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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 05: The Mosque (Hadith -- The Traditions)


Chapter 05:
The Mosque (Hadith -- The Traditions):


(Note: The superscript-numbers [e.g., intention2] that appear in the text [in pink] refer to the numbers of the explanatory footnotes that appear at the end of each Hadith [Tradition].)


1 Jabir reported that,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"I have been granted five things which were not granted to any one before me: ....... and for me the earth has been made a mosque and a means of purification; therefore, if prayer overtakes any person of my community, he should say his prayers (wherever he is)1........." ( B. 8 : 56.)

1 According to the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith, a Muslim does not stand in need of a consecrated place to say his prayers. Here the whole earth is called a mosque.


2 `Uthman ... said, ...
I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

"Whoever builds a mosque, desiring thereby Allah's pleasure, Allah builds for him the like of it in paradise." (B. 8 : 65.)


3 `Abd Allah ibn `Umar said,

When the people were saying their morning prayers (in the mosque) at Quba, a man came to them and said, A portion of the Qur'an has been revealed to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, during the night and he has been commanded to turn his face towards the Ka`bah; so they turned their faces towards it; and their faces were towards Syria, so they turned round to the Ka`bah.2 (B. 8 : 32.)

2 This hadith shows that a mosque should be built facing towards the Ka`bah, which according to the Holy Qur'an, is the first mosque built on the earth. Before the revelation referred to in this hadith (v. 2), Muslims used to face towards Jerusalem which was the qiblah of the Israelite prophets. It was about sixteen or seventeen months after the Hijra that the Holy Prophet received the revelation to make the Ka`bah his qiblah. The idea underlying the Qiblah is to bring about unity of purpose. As in a large country the direction of the Ka`bah would be different in the north from that in the south, it is stated in a hadith (Ah. I, 223) that "it is not fit for one country to have two qiblahs," for different qiblahs in one country would destroy the very purpose of the Qiblah.


4 `Abd Allah ibn `Umar reported that
The Mosque was, in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, built of unburnt bricks and its roof was of palm-boughs resting on columns of the stems of palm-trees. Abu Bakr did not add anything to it, and `Umar extended it and built it of unburnt bricks and palm-boughs, on the foundation on which it was built in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and made anew its columns of timber. Then `Uthman changed it, and made in it very large extensions and built its walls of chiselled stone and mortar and made its pillars of chiselled stone and its roof of teakwood.
3 (B. 8 : 62.)

3 The Prophet's Mosque was made of very rough material. Conditions had changed in `Uthman's time, as the wealth of the Roman and the Persian empires had flown to Madinah the capital of Islam. So `Uthman made it of hewn stone and mortar, but it was still a simple structure, and such were also all the mosques built in the great Muslim centres.


5 Ibn `Abbas said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"I have not been commanded to decorate the mosques." (AD-Msh. 4 : 7.)


6 `Umar ordered the building of the Mosque and said, I give people shelter from rain; and beware of painting (it) red or yellow, for thou wilt thus cause people to fall into trial. (B. 8 : 62.)


7 Anas said,
They will vie with one another (in building mosques), then they will not visit them but a little. (B. 8 : 62.)


8 `Umar said,
We do not enter your churches on account of the statues on which are figures. And Ibn `Abbas used to say his prayers in the church except a church which had statues in it.
(B. 8 : 54.)


9 `A'ishah said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, ordered the building of the mosque in habitations and that it should be kept clean and perfumed. (AD-Msh. 4 : 7.)


10 Abu Hurairah reported that
A black man or a black woman used to clean the mosque and he died. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, asked about him and they said, He is dead. He said, "Why did you not inform me about him; lead me to his--or, he said, her--grave." So he came to his grave and offered prayers on it.
4 (B. 8 : 72.)

4 It shows not only that arrangements were made for cleaning the mosque, but also that the person who did this service was specially honoured by the Holy Prophet. Another hadith shows that it was a woman. (B. 8: 74.)


11 Sahl said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, sent message to a woman:

"Tell thy carpenter slave to make for me (a pulpit of) pieces of wood, on which I may sit." 5 (B. 8 : 64.)

5 The pulpit was needed only for the Friday sermon. The pulpit and the mats formed the only furniture of the mosque.


12 Maimunah said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him used to pray on the mat. (B. 8 : 21.)


13 Anas said,
We used to say our prayers with the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and one of us put a corner of his cloth at the place (where his forehead touched the ground) in prostration, on account of the severity of heat.
6 (B. 8 : 23.)

