CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

SUNNAH OF ENTERING THE MOSQUE

O Allah (The Exalted) grant our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the position of the Closest Access the Pre-eminence and the noblest and greatest rank.

Best Place On Earth ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “The best place on earth are the Mosques and the worst are the markets.” i People tend to spend more time in the town centres and market places where they should not be and spend minimal time where the mercy of Allah (The Exalted) descends and where you attain peace of mind. However, we spend more time in places like the cinemas and parties (places of trial and tribulation) and expect peace! May Allah (The Exalted) save us from such places and give us understanding of the religion of Islam, Ameen!

When seeing a Mosque Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith-e-Dehelwi (may Allah have mercy upon him) writes in ‘Jazbul Quloob’ when passing by a Mosque it is desirable to recite Salawaat/Durood. One can recite any durood, however, a easy one to remember is as follows: Assalatu Was-Salaamu ‘Alayka Ya Rasool-Allah Wa ‘Ala Aalika Wa As-habika Ya Habeeb-Allah ‘Uthman bin Mazun (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, “I asked the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the permission to leave the society and become a solitary person.” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied, “For my followers to leave the world is to sit in the mosque and wait for the prayer.” ii Subhanallah! Our position is that we don’t want to leave our worldly affairs. We go when the Salaah has began and are the first to leave, proving that we are busy in the world. Let us try to go to the Mosque early and do not rush when leaving. You will feel so much peace and will not want to leave.

Good Deeds, Sins Forgiven And Grades Raised ‘Abd-Allah bin ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When anyone walks to a mosque for congregational prayer, each of his steps obliterates one of his sins replacing it by a good deed, both whilst going and returning.” iii Subhanallah!

Light On The Day Of Resurrection Buraida (may Allah be pleased with him) reported the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as saying, “Announce to those who make a practice of walking to Mosques during the times of darkness the good news that they will have complete light on the Day of Resurrection.” iv Subhanallah! This reward is for those who make the effort although it may be dark and other obstacles.

Complete Believer Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as saying “When you see a person who has made a habit of going to the Mosque, give evidence that he is a complete believer.” V

100,000 Rewards Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as saying, “A man’s prayer in his house is equivalent to a single observance of prayer. His prayer in a tribal mosque is equivalent to twenty-five. His prayer in a mosque in which Friday prayer is observed is equivalent to five hundred. His prayer in my mosque (Masjid-e-Nabwi, Madinah) is equivalent to fifty thousand, and his prayer in the sacred mosque (The Holy Ka’ba, Makkah) is equivalent to a hundred thousand.” vi Subhanallah! There are so many rewards to earn in going to the mosque for Salaah.

Worldly Talk The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Gossiping about worldly matters eats up good deeds as fire eats up fuel.” Another hadith states, when one begins talking about worldly affairs in the mosque, the angels say to him; “O friend of Allah, (The Exalted), be quiet,” if he talks again, they say “Enemy of Allah (The Exalted) be silent” and if he talks again they say “Allah’s curse be upon you! Hold your tongue!” vii Allahu Akbar! The mosque is a place of worship, peace and not to bring the worldly affairs in. We don’t want the curse of Allah (The Exalted) when we go to gain His pleasure. ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Nearer to the end of time there will be people that will talk about worldly affairs in the Mosques, Allah (The Exalted) has nothing to do with them.” viii Allahu Akbar! Do not become one of those whom Allah (The Exalted) does not want anything to do with. The best way to do this is to sit in the front row and perform the Dhikr of Allah (The Exalted). To talk about permissible worldly affairs in the Mosque eats up good deeds as fire eats up wood. To talk about truthful and permissible things in the Mosque without need such as what is happening on the news or business is forbidden. If this is the case with permissible talk then what will be the state of those who backbite which is worse than committing adultery. Ix

Respecting The Mosque Wathila bin Asqa’ (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Save your Mosques from immature children, the mentally ill, business talk, arguing and raising the voice.” x The reason for immature children is that they may make the Mosque impure, and the mentally ill needs attention at all times. The Mosque is not a place for arguing nor raising the voice, so it is important to have respect for the Mosque. Shaykh Ahmad Raza Khan writes in ‘Ehkam-e-Shariat’ that talking in the mosque about worldly affairs eats up good deeds as fire eats up wood, and to laugh in the mosque will bring darkness in the grave. These hadith have been mentioned many times but who listens! May Allah (The Exalted) give the ability to act upon them. Ameen. Do not shout or argue in the mosque as it is said thirty years of worship becomes void. Allahu Akbar!

