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Can People of Other Faiths Enter Mosques?

23 November, 2018
Q Can a non-Muslim enter a mosque? And can a Muslim go to a church? What are the interfaith guidelines on this according to Islamic teachings?


Short Answer: Our mosques should be open to people of all faiths or none, including Friday prayers. Muslims should open their mosques so that non-Muslims can visit.


Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:

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Ilyas Ally: Dr. Shabir, the question we have today is a three-part question on interfaith relations.

The first part of it is: can non-Muslims enter a mosque?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Yeah, definitely.

Our Mosques Should Be Open

In fact, our mosques should be open to people of all faiths or none.

Our Friday prayers, for example, could be attended by anyone.

If non-Muslims are looking to attend such a service, it might be a good idea to call ahead and find out, because policies at various mosques may be individuated and different one from another.

But in general, my advice to Muslims is to opening mosques so that non-Muslims can visit.

Ilyas Ally: The converse of that is: are Muslims allowed to attend synagogues, churches, and other places of worship?

Can Muslims Enter Churches & Synagogues?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Now, here the traditional scholarship would have said, no, because they might be thinking: OK, you go to another place of worship, maybe you are influenced to some other belief that is contrary to your own.

Maybe you start worshiping a god other than the One True God, the universal creator of the heavens and the earth.

So, you should refrain from all of these things. Now, they might say that an exception is made for the person who is a preacher of the religion.

So, he might go into another place of worship in order to guide the people towards the right path.

Nowadays, of course, the communities are interlinked. People are connected with each other. Families are, you know, have intermarriage, there are intermarriages between religions, and so on.

So, to keep all of these connections, sometimes it becomes necessary to attend another place of worship for maybe there is a wedding ceremony taking place, or some other event.

Or perhaps a Muslim is just accompanying a non-Muslim friend or relative to their place of worship and wants to associate with that community in some way.

So, the scholars would make some distinction between those who are established in religion and those who are not.

So, those who are well established in the religion, they would say, OK, there’s no danger. You’re going there: you already know your own faith, and there’s no danger in going into another place of worship.

And, so long as you do not worship another god or acknowledge a belief that is contrary to your own, then you’re fine.

Attending Funerals

Ilyas Ally: How about attending the funeral of a non-Muslim friend or relative?

Dr. Shabir Ally: The answer to this can be controversial. So, let me just clarify that there is a passage in the Quran, in the ninth chapter, that people will cite as indicating that Muslims cannot attend such funerals.

But I would say that this is in reference to those hypocrites in Medina who were clearly out to assassinate the Prophet (peace be upon him), to demolish the Islamic faith, and so on.

But in general, now, we’re not dealing with such persons, that we’re dealing with the average individual who is friendly towards Muslims. Muslims are friendly towards them. They would attend the funeral, and naturally Muslims would reciprocate by attending their funerals as well.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Open Mosque Day in Colorado: Look What I Saw!

“Our Mosques, Our Future”: More Than A Conference

The Benefits of Non Muslims Visiting Mosques