‘The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as who believe in Allah and the Last Day, who establish regular prayers and pay the zakat and fear none but Allah. It is they who are on the true guidance’ (Surah Tauba 9:18)
Indeed the Masajids are the houses of Allah (swt), where His (swt) name deserves mention, be Glorified and Praised as Allah says…
‘Those who turn to Allah in repentance, who worship Him, who praise Him, who fast, who bow down in prayer, who prostate themselves…’ (Surah Tauba 9:112)
And they are the places where his name is mentioned through the day and through the night as Allah says
‘In houses (mosques) which Allah has ordered to be raised , in them His name is remembered. Therein glorify Allah in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings.’ (Surah An Noor 24:36)
Then who would miss the visit to be the guest of the Lord of the Worlds and seek his protection.
Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said ‘The reward of the prayer offered by a person in congregation is multiplied 25 times as much as that of the salat offered in one’s house or in the market alone. And this is because if he performs wudu and does it perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque , with the sole intention of praying , then for every step he takes towards the mosque he is upgraded one degree in reward and one of his sins is taken off from his accounts. When he offers his salat , the angels keep on asking Allah’s blessings and Allah’s forgiveness for him as long as he he is at his Musalla (place of prayer) .They say ‘O Allah ! Bestow your blessings upon him, be merciful and kind to him. And one is regarded in salat as long as one is waiting for the Salat. [Bukhari]
Sa’id ibn al Musayyab was asked ‘Which do you prefer , attending a Janaza or sitting in the Mosque ?’He replied , ‘Whoever prays the Janaza has one qirat, whoever is present at the burial has 2 qirats. I prefer sitting in the mosque because the angels say , O Allah , forgive him! O Allah , show mercy to him! O Allah turn to him’
Dear Brothers, know that the angels will ask for your protection and for Allah’s mercy to descend upon you when you visit His houses.
Anas ibn Malik related from the Messenger (saw) who said ‘Whoever Allah loves should love me. Whoever loves me should love the Sahaba . Whoever loves the Sahaba should love the Quran. Whoever loves the Quran should love the mosques, for they are the courtyards of Allah which were built with the permission of Allah that they be raised up and He has blessed them what is in them. It’s people are blessed and it’s people are protected while they are in their prayers. Allah is seeing to their needs while they are in their mosques and Allah is before them.
The rewards for those who visit the mosques, set off to the mosques or intend to visit the mosques are abundant and very few deeds would match in their status and it would be hard to compensate for them if we missed them.
It is related from Abu Umama that Rasool (saw) said ‘Whoever leaves his house in a state of purity for a prescribed prayer has the reward of the Hajji in his ihram’
The Prophet said, "The people who get tremendous reward for the prayer are those who are farthest away (from the mosque) and then those who are next farthest and so on. Similarly one who waits to pray with the Imam has greater reward than one who prays and goes to bed. " [Bukhari]
AbuHurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “As you happen to pass by the `gardens of Paradise', relish their fruits. It was said: Allah's Messenger, what are the gardens of Paradise. He said: Mosques.” [Transmitted by Tirmidhi saying this is a hasan gharib hadith]
Burayda said that the Prophet (saw) said ‘Give the good news to those who walk in the darkness to the mosques of complete light on the Day of Rising’
So brothers, do not fear the darkness of the night walking to the mosques for Isha or the Fajr salat as Allah will never fail you in your strides and your breaths but fear Him who will illuminate you on that Day when it will count as He (saw) also said ‘If anyone goes to the mosque in the morning or the evening, Allah will prepare for him hospitality in the Garden’.
Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, "No prayer is harder for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the 'Isha' prayers and if they knew the reward for these prayers at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves (in the mosques) even if they had to crawl." [Bukhari]
Brothers when on a journey or far from a masjid and the time for prayer comes Allah (swt) in His mercy has made the entire world a masjid for us. As Muhammed (saw) said, ‘I have been given 5 things which were not given to any amongst the Prophets before me. These are Allah made me victorious by awe (by frightening my enemies) for a distance of one months journey, the earth has been made for me (and my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due…’ [narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah in Bukhari]
You should know - may Allah have mercy upon you - that when the slave of Allah leaves his house to go to the mosque that he is going to face Allah, the Irresistable , the One, the Omnipotent and the Exalted in Might in the knowledge that nothing is hidden from Him and that even something as small as the a mustard seed is not concealed from Him nor even something smaller or larger in the earth or in the heavens, in the seas or the lofty mountains.
