maintain mosques (the Arabic word used here is i‘mar has a generic sense that include to build, occupy, run maintain, to keep active).
Annas Ibn Malik reported that the prophet said: ‘ummar al-masajid, those who maintain mosques, indeed belong to the household of Allah.
This is congruous with the Qur’anic verse which states:
The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practice regular charity, and fear none (at all) except Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.
Abu Sa‘id al-Khudary may Allah be pleased with him said: the prophet was doing li‘tikaf and he heard the companions reading aloud. He moved a curtain that separated him from them and said: Each of one of you is invoking God, so let not one of you disturb the other, by reading loudly next to him. This Hadith was reported by Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’i, al-Bayhaqi and al-Hakim.
If raising one’s voice with Quran is discouraged in this case, then raising one’s voice with other forms of speech is indeed more deserving of prohibition.
The prophet has warned against speaking loudly in the mosque. In a hadith reported by ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar the prophet said: Let the lines behind me be occupied by those of who possess wisdom and knowledge and do not form disorganized lines, lest it sow dispute in your hearts, and avoid the hayshat of the market, the jarring noise and disputes that take place in the market.
Al-Sa’ib b. Yazid may Allah be pleased with him said: I was standing in the mosque when a man hit me with a light grain of sand as to get my attention. I turned my head and found out that it was ‘Uman b. al-Khattab. He said go and bring those two men. I went and brought them to him. He said: who are you or where are you from? They said we are from the city of Ta’if. He said had you been from this town I would have punished you for raising your voice in the mosque of the prophet. This hadith is in al-Bukhari.
Know dear servants of Allah that raising one’s voice in the mosque as in a dispute between Muslim brothers is forbidden.
The author of the book Kashf al-Qina‘ said “The mosque should be protected from laghat, brouhaha, quarrels, vain talk, according to the jurisconsults, Malik, al-Shafi‘I and Abu Hanifa may Allah have mercy on them. ”
In his book al-Majmu‘, al-Nawawimentioned that disputes, the loud talk, selling and buying and other forms of contracts are disliked inside the mosque.
Dear Muslims, The mosque provides a training experience to strengthen our bonds and unify our ranks. Through the experience in the mosque the feelings of brotherhood, which are the true signs of a healthy society, should deepen.
The prophet said: the believing Muslims in the ways they show compassion and love to one another are like one body, if one parts of its ails the whole body suffers from fever and sleeplessness. He also said that a believer supports other believers in the same way that bricks in one building support one another.
Allah says: Indeed, the believers are brothers.
In this mosque the five daily prayers are offered in addition to Friday prayer. So we should be grateful to Allah for the blessing He has bestowed on us and for making this mosque available to us, wherein we seek the shade of his mercy and wherefrom we earn His gifts and bounties. We will not be grateful until we generate in the mosque a sincere and true atmosphere of belief; until we show deep respect to it; until we keep it protected from all that which belittles its role.
In houses, which Allah has permitted to be erected and for His name to be mentioned in them.”
Allah also says: Bring your adornments –your beautiful clothes—to every masjid.
For the above reasons, the mosque shall remain a place for the expression of the Oneness of Allah, for the unity of hearts—not dispute or rancor. The mosque should be a safe place for all, a place of blessing with room for all good causes, spiritual, ritualistic, or educational. The commander of the faithful, ‘Ali b. Abi Talib may Allah be pleased with him said: Fear Allah, be aware of Allah in regard to how you treat your mosque. Do not let it ever be empty, for if it is neglected, God will not speak to you or look at you.
Among the common mistakes that people commit in mosques are the following:
1- Talking during the khutba. The prophet peace be upon him said: whoever tells his friend (meaning the person next to him)pay attention or listen while the Imam is delivering his speech, he has indeed committed an infraction, and whoever commits an infraction has forfeited his jumu‘a.
2- We see some people translate for people around them while the imam is delivering his speech and this is unacceptable.
3- We see others holding their prayer beads; others speaking about matters of this world as if they are sitting in a café; others bring their young children who do not understand the accepted decorum in the mosque and end up spending the duration of the khutba trying to discipline them.
4- We see others who laugh and giggle when the imam mentions something they find funny, as if they are heedless of the fact that they are sitting before Allah, the Exalted. By doing so, they invalidate their ablution (wudu’) and negate their prayers as well, according to the opinion of Abu Hanifa may Allah show mercy on him. In the least, such act invalidates their payer, according to the opinion of the juhmur.
5- Some brothers come to the mosque with bothersome body odor, thereby inconveniencing those sitting in their vicinity. The prophet said: Whoever eats from this plant—meaning garlic—should not come to our mosque.
6- Some dress in embellished outfits, featuring different figures including shapes of a cross—which distract the prayer goers. Some even dress in a way that is unacceptable in Islam, in clothes that reveal their ‘awra, areas that are should be kept covered.
7- Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri may Allah be pleased with him said the prophet peace be upon him said: Whoever leaves his house on the day of Friday after having showered, groomed (used lotion on his body), put on some perfume and proceeded to with the intention to pray, entered the mosque, offered two Rakat, and did not engage in any conversation (in a different narration it is lam yuhdith—the imam clearly added vowels to indicate his understanding that is it lam yuhaddith), carefully listened until the imam completed the sermon, prayed with people, whoever does all of these Allah will forgive his minor sins from that Friday until the next. This hadith is on the authority of al-Bukhari.
8- Among the etiquettes that we should call your attention to is the need to keep the mosque immaculately clean. This is a very important matter—one that brings a great deal of ajr.
Abu Dawud and others reported that the prophet said: I have been shown the rewards given to my Umma even the reward given to a person for removing a particle of dirt from the mosque. Bukhari also reported that the prophet prayed on the grave of a woman who used to clean the mosque.
For these reasons, we should call the attention of our children, who are participating in the Quranic memorization sessions, to the fact that they should respect the mosque, make sure to clean it, be quite and deferential.
One of the problems in the mosque is that some of the brothers and sisters had made the mosque a place for gossip and backbiting. Whenever they meet they talk about this man or that lady, saying such trivial things as this man is tall, that lady is short and so on and so forth.
Fear Allah, fear Allah, be cognizant of what you say and do in His house. The mosques are places that are meant to be respected, elevated and for His name to be remembered very often.
A Muslim should be prepared to abide by the etiquettes mentioned above when he or she decides to go to the mosque.
We ask Allah to enlighten our hearts with the knowledge of our faith and help us to hold and cling to His book!