House In Paradise Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as saying “For anyone who removed from a mosque anything that was causing trouble to men (such as rubbish etc.) lying on the floor, Allah (The Exalted) will build a house for him in Paradise.” xi Subhanallah! Even if you see a small piece of rubbish, thread etc. put it in your pocket and place it in the bin. Some have a habit of picking the rubbish and throwing it on the side or placing it in a plant pot. There is no point in this because someone is have to pick it up after anyway.

Going Astray ‘Abd-Allah bin Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught us the paths of right guidance among which was prayer to be said in the Mosque five times a day.” In another version he said: “If anyone would like to meet Allah (The Exalted) tomorrow as a Muslim he should preserve in observing these five times prayer where the announcement for them is made. For Allah (The Exalted) has laid down for your Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the paths of right guidance, among which are the prayers. If you were to pray in your houses as this man (referring to a certain man) who stays away and prays in his house, you would abandon the practice of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and if you were to abandon the practice of your Prophet you would go astray.” Xii

Assistance From The Unseen Shaykh ‘Abd Al-Qadir Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him) relates a hadith, “Some people spend time in the mosques, the angels of Allah (The Exalted) are close to such people. If these people are not present in the mosque the Angels go searching for such people and if they are ill, the Angels visit them and if these people are ever in need, the Angels help them.” xiii Subhanallah! You will find assistance from the unseen when you please Allah (The Exalted).

‘Etikaf (Seclusion) Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “One performing ‘Etikaf is saved from sin and all his rewards are continuously written as if he actually did them.” xiv When in ‘Etikaf one will be saved from the sins that would be have been committed if not in ‘Etikaf and also those who would perform good deeds would be rewarded for them although one has not got the opportunity to perform them whilst in ‘Etikaf. For instance, if you would help your parents, a neighbour or a friend etc. do a job but did not get the opportunity, however, the reward will be written as if doing the deed. Subhanallah! The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whosoever with sincerity for the sake of Allah (The Exalted) in the month of Ramadhan performs ‘Etikaf for a day, will receive the reward of 300 martyrs.” xv Subhanallah! What great reward is awarded for such people who have the opportunity. How easy is it to earn such reward! If we have not had the opportunity to sit in ‘Etikaf for 10 days in the blessed night of Ramadan, then try and make the effort and it is an amazing experience. Try to perform it at least once in a life time and see the blessings it brings in your life. There are so many benefits in staying in the Mosque. Make the effort and perform it soon as possible as you never know what is going to happen. Many se excuses about work etc. we work every day, when will we get such an opportunity to stay in the Mosque. May Allah (The Exalted) give us all the ability to perform ‘Etikaf once in our lifetime, Ameen. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whosoever performs ‘Etikaf between Maghrib and ‘Isha and besides Salaah and reciting the Qur’an does not say anything, it is compulsory on Allah (The Exalted) with His mercy to prepare a palace (for that person in paradise).” xvi It does nt mean Allah (The Exalted) has to do it but Allah (The Exalted) will do so as it is His promise to reward such people. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whosoever in the month of Ramadhan performed ‘Etikaf for 10 days, it is as if he has performed two Hajj and two ‘Umrah.” xvii Subhanallah!

Types Of ‘Etikaf There are three types of ‘Etikaf:

1) Wajib 2) Sunnah and 3) Voltentry.