When anyone from amongst you sets out from his home for the mosque he should remind himself of words of remembrance, being calm, somberly for this is what the Prophet (saw) ordered us to do, he should set out with his heart full of longing and desire for Allah (azzaw ajjals) pleasure and fear and apprehension of His anger and with humility and meekness towards Allah. For the more humble , the more meek , the more submissive he is to Allah , the more virtuous he becomes in his Salah , the greater becomes his reward and the more noble and nearer to Allah becomes the slave. But should he be filled with pride Allah will destroy him and will reject his deeds for the proud are never accepted. So be humble in each Salat as He is the one who you stand in front of day and night that bestows blessings , provides abundant favours and removes hardships when he wishes though we come with sins.
AbuSa'id al-Khudri narrated that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “When you see a person coming to the mosque frequently, bear witness to his faith, for Allah says: `Only who affirms his faith in Allah and the Last Day, can maintain the mosques of Allah.” (9:18) [Transmitted by Tirmidhi Ibn Majah and Darimi]
The masajids , being the houses of Allah have an honourable status and Islam gave the Sharia rules relating to them just as it has with Jihad, marriage, ruling, hajj or parenthood. Rasool (saw) was asked, “What deeds are best? He (saw) said to perform the salat at their (early) stated fixed times, to be good and dutiful to one’s own parents and to participate in Jihad feesabeelillah”. [Bukhari]
Living in age when the salah is not established in the society even in the Islamic lands, where the one who does not pray is not punished, in this age even if those smitten by the Kufr culture find the regular performance of Salah as strange, this should never deter those who believe in Allah and surrender to his Ahkaam (laws) especially those who are young and in their youth, motivated with the pure Islam and seek shelter in Allah’s shade as Bukhari reported that Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, ‘Seven people will be shaded by Allah under His shade on that Day when there will be no shade except His. They are 1) A just ruler 2) a young man who has been brought up in the worship of Allah 3) A man whose heart is attached to the mosques…’
Dear brothers, the shade of Allah on that Day will be the residence of security averted from the blazes of fire of Jahannum and who would wish to be bare, unshielded and exposed when His punishment will be the most severe.
Let your entry to the houses of Allah be frequent during the day entering with the right foot and reciting the Dua that we have been recommended that is reported in Ibn Majah and Imam Ahmed…..
‘Bismillah wassalaam ala Rasool Allah. Allah humag-fir li dhanoobi waftah li abwab rahmaatik’
“In the name of Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah . Forgive my sins and open for me the gates of Your mercy”
And make the exit be as honourable stepping out with the left foot and reciting ….
‘Bismillah wassalam ala Rasool Allah. Allah humagfir li dhanoobi waftah li abwab fadhlik’
“In the name of Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah . Forgive my sins and open for me the gates of Your blessings”
As for the superiority of building the mosques and aiding in their construction just as Rasool (saw) built the mosque with his own hands with the help of the Sahaba the Prophet himself mentioned in a narration by Ubaidullah Al-Khaulani who heard Uthman ibn Affan … ’’Whoever built a mosque with the intention of seeking Allah’s pleasure Allah will build for him a similar place in Paradise’ (Bukhari).
Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Verily what a believer continues to receive (in the form of reward) for his action and his virtues after his death is the knowledge which he acquired and then disseminated, the pious son that he left behind him, or a copy of the Qur'an which he left as a legacy, or the mosques that he had built, or the inn that he had built for the wayfarers, or the canal that he caused to flow, or a sadaqah which he gave out of his property in the state when he was healthy and alive. (These are the acts of goodness the reward of which) reaches him even after his death.” [Transmitted by Ibn Majah, Bayhaqi in Shu'ab al-Iman]
And what can be said about the Jummah Salaah and its preparation, being the most noted of the Salat in the week, a time of joy and a gathering in the Masjid as Allah (swt) ordered it in the Quran in Surat Al Jumma where He said…
YAA 'AYYUHAA 'ALLADHENA 'AAMANO 'IDHAA NODIYA LI- AS.- S.ALAAH MIN YAWM AL- JUMU’AH FA- IS’AW 'ILAA DHIKR 'ALLAAH WA- DHARO AL- BAY’ DHAALIKUM KHAYR LA- -KUM 'IN KUNTUM TA’LAMON
‘When the call is proclaimed for the Prayer on the day of Friday , come to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business….’ (Surah Al Jumma 62:9 )
That is the time when all will gather enjoying the collective spirit of the community attending from far and wide or those who are the neighbours to the mosque striving to attain their place in the earlier saffs (rows) as Bukhari reported from Abu Haraira that the Prophet (saw) said, ‘When it is a Friday the angels stand at the gate of the mosque and keep on writing the names of the persons coming to the mosque in succession according to their arrivals.’ [Bukhari]
"Any person who takes a bath on Friday like the bath of Janaba and then goes for the prayer (in the first hour i.e. early), it is as if he had sacrificed a camel (in Allah's cause); and whoever goes in the second hour it is as if he had sacrificed a cow; and whoever goes in the third hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a horned ram; and if one goes in the fourth hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a hen; and whoever goes in the fifth hour then it is as if he had offered an egg. When the Imam comes out (i.e. starts delivering the Khutba), the angels present themselves to listen to the Khutba." [reported by Abu Huraira, Bukhari]
Those are the days which will add to the reward, eagerly leaving our homes, businesses, workplaces or whatever that will prevent us from the remembrance of Allah, coming purified to attain solely His pleasure. Salman Al Farsi reported from the Prophet (saw) who said ‘Whoever takes a bath on Friday , purifies himself with the scent of his house, then proceeds for Jumma and does not separate two people sitting together ( in the mosque), then prays as much as (Allah has) written for him and then remains silent while the Imam is delivering the khutba , his sins in between the present and the last Friday would be forgiven’ [Bukhari]
About this day we have been informed of a particular time which is one of the times that our Dua will be accepted as the Prophet (saw) mentioned about the Friday prayer and said ‘there is an hour on Friday and if a Muslim gets it while praying and asks something from Allah Ta’ala then Allah will definitely meet his demand’ (Bukhari on the authority of Abu Huraira)
So meet altogether, be it with your families and friends, your neighbours and your relations and struggle to achieve what Islam has demanded from you as best as you can.
Dear Brothers this is how Allah views our actions towards the mosque and this is how the sharia has defined your responsibility. The true believer could not separate himself from the house of Allah where he would seek solace, forgiveness, repent and call to the words of Haq. His heart would naturally be attached to the Masajids and his love would never diminish as Muhammed (saw) said ‘Be like the guests in this world and take the mosques as houses…..’ indicating to preserve and protecting them, guarding them and being in their surroundings. They are the very places which our honourable Sahaba witnessed the playing with the spears, sweeping its area, tying the prisoner of war and holding the heads of their arrows in the mosque. The mosque was where the Prophet (saw) pitched a tent to look after Sa’d ibn Muadh as he was wounded in the battle of Khandaq, that is where the banning of alcoholic drinks was issued when he recited the verses of Surah al Baqara, it was here that He (saw) sat with the Sahaba and recollected poetry and provided Hassan with the pulpit where he would lampoon the Disbelievers (Al Tirmidhi). This was where the Prophet (saw) distributed the war booty as well as enjoying a rest and sleep as a traveler, it was where he catered for the Ahl ul Saffah and ordered the azaan for Jihad.
So remember what has been spoken of as most men know not, make them the centres of your meeting places, gatherings and places of prayer, let your fathers and sons, your brothers and relatives join you in those places of security. Abu Darda had said to his son ‘Let the mosque be your house for I heard the Messenger of Allah say, ‘The mosques are the houses of those who have fear of Allah.’