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West London Islamic Centre & Jamia Masjid

Islamic Articles::Worship & Supplication

The Status of Al Aqsa & Mosques in Islam

The Prophet in his famous narration said, “There are seven whom God will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of God, the Mighty and Majestic; a person whose heart is attached to the mosques; two people who love each other for God's sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: ‘I fear God’, a person who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a person who remembered God in private so much that their eyes shed tears.” (Narrated by Abu Hurairah & collected in Saheeh al-Bukhari)

Do you know the last public place that the Messenger of Allah was seen? He was seen in the Masjid. About three days before he passed away, Abu Bakr (RA) was leading the prayer and the Masjid was full with an Ummah of men and women prepared to illuminate the world with their struggle and da'wah. The Prophet's house opened up to the Masjid and there was a curtain separating his room and the prayer hall. He opened the curtain and saw the congregation and saw Abu Bakr (pbuh) leading the prayer. The Prophet (pbuh) smiled like a moon.

The companions saw him while they were in prayer, and from their happiness, almost lost control of the prayer. The Prophet (pbuh) then drew his curtain and three days later returned to his Lord.

Masjid Al Aqsa & Palestine

Despite spending the last ten years of his life in a city over 800 miles away from Jerusalem, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would nevertheless frequently make a point of including Masjid Al-Aqsa in his orations, the 3rd most holiest site in the Muslim world after the Kabah in Makkah and Masjid Nabwi in Medina. He knew its status in the Eyes of Allah (swt), and he knew that the events of the end of times will culminate on its soil. The Companion Abū Dharr once asked the Prophet (pbuh):

“O Messenger of Allāh, which mosque was built on Earth first?” He said, “Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām (in Mecca).” I said, “Then which [mosque]?” He said, “Al-Masjid al-Aqsa.” I said, “How much time was there between them?” He said, “Forty years.”[Muslim]

Al-Aqsa is therefore no ordinary mosque, and Palestine is no ordinary land. It served as a venue for the greatest conference to have ever taken place on Earth, one that was attended by every Prophet to have walked the globe, and when the greatest of them—Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)— was made to lead them all in prayer.

Ibn ʿAbbās mentions: “Bait al-Maqdis was built by the Prophets and inhabited by the Prophets. There is not the area of a single hand span except that a Prophet prayed in it or an angel stood on it.”

Al-Masjid al-Aqsa was the first qibla of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions, and remained so for around 14 and a half yearss before it was then changed to the Kabah. So distinct was this venue that when the Prophet (pbuh) received his invitation to visit the inhabitants of the heavens, Allah (swt) chose Palestine for his ascension, in order to create within the hearts of Muslims the unbreakable link between Makkah and Palestine.

“Glory be to Him who took His slave on a journey by night from al-Masjid al-Ḥarām to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.”[Al Qur’ān 17:1]

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Do not undertake a journey to visit any mosque but three: this mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Ḥarām, and the Mosque of Aqsa.”[Bukhari]

We must lawfully stand in solidarity, with our voices, our pens and our wealth for this sacred land and its people who face continued persecution, injustice and oppression.

The Status of All Mosques

During the life of the Prophet (pbuh) there was a women who used to sweep the Masjid with her hands, picking up the dirt and disposing of it. In the sight of the community her status was not that high, but in the sight of Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) she held a different rank. She passed away one night and the Companions, not wanting to disturb the Prophet (pbuh), washed and buried her without informing him. The next day, the Prophet (pbuh) detected her absence and inquired about her. They told him about her demise and how they did not want to disturb him. The Prophet (pbuh) was not happy at the action they took. He went to her grave and prayed for her there. And we are aware that the Du'a of the Prophet (pbuh) acts a successful intercession by the Will of Allah (swt).

What is a Masjid? Many have misunderstood the role the Masjid plays in the development of the community. In some countries, it is a place where the tribal imam is buried and worshipped. In other places, it is a place that only prayers may be performed therein, absolutely nothing else will be tolerated. And in yet other places, not even prayers are performed in it, so-much-so the country may finally decide to convert it into a museum or tourist attraction.

Dear brother and sister, I would like to introduce you to our friend, the Masjid:

Literally, Masjid means a place of prostration. Technically, Masjid is any clean place on earth, as the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, 'The earth was made for me a Masjid (i.e. a place to pray), pure.' [Sahih Bukhari].However, custom allocated to the word Masjid a specific place, the place where the 5 daily prayers are held. This was done in order to distinguish the Masjid from the Musallah, the place where Eid prayers are held and so forth, as the rules of the Masjid do not apply to it.

Masjid is a word derived from sujood, or prostration. The Masjid, or place of prostration, was such named due the honourable position the sujood holds in Salah. Thus it was not called Marka' derived from Ruku' and so on.The first house of Allah ever built on earth was the Ka'bah. Allah (swt) says: 'Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-Aalameen [Al Qu'r'an 3:96].

