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Allah says in the Glorious Quran, Chapter 2, Surah Baqarah, verse 254: O Believers, spend of the wealth We have bestowed upon you (in Allah's way), before the Day comes when there shall be no buying and no selling; when neither friendship nor intercession will be of any avail. 

The Importance of mosques for the Muslim community

By: Gulrukh Tausif

 

Friday A mosque is the center of religious observance for the Muslims. The word mosque literally means a place of prayer of worship. In Arabic it is called masjid.The word is deriver fromm root "sajd", which means the place where one prostrates oneself by placing the forehead on the floor in a supreme act of submission and surrender before Allah.

Historically, the need for a special place for prayers was felt very early in Islam. After migration to Medina from the city of Makkah, the muslims built the Prophets Mosque or Masjid-e-Nabwi in AD 622. This was a place where Muslims assembled for their daily prayers. The mosque became the center of worship as well as a place for political, religious and social gatherings. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to receive Chirstian deligations within the precincts of the mosque. it was also a place where teachings of Islam and Quran were imparted to the early Muslims.

Hence mosques play a very pivotal role in the lives of the followers of Islam. Following the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), a mosque can be used as a place to offer prayers, as an educational institute, a place of dawah (call to Islam) activities and a place of social gatherings. However it is forbidden to engage in business or trade activities within the mosque.

Just like the past, today the Muslims of a community assemble in their local mosque five times a day to offer their prayers. These congregational prayers are strong examples of Muslim unity and faith Behind one omam, they prostrate themselves in a unique symbol of piety and humility before their Creator regardless of their race, color, social and economic status. By standing shoulder to shoulder before Allah in the mosque, they all become equal.

By gathering every day in the mosque, Muslims come to know about the problems of their neighbours and community at large. This fosters a sence of brotherhood and communal goodwill which lays the foundation of a strong, vibrant community. Many mosques all over the world conduct nikkah (marriage) cermonies, offer welfare advice, family guidance, counseling, funral services and humanitarian aid to their patrons.

Many major mosques also serve as educational institutes, imparting religious knowledge to the young and old alike. People can come to memorize the Qur'an and learn about fiqh and hadith(Islamic jurisprudence). Arabic lessons are also conducted so that Muslims can read and understand Qur'an in its original language.

Friday sermonsare a regular feature of every mosque. The prayer leader chooses a subject to exhort the congregation to shun bad practices and enjoins them to good deeds. They are means to revitalize faith and knowledge of religion, which helps the muslims to purify their souls and do good deeds, which in turn benefits the community at large. 

People from all walfs of life come to mosques and learn about islam and embrace the religion. the mosque then arranges for financial assistance and guidance for the new converts. Seminars and lectures can also be conducted in mosques to enhance the knowledge of Islam among Muslims.

Mosques form the center of Muslim communities: hence many people prefer to donate their money to mosques for distribution among those who deserve it. In times of natural calamities, mosque administrations usually play a big role in collecting sadaqat (charity in the form of money and goods) and dispersing it among the needy.

Some mosques also arrange for free meals fot the hungry and destitute, hence helping to take care of the impoverished class of the society. During the holy month of Ramadan, people living nearby places provide food for iftar meal, when the fast is broken and everybody eats a free meal together. Hence no one in the community goes hungry.

The role of mosques for a muslim community becomes even more pronounced in countries where Muslims are in a minority. Aattendance in a mosque usually keeps the Muslims informed about the issues or problems facing the Muslim community.

Hence Mosques play a vital role in spiritual, moral and social improvement of any Muslim community. The onusis on mosque committees, the imams and the local Muslim residents to ensure that the mosques are always a true reflection of Islamic teachings and promote peace, harmony and goodwill among the people.

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