The Mosque’s Role

Posted: June 18, 2013 in A Islamic Center Issues, Texts On Mosques, The Mosques Role

The Role of the Masjid

When the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) arrived in Medina, he built a masjid before doing anything else! The masjids the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) built were more than places to pray! Their functions included:

  1. A place for children: not a place where they cried and ran around but a place where they were accommodated. There are several narrations of how when the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) was praying, the children would come and climb on his back or he (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would hold them while praying salah. The masjid was a cool place to hang out, it was where they learned the basic adaab and akhlaaq and principles of the Muslim society.
  2. Educational Center: The masjid acted as a school where the Sahaba were educated and were encouraged to learn more.
  3. Organization of the community: the masjid is where all the organizational events took place. It was in the masjid where the Sahaba learnt to become organized people – how the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would walk between the saff of the Muslims before every salah, to straighten and correct their saffs.
  4. Hospital: Many who were wounded or sick were tended in the masjid, such as Sa’d ibn Mu’adh (رضي الله عنه) after the Battle of Khandaq.
  5. Shelter: it was a shelter for the poor and needy (nicknamed As-Saffa). This is where people would bring in dates and hang them on the wall of the masjid, so any hungry person could eat from them.
  6. Social life: The Muslims met each other at the masjid five times a day, they got to know each other and were able to actively participate in each others’ lives. If someone was missing, they understood that there was a problem, so they would ask about it. Likewise, the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used to sit with the companions after Fajr sometimes and ask them about their dreams.
  7. Think-Tank: The masjid is where shura and brainstorming took place.
  8. Welcome Centre: Chiefs, delegations and visitors were all met and welcomed at the masjid.
  9. Serenity Spa: if someone had anything bothering them, they would go to the masjid. Like the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم)–when he was upset with his wives, he went to the masjid. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would call to Bilal (رضي الله عنه) to make the adhaan and start the prayer.
  10. Bedouin Retreat: Bedouins would come, sit in the majalis, learn the Qur’an, ask their questions, go back home, and teach their people the deen. Whole tribes became Muslim from one or two bedouins!

How far we have fallen from this blessed example of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم)! We should all take it upon ourselves to enliven our masjids–only then will we truly experience the true benefits of them the way the companions did.


Muhammad Alshareef. Lecture. AlMaghrib. The Shepherd’s Path. University of Ryerson, Toronto. March 2007.


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