The Mosque

The Quba mosque which was constructed by Prophet Mohammed in 622 A.D constitute the best example of the mosque for the members of the Muslim community and for all the next generations. Its design features cover the following : Its construction was based on “Takwa” (devotion) to Allah. Simply, it means it was constructed by using local technology and local building material. There is clarity of function and objective in the plan, and its activities for ibadah (religious) and muamallah (social) function. But after the Prophet Mohammed passed away (633 A.D.), Mosques have been developed in a conventional manner not in accord whit what was exemplified by the prophet when he constructed the Quba mosque any more. Therefore, in designing a mosque, it should incorporate the Main basis Philosophy which is in accordance with Qur’an and Hadiths. The most important is the construction of mosque should be based on “Takwa” (devotion) to Allah only.

On the basic concepts of the theoretical philosophy of the mosque based on the Holy Qur’an and hadiths are :-

  1. The construction of mosque should be based on “Takwa”
  2. It should be free from “Syirik”.
  3. Ibadah and Muamalah should be equally integrated.
  4. It should apply the simplicity principle.
  5. It should consider and apply the intimate, openness and equality principle.
  6. The mosque should have orientation to Kha’bah at Mecca.
  7. Should be near Muslim community.
  8. Should be neutral from all other religious services and religions.
  9. Should pay attention to the benefit of the outdoor space as a part of the universe which was created by Allah.
  10. Should have a feeling of greatness and monumentality giving a great scale as compared to the human scale.

The Holy Prophet (SAW) said:
‘The one who builds a Mosque for Allah’s pleasure alone, Allah builds a house for him in Paradise’. (Bukhari and Muslim)

For Muslims, the building of a mosque, or contributing towards it, is one of the most virtuous forms of Sadaqah Jariyah (continuous charity) that Allah SWT has bestowed upon us. Sadaqah Jariyah will benefit the donor long after they have died. We pray that you will take up this opportunity to invest in your Aakhira (the after life).“When a person dies, then his good deeds stop except for three: a Sadaqah Jariyah,a beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for that person.”(Sahih Muslim)

THE VIRTUES OF BUILDING A MOSQUE

A mosque is the best of places. It is more blessed and virtuous than all other places. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The most beloved of places to Allah is the mosque, and the most detested of places to Allah is the marketplace.” [Sahîh Muslim]

There is great reward in building a mosque for Allah’s sake. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever builds a mosque for Allah, Allah will build for him likewise in Paradise.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

In some narrations of this hadith, it reads “Whoever builds a mosque seeking Allah’s pleasure…”

It is also narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever build a mosque for Allah – be it large or small – Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî – and graded as good (hasan) by al-Albânî]

In a narration in Musnad al-Bazzâr that al-Albânî graded as authentic, it reads: “Whoever builds a mosque for Allah – though it be the size of the ground nest of a sandgrouse – Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.”

The building of a mosque is a way for a person to continue to earn blessings after death.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Among what continues to accrue for a believer of his good works after death are the following: knowledge that he learned and then imparted to others, a pious child whom he left behind, a copy of the Qur’ân that he bequeathed, a mosque that he built, a guest house he built for travelers, a river that he made to flow, and charity he spends from his wealth when he is in good health – all of this continues to avail him after his death.” [Sunan Ibn Majah and Sunan al-Bayhaqî – and graded as good (hasan) by al-Albânî]

Although mosques may vary in design and size, the purpose of a mosque is to provide a place of prostration where Muslims may join together to perform Salat prayer together. Muslims may pray anywhere as long as it’s a clean place. However, praying in a mosque gives Muslims a sense of community.

Features of mosques

Because of this, all mosques have certain features in common.

  • Qibla – also known as a prayer wall, shows the direction of Mecca and the Ka’bah for Salat prayers. Salat is led by the imam, a man chosen for his knowledge of the Qur’an.
  • Mihrab – usually a niche in a mosque qibla wall, to show the direction of Mecca.
  • Minbar – to provide an elevated platform from which an imam might deliver a sermon to the congregation or speak to the Muslim community

Some mosques have the additional features of a dome and minaret.

  • Dome – this represents the universe and Allah’s power as creator of all. This is the belief in the oneness of Allah or Tawhid. The dome is over the prayer hall, which is the main focus of a mosque.
  • Minaret – the tall tower in a mosque, from where a muezzin performs the adhan to call the faithful to prayer.

The ablutions area is where Muslims perform ritual washing, known as wudu, before prayers. There may also be an office, a classroom and mortuary in a mosque.

Mosaics with complicated patterns decorate many mosques, but there are no images of Allah, Muhammad or any other human or animal figures. Allah is considered to be beyond human understanding and therefore cannot be portrayed. Pictures or statues of other human figures are avoided because they could mistakenly be worshipped, which would be idolotry or shirk, which is one of the gravest sins in Islam.

Instead, calligraphy is often used to decorate the walls of the mosque with important passages from the Qur’an.

Sources : THE BASIC CONCEPT OF THE MOSQUE DESIGNIN ACCORDANCE WITH THE HOLY QUR’AN AND HADITS – JOURNAL OF ISLAM AND SCIENCE VOLUME 01, NUMBER 01, JUNE 2014 ( Download Full document here )