And Allah(swt) commanded us to honor and enliven the Masjid with His rememberance: In houses (masajid), which Allah has ordered to be raised, in them His name is glorified in the mornings, and in the evenings. [Al Qur'an 24:36]

Ibn Abbaas, Mujahid, and Al-Hasan commented: The 'houses' are those Masajid that were dedicated to the worship of Allah. And verily, the Masajid light up the earth for the inhabitants of the heavens, just as stars light up the heavens for the inhabitants of the earth.

Everyone wants to build a retirement home to be proud of. Let them listen to this offer. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, 'Whoever builds a Masjid, seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah shall build a house for him in Paradise.' [Sahih Bukhari].

He also said, 'The most beloved places to Allah on earth are the Masajid, and the most hated places to Allah on earth are the Markets.' [Sahih Muslim].The Masjid played a variety of crucial roles in history of Islam. The following is a short synopsis of some of the roles that the Masjid played:

Women, Youth & Children

The Masjid was a place where the youth and children would accompany their parents and grow up under the shade of it's walls. As related in Bukhari, Abu Qataadah narrated that the Messenger of Allah used to pray and carry Umamah the daughter of Zaynab. When he would fall into prostration, he would rest her aside. And when he stood up again, he would again pick her up.


The Masjid was the nucleus of education. Throughout history, the Masjid was the university that taught and from which graduated the great scholars and imams of each era. To name only a few, there was the Masjid of Al-Azhar, Masjid Al-Umawee in Syria, and Masjid Az-Zaytoonah in Tunis.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'No gathering gathers in a house from the houses of Allah, reciting the book of Allah and teaching it to one another, except that serenity befalls them, Mercy envelops them, the angels surround them and Allah mentions them to (the inhabitants of the heavens).'  [Sahih Muslim]


The Masjid is where hundreds of Muslims come, all in straight rows, following the lead of Allahu Akbar, all beginning when the Imam begins, all ending when the Imam ends.

Shelter for the Weak and Travelling

In Masjid An-Nabawi, we know that there was a platform, known as the Suffah. There the poor and the strangers would find shelter and the Messenger of Allah would grant them shares of the collected charity.


The Masjid is where the Muslims would meet one another and socialise. When someone missed a prayer, he was followed up. Relationships were reared, brotherhood and sisterhood was nurtured.


When important issues and challenges arose, the Prophet (pbuh) would gather the Companions in the Masjid and consult them in the matter. The Masjid was centre for the organisation and administration of all communal affairs.


The charity would be collected and distributed from the Masjid. It was in the Masjid that the Prophet (pbuh) said, 'Give, if only with a half a date.'


Whenever the Prophet (pbuh) felt sad he would go and pray. And he (pbuh) would say to Bilal, 'Relax us with (the prayer) O Bilal.'

The Rights of the Masjid

The Masjid is the house of Allah (swt) and it has rights like anything else. Amongst these rights are the following:

Firstly: When someone enters the Masjid, they should pray 2 rakas before sitting down. The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'If any of you enters the Masjid, let him not sit down until he prays 2 rakas.'

Secondly: No business should take place in the Masjid. The Messenger of Allah said, 'Whoever sells in the Masjid, say to them: May Allah not grant success in your sale.'

Thirdly: The Masjid must be kept clean and fresh smelling. The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'Whoever eats from this tree (i.e. Garlic) should not attend our place of prayer.' 

Fourthly: Advice should be given to fellow Muslims. When the Prophet (pbuh) would see someone not praying correctly he would advise them to repeat their prayer and teach them how to pray.

Fifthly: Allah (swt) should be remembered much during one's stay in the Masjid. As Allah (swt) says O ye who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance. [Al Qur'an 33:42.

And finally, Allah (swt) tells us of the kind of people that are recognized as the people of the Masjid. In it are men that love to purify themselves, And Allah loves those who make themselves pure. - Al Qur'an 9:108. 

There is great encouragement in the Sunnah, particularly for men to pray in congregation in the mosques and the reward associated with it is tremendous. Not only does it make the person eligible for God’s Shade on the day of Judgement, but, “they do not take a step [towards the mosque except that because of it, they are raised by one rank and one sin is removed from them. Then when they pray, the Angels do not cease supplicating for them [for] as long as they remain at their place of Prayer [saying]: O Allah send blessings upon them, O Allah have mercy upon them...” [Sahih Bukhari]

'The mosques of God shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in God and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity, and fear none (at all) except God. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance' [Al Qur'an 9:18].

The Prophet Muhammed said,'Prayer in congregation is twenty-seven times more superior than praying individually' [Sahih Bukhari & Muslim]

May Allah (swt) not make us from the unfortunate who abandon His House but from amongst the blessed that establish regular attendance of the Masjid and are included amongst those whom Allah (swt) loves.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'Each person's every joint must perform a charity every day the sun rises: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it is a charity: a good word is a charity, every step you take to prayers is a charity and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity.' [Related in Muslim]