1) The wajib is to be performed when you have made a promise and said with the tongue, “For the sake of Allah (The Exalted) I will perform ‘Etikaf for so many days or on such a day.” Once the action is completed it is necessary to perform ‘Etikaf and with this ‘Etikaf fasting is a condition and without fasting the ‘Etikaf is not correct.

2) This is performed in the last third of Ramadan, meaning the last ten days. i.e. from sunset of the twentieth of Ramadan you entered in the Mosque with the intention of ‘Etikaf and did not come out until the thirtieth sunset or if the moon is seen on the twenty-ninth sunset. If the intention of ‘Etikaf is made after sunset on the twentieth then the Sunnat Muakedah will not be counted. This ‘Etikaf is Sunnat-e-Kifaya meaning if one person within the community performs it then all will not be held responsible and if no-one performs it then all will be held responsible. Fasting is also a condition for this ‘Etikaf, but the Ramadan fasts are sufficient. xviii

3) Except for the ‘Etikaf Wajib and the ‘Etikaf Sunnat, any other ‘Etikaf is Mustahab. Fasting is not a condition for ‘Etikaf Mustahab and it can be done for a little while. Whenever you go to Mosque, make the intention for this ‘Etikaf even if you are going for a short while and when you come out the ‘Etikaf will finish. For the intention, just the thought that I am performing ‘Etikaf Mustahab for Allah (The Exalted) is sufficient. xix If one is going to perform the wajib and Sunnah ‘Etikaf, it is necessary to learn the rules and regulations as they are very important to know for the ‘Etikaf to be accepted.

Lost Items Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whosoever hears someone looking for a lost item in the mosque then say, ‘May Allah (The Exalted) not give you your lost item,’ as the mosques are not made for such things.” xx It is not permissible to look for lost items in the prayer hall.

Business In Mosque Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When you see someone in the Mosque buying/selling then say ‘May Allah (The Exalted) not benefit you in your business’.” xxi We should leave any buying and selling outside the Mosque.

Bad Odour Abu Sa’id Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whosoever eats raw onions or raw garlic do not come near us in the mosque.” xxii It is necessary to keep the Mosque free from smell and obligatory to keep it free from impurity.xxiii One should make sure that the fragrances such as aerosols and incense sticks are free from impure ingredients. Imam Shafi (may Allah’s Mercy be upon him) states that four things strengthen the eyesight, to sit towards the Qibla, to use Surma before sleeping, to look at something green, and to keeping clothes clean. Xxiv

Methodology of proceeding to the Masjid

  1. To make ablution at home. xxv 2. To Pray Salawaat on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). 3. Take small steps whilst walking for Salaah to the Masjid since every step shall merit reward. xxvi 4. The left shoe should be removed first but the Masjid should be entered with the right foot. xxvii

Supplication for entering the mosque 5. Whilst entering the prayer hall recite the following supplication: Bismillahi Wassalamu ‘Ala Rasool-lillah ‘Allah, the name I enter with and greetings be upon the Messenger of Allah’ xxviii ‘Allah-hummaf Tahlee Abwaba Rahmatic’ ‘O Almighty Allah (The Exalted) open for me the doors of Your mercy.’xxix 6. Then make intention of Sunnah ‘Etikaaf as follows: ‘Nawaytu Sunnatal ‘Etikaaf’ ‘I have made the intention of Sunnah ‘Etikaaf.’xxx 7. One is not allowed to sleep, eat or drink in the Mosque unless the above supplication has been recited and some form of worship is done. 8. To recite ‘Bismillah’, (Allah’s name I begin with)xxxi and ‘Assalatu Was-Salamu ‘Alayka Ya RasoolAllah’ (Peace and Salutations be upon you O Messenger of Allah). xxxii When entering the Mosque.

