Islamic Studies Coursework
This Islamic studies coursework is about a place of Muslim worship;The mosque (or masjid)Three of the most holy places of Muslim worship are:1.
The Great Mosque, Haram, which surrounds the Kabba in Makkah.2. Masjid-e-Nabawi; the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in Madinah.3. Masjid Al-Aqsa, close to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Millions visit the Majid – e -Nabawi mosque annually to worship, to visit the Prophet’s grave, and to see the city where Islam started. It is the second most revered place of worship for muslims.The Prophets (SAW) said: ”One prayer in my mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque except Al-Masjid, Al-Haram” (Sahih Bukhari Hadith no. 1190)Features of the Prophet’s (SAW) mosqueMinaret’s of the Prophet’s (SAW) mosqueAt first there were no minarets at all built on the mosque at the time of the Prophet (SAW) or rightly guided Caliphas (RA).The foremost minaret is 44.53 metres high and the one at Baab Salaam is 38.
85 metres high.Minarets are tall towers of a mosque, from which a ‘muezzin’ stands to perform the adhaan five times a day; the call to prayer is traditionally given from the top of the minaret as in those days there was not any speaker systems and using this method allowed the muezzins voice to travel far. In a practical sense, minarets are also used for natural air conditioning.Mimbar: A mimbar is a pulpit in the mosque where the Imam (leader of prayer) stands to deliver sermons (khutbah. ) The minbar is usually shaped like a small tower with a pointed roof and stairs leading up to it, It is located to the right of the mihrab, the niche that indicates the direction of prayer. The minbar and the mihrab are decorated with beautiful calligraphy which outlines and adds to the beauty of the place.
The Prophet (SAW) said (to the closest meaning):”Verily the steps of my pulpit shall be the steps to paradise, in the here after” (Sunan an Nasai, chapter:virtue of the prophet’s (saw) mosque)Mihrab: This is the most decorated feature of the mosque, it points the worshippers towards Makkah (qibla) so they know which direction to face.Virtue of the sacred garden (Rawdah): Rawdatul Jannah (garden of paradise) is the area between the sacred chamber and the pulpit (mimbar).Abu Hurariah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said (to the closest meaning): ”Between my house and my pulpit lays a garden from the gardens of paradise, and my pulpit is upon my fountain (Al-Kauthar).” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 1888)Domes: Domes gives awareness to people that it is a mosque, it also gives the building a spiritual feeling. This is the attraction of the mosque.
The Prophet (SAW)’s mosque has 27 domes. In the olden days when there was no speakers domes were used as speakers. The Dome of the Prophet (SAW) mosque is green. It is also used as ventilation.The Prophet (SAW)’s grave is inside the mosque, by visiting the grave this will bring you one step closer to Allah (swt).
Near the prophets grave there is also the grave of Hadrat Abu Bakr(ra)and Hadrat Umar (ra), his close companions.1. The Holy Prophet2. Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique3. Hadrat Umar FarooqVirtue of Madinah: Followers would want to pray in Madinah because it is the best place to worship Allah.
As the Prophet (SAW) said (to the closest meaning):” For the believer, Madinah is the best place. If only they could understand it’s virtue fully, they would never leave it, and whoever departs from Madinah, having become disenchanted with it, Allah will send someone better to replace him. And whoever bears patiently the ordeals of Madinah, for him shall I be an intercessor (or witness) on the Day of Qiyaamah.” (Muslim)Sajdah/Mussalah: This is a clean area where muslims perform their salaah, there are also prayer mats.Ablution area: Area where muslims perform wudhu to cleanse themselves, which is a necessary preparation in order to perform salaah.
Bookshelves: contain many Qurans which is used for guidance, hadiths, and many Islamic books. The Quran is at the top because of its high status compared to the other books.Shoe racks: This is where shoes are placed before entering the mosque. This is done to show that a person is entering a religious place. The removal of shoes also has the advantage that it keeps the prayer hall clean for Muslims to bow as they perform Salah.Clocks: So people know the prayer times for each salaah.