6 This shows that prayers had sometimes to be said on bare ground.


14 Bara ibn `Azib said prayers in congregation in the mosque of his house.7 (B. 8 : 46.)

7 It shows that a man may have a private mosque of his own in his house. It can serve the purpose of a mosque for saying prayers in congregation, but it does not thereby acquire the character of a mosque and remains a private place.


15 Ibn `Umar reported (that) the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Say a part of your prayers in your houses and do not make them graves." 8 (B. 8 : 52.)

8 It shows that prayers are really meant to be said in congregation in the mosque, but a part of them, such as tahajjud or sunnah prayers, are recommended to be said in houses. A house in which Allah's name in not remembered is likened to a grave, because it is devoid of spiritual life.


16 Abu Hurairah said,
I saw seventy of the dwellers of the Suffah,
9 and not one of them had an over-garment. (B. 8 : 58.)

9 The Suffah was situated in the northern part of the Mosque, covered with a roof but with open sides. Here resided those whose object was to study the Qur'an and the Hadith and their number is said to have at one time reached four hundred. Among them were well-to-do people, such as Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, but mostly poor people, such as Abu Hurairah.


17 Abu Hurairah said,
The dwellers of the Suffah were guests of Muslims. They had neither families to lodge with nor any property. (Tr. 81 : 17.)


18 Abu Hurairah said,
I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

"Whoever comes to this mosque of mine, and he does not come but for some good which he would learn or teach, he is like one who is engaged in jihad in the way of Allah; and whoever comes for any purpose other than this, he is like a man who casts looks at the property of another." 10 (IM-Msh. 4 : 7.)

10 The mosque was thus a place where everything which related to the good of the individual or the community was to be learned or taught, and hence it became the cultural centre of Islam.


19 `A'ishah said,
One day I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, at the door of my apartment, and the Abyssinians were sporting in the mosque, and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, screened me with his over-garment whilst I saw their sport.
11 (B. 8 : 69.)

11 The Prophet's Mosque had a very wide open yard where people gathered together, and where, as many hadith show, tents were pitched sometimes, and on one side of which a large number of students were accommodated. It was in this open court that the Abyssinians were giving a display of their skill with spears. `A'ishah's chamber opened into this yard.


20 Abu Salmah reported that,
He heard Hassan ibn Thabit calling Abu Hurairah to witness, I beseech thee by Allah, didst thou hear the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

"O Hassan! Reply on behalf of the Messenger of Allah; O Allah! help him with the Holy Spirit."
Abu Hurairah said, Yes. 12 (B. 8 : 68.)

12 It is an incident of the time of `Umar. Hassan was reciting a poem in the mosque when `Umar prohibited him. On this he called Abu Hurairah to bear witness that he used to recite poems in the mosque in the presence of the Holy Prophet. According to a report in Tr., the Holy Prophet used to ask Hassan to refute in verse the scurrilous attacks made on the Holy Prophet by his enemies in their poems, and this was done in the mosque.


21 Jabir said,
I came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and he was in the mosque . . . at early forenoon time; he said, "Offer two rak`ahs of prayer"; and he owed me a debt, so he paid it to me and gave me more than was due. (B. 8 : 59.)


22 `A'ishah said,
ISa'd was wounded in the median vein of the arm in the battle of Ditch, and the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, ordered a tent to be set up (for him) in the mosque, so that being near he might visit him (frequently). (B. 8 : 77.)


23 `A'ishah reported that,
A certain tribe of the Arabs had a black slave-girl whom they set free.......... Then she accepted Islam. `A'ishah said, She had a small tent pitched for her in the mosque.
13 (B. 8 : 57.)

13 A woman could not only enter the mosque but she could also, if necessary, take up her residence in the mosque. The putting of a tent for a slave-girl in the mosque shows that she must have resided there for a sufficiently long time.


24 Anas reported that,
A party of the `Ukl came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and they were lodged in the Suffah.
(B. 8 : 58.)


25 Abu Hurairah said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, sent some horsemen towards Najd, and they brought a man of Bani Hanifah, called Thumamah ibn Uthal, and they tied him to one of the columns of the mosque.
14 (B. 8 : 76.)

14 Evidently this prisoner was an idolater, yet he was kept under restraint in the mosque.


26 Anas said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, had some money brought to him from Bahrain. He said, "Put it in the mosque." And it was the greatest amount of money that was ever brought to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him. Then the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, came out for prayer and did not pay any heed to it. When he had finished the prayer, he came and sat near it, and he did not see any one but gave him (out of it.)
15 (B. 8 : 42.)