  1. Shaykh Ahmad Raza Khan writes in ‘Fatawa-e-Razawiyya’, ‘Those who talk whilst the Adhan is being prayed will have difficulty at the time of death.’ 10. It is disliked for a person to sit idle in a mosque. xxxiii (i.e. one should make remembrance etc.) 11. Try to sit in the first row, behind or nearest to the Imam or to the right or left. If a place is not available in the first row than the second, then the third and so on. Do not sit in the back rows when there is place in the first row. xxxiv 12. BENEFIT: This shall enable one to gain the great reward set aside for those reading Salaah in the first row and to pray in the first row is a totally different experience. 13. One waiting for Salaah to begin shall get the same reward as one in Salaah; therefore, you should not talk about worldly affairs in the Masjid. xxxv 14. Any remembrance of Allah (The Exalted) between the Sunnah and Fardh shall merit additional reward. 15. A great reward is achieved if one reads a tasbeeh each, i.e. a hundred times each, of the following:-

 

‘Subhanallahi Wabihamdi’ ‘Purity belongs to Allah and to Him belongs all praise.’

Whenever one goes to the Masjid the following should be kept in mind: 1. Not to indulge in worldly talk. 2. To make remembrance and even recite the Qur’an. 3. Do not spit towards the Qibla direction even outside the Masjid. 4. Not to play with ones body, clothing or carpet. 5. Not to put fingers of one hand into the other nor crack ones knuckles. 6. In brief one should refrain from all acts that violate the sanctity of the Masjid. 7. Always take pains to ensure that Salaah is read with Congregation. xxxvi 8. The rows should be very straight with those praying with congregation standing so close that there is no gap between two people. The ankles and shoulders of people standing in one row should be in a straight line. xxxvii 9. Every Salaah should be read with humility, sincerity, dedication, and devotion as if it is ones last Salaah.1 10. One’s reward in Salaah with congregation is multiplied twenty seven times.

Supplication for leaving the Mosque Whilst leaving the Masjid step out with the left footxxxviii and wear the right shoe first and read this supplication: ‘Allah-humma Innee As-aluka Min Fadlik’ ‘O Allah (The Exalted) verily I seek from you your bounty.’ xxxix May Allah (The Exalted) give us the ability to offer Salaah in the Mosque and have respect for the Mosque. Remember to leave the Masjid with one’s left foot first


i Hakim. Kanzul Ummal. Mughni. Fatawa-e-Razwiyya, Vol: 3, p. 591. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 503 ii Mishkat iii Tabrani iv Abu Dawood. Ibn Majah. Tabarani, Hakim. Fatawa-e-Razwiyya, Vol: 3, p. 473. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 515 v Sahih Ibn Hibban. Tirmidhi. ibn Majah. Ahmad. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 513 vi Ibn Majah vii Raddul Mohtar viii Sahih Ibn Hibban. Fatawa-e-Razwiyya, Vol: 6, p. 403. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 508 ix Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 509 x Ibn Majah. Tabarani. Ibn Kathir. Fathul Qadeer. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 510 xi Ibn Majah xii Muslim xiii Al Fat-hul Rabbani xiv Mishkat. xv Tadhkiratul Waidheen. xvi Kashful Ghumma. Faizan-e-Sunnat. xvii Bayhaqi xviii Durr-e-Mukhtar, Hindiya. xix Alamgiri, Bahar etc. xx Muslim. Abu Dawud. Ibn Majah. Ahmad. Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 6, p. 404. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 504 xxi Sahih ibn Khuzayma. Tirmidhi. Ahmad. Hakim. Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 3, p. 593. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 507 xxii Muslim. Bayhaqi. Sahih ibn Khuzayma. Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 6, p. 381. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 507 xxiii Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 6, p. 381. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 508 xxiv Ihya ukl uloom by Al-Ghazali xxv Bukhari xxvi Attargheeb xxvii Bukhari xxviii Ibn Majah in Masajid and congregation xxix Ibn Majah in Masajid and congregation & Nisa’i xxx Raddul Mohtar xxxi Ibn Majah xxxii Ibn Majah & Faydhul Qadir xxxiii Ihya uloom udeen xxxiv Muslim xxxv Bukhari xxxvi Muslim xxxvii Bukhari & Muslim xxxviii Bukhari xxxix Muslim in Salaah, Mishkat & Ibn Majah

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