Halls: Muslim men and women are segregated when they stand in prayers. There are two separate halls for men and women to pray.Mortuary room: These are in some Mosques. This where dead bodies are washed and clothed in Ka’fan (pieces of white cloth to cover the body.)Classrooms: These are in most Mosques. This is where students are taught by scholars and teachers about the Islamic way of life and how to read the Quraan correctly.
I’tikï¿½f room: I’tikï¿½f is when a person remains in the masjid for a certain period with the intention [niyyah] of I’tikï¿½f (seclusion). The purpose for I’tikï¿½f is to develop taqwa, that is why in some masjids there are rooms specially for I’tikï¿½f.The Role and Function of A Imaam In a Sunni MosqueImaam is an Arabic word meaning ‘leader’. The spiritual leader of a muslim community, he leads the congregation in prayer and acts as a advisor for and to the community. He is required to have certain qualities which are suited to a leader.
The Prophet (SAW) said (to the closest meaning) ”The Imaam of the muslims should be such a one who possesses the deepest knowledge and understanding of the Quran. If all are equal in this, the imam should be the one who has the deepest knowledge of the sunnah and shari’ah. If all are equal in this too, then the one who is most senior in age.” (hadrat Abu Bakr Ma’sud)This hadith of the prophet shows the importance of the Imam’s work and his knowledge. The Imam must be the best male available among the worshippers in the aspects of facts, righteousness, spirit of sacrifice and insight into religion. He should also possess the quality of guiding the Muslim ummah not only religiously but socially too, in the practical affairs of life.
The Functions of the Imam in a Sunni MosqueIn a mosque the Imam has many roles to play. The word Imam literally means ‘in the front’ this is why the Imam is supposed to lead the ummah not only in prayer but in many other aspects of life. The imam in a mosque is a male, some of the functions of the Imam in a Sunni mosque are given below. The Imam must be:Leader in prayer – The imam is the person who stands in front of the lines of worshippers, faces the Qiblah, leading them in the recital of the 5 daily Salah. On Fridays the imam conducts the jumah (Friday prayer) and also gives two sermons about religious and social matters therefore he must have a lot of knowledge about Islam in depth and also to pass on his knowledge to other muslims.
Advisor/Teacher: The imam should also be someone that the community can turn to for advice and help, therfore he is a teacher. The imam also has the duty of teaching the children about Islam and also how to recite the Quran.A guide to practical affairs- As the Imam is a leader he also has responsibilities of the community which also means he is responsible for the follower’s actions. He must be responsible and well-informed and obtain such knowledge in order to tell the community of any social affairs and how Islam responds to them. He should possess the quality of being able to help resolve many sorts of conflicts and discuss such issues.A role model – The prophet is the perfect role model for Muslims.
The Imam should be someone who the muslim Ummah can look up to therefore he must not be a wicked or evil person who commits sins.A person who is aware of his congregations needs – He must be aware to the needs of his followers and must not prolong the ruku or sajdah unnecessarily as their may be some old or sick people in the congregation who may not be able to bear such pressure.The holy Prophet has said (to the closest meaning), “When anyone of you happens to lead the Prayer, he should make it short and light because among the followers there may be the sick, the weak or aged people. However, when you are offering the Prayer alone, you may prolong it as much as you like.” (Bukhari, Muslim)A person who performs the marriage ceremony – The Imam is required to be reliable and trustworthy and therefore he is in charge of performing the nikaah.
(vows)A person who holds jalsaah’s (gatherings) for the community – The Imam is expected to have the ability of being able to hold gatherings on special and important Islamic occasions such as the Lailatul Qadr etc. in which he may inform the people about the importance and value of such occasions.Organise events: He may organise charity events to help the less fortunate and he also organises funerals. At funerals, he gives help and support to the family and friends of the deceased. He leads the janazah (funeral) prayer.If an Imam’s prayers are not accepted nor are the followers.