15 This hadith shows that in the Holy Prophet's time the mosque served many purposes besides that of saying prayers. On the present occasion it served the purpose of the treasury, because there was at the time no separate treasury. The hadith further shows how little attraction wealth had for the Holy Prophet. The money was there, a hundred thousand dirhams, but he did not even look at it. Neither did he take one pie of it into his house; nor did he reserve any portion of it for future needs.


27 Sa'ib said,
I was standing in the mosque when some one threw a pebble at me. I looked at him and it was `Umar ibn al-Khattab, and he said, Go and bring to me these two (men). So I brought them to him and he said. Who are you or where do you come from? They said, We are of the people of Ta'if. He said, If you had been of the residents of the city, I would have punished you. Do you raise your voices in the mosque of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him? (B. 8 : 83.)


28 Malik said,
`Umar made a courtyard, called the Butaiha', on one side of the mosque, and said, Whoever intends to talk loudly or recite poems or raise his voice, let him go to this courtyard.
(Mt-Msh. 4 : 7.)


29 Anas said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"To spit in the mosque is a sin and its atonement is to bury it." 16 (B. 8 : 37.)

16 Spitting in the mosque is prohibited, both because of the sacredness of the place and because it is a gathering-place for the people. Elsewhere it is stated that the Holy Prophet was offended when he saw spittle on the wall of the mosque (IV : 17). Burying is spoken of here because the floor of the mosque was of loose gravel.


30 `A'ishah said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said to me:

"Hand me over the mat from the mosque."

I said, I am menstruating. He said:

"Thy menses are not in thy hand." (M-Msh. 3 : 12.)


31 Abu Hurairah said,
An Arab of the desert stood up and began urinating in the mosque. People were about to take hold of him but the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said to them:

"Leave him alone and throw a bucket of water over his urine, for you have been raised to deal with people gently and you have not been raised to deal with them harshly." 17 (B. 4 : 58.)

17 Being a desert Arab, the man was not aware of the sacred character of the mosque.


32 The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, prohibited the reciting of poems in the mosque and selling and buying in it and that people should sit in circles in the mosque on Friday before prayers.18 (AD-Msh. 4 : 7.)

18 As h. 20 shows, the Holy Prophet allowed Hassan to recite his verses in the mosque, because they were religious in character. The carrying on of trade in the mosque is forbidden because it would change the atmosphere of the mosque into that of a market. The last prohibition aims at maintaining the serenity of the prayers. People sitting in groups would usually indulge in talk which would disturb the calm and quiet necessary to a prayerful attitude. And that is the reason why Muslims so strongly resent noise or music before mosques at the time of prayers.


33 Abu Sa`id Khudri said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, delivered a sermon and said,

"Let no door be left that should open into the mosque but it should be closed, except the door of Abu Bakr." 19(B. 8 : 80.)

19 The doors of the Holy Prophet's apartments opened into the mosque, and so did those of some other houses. But later on, all these door were closed so that the mosque should not be used as a thoroughfare.


34 Qurrah reported that,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, forbade the eating of these two plants, i.e., raw onions and garlic, and said:

"Whoever eats them let him not approach our mosque." 20

And he said:

"If you eat them unavoidably, then have their offensive smell destroyed by dressing." (AD-Msh. 4 : 7.)

20 So that their noxious stink may not offend others.


35 Abu Maslamah said,

I asked Anas ibn Malik, Did the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say his prayers with his shoes on? He said, Yes. 21 (B. 8 : 24.)

21 This hadith shows that prayers may be said with shoes on. Hence a man can also go into the mosque without removing his shoes, but that they must be clean is a necessary condition. It must further be remembered that the floor of the mosque was of gravel, and shoes were needed as a protection from heat or cold. The practice now is that shoes are left outside the mosque. But if needed as a protection from severe heat or severe cold or for some other reason, a man may go into the mosque with shoes on if they are clean. The case of a non-Muslim is different. He can enter the mosque only on sufferance, and he must, therefore, be required to remove his shoes as a mark of respect.


36 `Abd Allah ibn `Umar said,
The dogs came into and went out of the mosque in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and they did not wash (the mosque) with water on that account.
(B. 4 : 34.)


37 Abu Usaid said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"When one of you enters the mosque, he should say, `O Allah! open for me the doors of Thy mercy'; and when he goes out, he should say, `O Allah! I beg of Thy grace of Thee'." (M-Msh. 4 : 7.)

 

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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 05: The Mosque (Hadith -- The Traditions)

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