Or rather, not just a place of worship. The first thing the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) decided to do when he reached Madinah is to build a mosque. Why?
Because he knew that this was the place that would gather Muslims together. At that time, i.e. the birth of Islam, Prophet Muhammad and the companions used to spend time in the mosque to discuss matters of deen, share thoughts of wisdom, and seek help in their personal matters.
A place of worship for non-Muslims too
The Prophet’s mosque was a sacred place for all to worship. It wasn’t only for Muslims to pray their five prayers; rather, it was also for the People of the Book to pray in the mosque. One remarkable example is when the Prophet Muhammad allowed the Christian guests to pray their prayers in his mosque.
And more than just prayer
The mosque was a space of public service to diverse communities. Prophet Muhammad used to introduce Islam to those who were interested to listen. He used to host delegations coming from other tribes outside Madinah, such as Najran for example. The mosque was a place for making marriage contracts and a place of celebration.
The Prophet also offered care, shelter, protection, hospitality – he provided just about everything the community and its guests needed. The mosque was open for everyone and everything except trade dealings.
If we closely examine the church today, we find it acting like the mosque of the old. We can clearly see that it’s not just a place where believers go to chant and pray; it’s a center of service, a hope for the poor and needy, and an activity center for children and youth.
How shameful it is when we see and hear in the current news that Muslims go to seek help in churches of Europe while our mosques’ doors are closed! When we look at the roles of our mosques today, they just doesn’t compare.
Our modern mosques must learn something from this. And our Imams should have something to do with reviving their services. The mosque should be rooted deeply in the community, it should be at the service of people, sharing their problems, meeting their basic and various needs.
It’s time to think seriously about the future of our mosques.
How would you like your mosque to look like? What can inspire you to enjoy going to the mosque? Please share your thoughts.
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