Therefore it is the Imam’s duty to tell his congregation to re -read their salaah if necessary. It is also the Imam’s duty to make sure everyone is standing in a straight line with no gaps between them as this allows them to pray with full concentration.Role And Function of A Sunni Mosque in A Muslim CommunityThe Mosque is a place of worship, it must promote and maintain Islam. It is where muslims seek their Islamic knowledge from and also a refuge from the rest of the world. The word ‘masjid’ means ‘place for prostration’ or ‘sajdah’, although salaah may be performed anywhere it is highly beneficial and rewarding for a man to offer it in a mosque, in congregation.Ibn Abbas narrates, “I heard the prophet saying, ‘If a person in spite of hearing the adhan does not go to the masjid without strong excuse then his salaah is not accepted,'” Abu DaudThere is much more reward for praying salah in congregation.
Reading in congregation also has its purpose as it unites the believers of Islam thus increasing the love and brotherhood between muslims.he mosque It is also a place of interaction.The prophet Muhammad (SAW) said (to the closest meaning):”Allah supports those who unite, and those who split from the group will be cast in Hell-Fire”The main importance of congregation is to teach discipline and show the importance of standing in straight lines or ‘saffs’ ,the prophet (SAW) said (to the closest meaning):”Stand in line and shoulder to shoulder. Do not leave gaps for the devil to stand in. Whoever fills a gap in a line, Allah will reward him. And whoever breaks the line, Allah will turn away from him.
“The Mosque should be clean and peaceful and used for many purposes and not just the five daily prayers, it should be a place for social, political and judicial functions, also events such as marriage ceremonies and funerals. The prophet Muhammad (saw) himself used to discuss social issues in the masjid. The masjid must also be a place where knowledge is gained, it is not only for the purpose of worshipping Allah but also for the purpose of gaining knowledge, it is said”Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.” (Hadith of the prophet Muhammad (SAW))The mosque is a learning centre for all, especially children to learn Arabic and study the Quran therefore there must be a bookshelf with Islamic literature. In most mosques classes are held for children and in most cases children start from about five years old. The younger children learn in mixed classes but as they get older, they soon separate.
The boys will be taught by men and the girls will be taught by women. Not only should it provide learning facilities for children but also for the older generation.”You don’t need to go to the mosque to be a good muslim”This statement above can be agreed or disagreed depending on who it is referring to; either male or female.Since Islam started the mosque has been the central and main place for worship but does this necessarily mean you need to go to the mosque to be a good muslim?Allah (SWT) does not specify a place, in which we should worship him. The whole earth is a mosque other than toilets and graveyards.
The Prophet (saw) said : “The whole Earth is made as a place of worship and means of cleansing for me..”Most people agree with this statement because many people who go to the mosque believe they have to do so in order to become a good muslim? This doesn’t apply for female because Imam Ahmed related ”the best mosque for women is the depths of their houses” Only Allah knows their true intentions, some boys go to the mosque and just loiter around and do not have the Niyyah (intention) to pray. A good muslim is one who remembers Allah in his heart and the one who abides by the five pillars of Islam all his life. The reason being is the fact that Allah laid down five compulsory rules and if these rules are followed then that Muslim is good.
Nevertheless a good muslim is also one who follows the sunnah of the Prophet (saw), who always attended the mosque, the Prophet (saw) lived in a building which was attached to the mosque, and visited the mosque all the time, so shouldn’t we follow in his footsteps and righteous example?If there wasn’t a Masjid the significance of salaah wouldn’t be stressed. Not only this but one of the five pillars of islam is salaah which is fardh upon every muslim, and praying in congregation is wajib upon every muslim male, this is just about close to compulsory, which brings unity and equality. Praying in congregation is not just wajib but also beneficial and rewarding. Abdullah bin Omar RA narrates that he heard the Prophet SAW saying: “Salah with jamat is 27 times superior to Salah performed individually”This shows the reward of praying in congregation not only do you get rewarded for your salaah but also for entering the mosque.However a Muslim may have a good heart and want to pray in the mosque but things such as work/school may be holding him back, although if his school allows him to go to pray and he doesn’t, then he is basically a bad Muslim. Overall, I have come to the conclusion that a bad muslim is one who doesn’t attend the mosque even when he has the opportunity to do so.