Mosque (Masjid) Meaning and Rules

“The House of the Almighty God (Baitullaah ) shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in  the Almighty God (Allaah) and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practices regular (Zakaat) charity, and fear none (at all) except Allaah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance”.  (Al-Qur’ân ,9:17)

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Allaah: The name of the Almighty God.  Arab Muslims, Arab Christians and Arab Jews Invoke the same God, Allaah.

A: A mosque (masjid) is a place of worship used by Muslims. The English word “mosque” is derived from its Arabic equivalent, Masjid, which means “place of prostration.” It is in the mosque that Muslims perform their prayers, a part of which includes placing the forehead on the floor.

A: Mosques play a vital role in the lives of Muslims in North America. The primary function of the mosque is to provide a place where Muslims may perform Islam’s obligatory five daily prayers as a congregation. A mosque also provides sufficient space in which to hold prayers on Fridays, the Muslim day of communal prayer, and on the two Muslim holidays, called Eids, or “festivals.”

A: A mosque is a place that is specifically dedicated as a place of prayer. However, there is nothing sacred about the building or the place itself. There is no equivalent of an altar in a mosque. A Muslim may pray on any clean surface. Muslims often pray in public places.

A: In North America, mosques vary in size from tiny storefronts serving a handful of worshippers, to large Islamic centers that can accommodate thousands.

A: Mosques in North America welcome visitors. Tours can be arranged at most facilities. It is always best to call mosque administrators before arrival. They will want to make sure your visit is enjoyable.

A: The Musalla, or prayer hall, in each mosque is oriented in the direction of Mecca, toward which Muslims face during prayers. In North America, Muslim worshippers face northeast. Prayer halls are open and uncluttered to accommodate lines of worshippers who stand and bow in unison. There are no pews or chairs. Members of the congregation sit on the floor.

Because Muslim men and women form separate lines when they stand in prayers, some mosques will have a balcony reserved for the use of women. Other mosques will accommodate men and women in the same musalla, or they may have two separate areas for men and women.

A: All mosques have some sort of Mihrab, or niche, that indicates which wall of the mosque faces Mecca. The Mihrab is often decorated with Arabic calligraphy. Its curved shape helps reflect the voice of the imam, or prayer leader, back toward the congregation. Many mosques also have a Minbar, or pulpit, to the right of the Mihrab. During the Friday prayer service, the imam delivers a sermon from the Minbar.

A: Children will often be present during prayers, whether participating, watching or imitating the movements of their elders. Their presence continues the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, who behaved tenderly toward children. The Prophet sometimes carried one of his grandchildren on his shoulder while leading the prayer and was also known to shorten the prayer if he heard a baby cry.

A: You might hear Muslims exchanging the Islamic greeting, the Arabic phrase “as-salaam Alaikum” (“peace be with you”). Muslims return this greeting by saying, “wa Alaikum as-salaam” (“and with you be peace”).

You might also hear the call to prayer. The call, or Adhan, contains the following phrases (in Arabic):
Allaah   is the Greatest, Allaah   is the Greatest
Allaah   is the Greatest, Allaah   is the Greatest
I bear witness that there is no  one is worthy of absolute love and obedience expect Allaah .
I bear witness that there is no  one is worthy of absolute love and obedience expect Allaah .
I bear witness that Muhammad is a messenger of Allaah .
I bear witness that Muhammad is a messenger of Allaah .
Hasten to prayer, Hasten to prayer.
Hasten to success, Hasten to success.
Allaah   is the Greatest, Allaah   is the Greatest.
there is no  one is worthy of absolute love and obedience expect Allaah   .

All Muslim prayers begin with recitation of Al-Fatihah, the opening chapter of the Qur’aan:
In the name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds.
The Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.
Ruler of the Day of Judgment.
Only You do we worship, Only You we ask for help.
Show us the straight path.
The path of those whom You have favored,
not that of those who earn Your anger, nor those who go astray.

A: Many mosques have a minaret, the large tower used to issue the call to prayer five times each day. In North America, the minaret is largely decorative. Facilities to perform wudu, or ablutions, can be found in all mosques. Muslims wash their hands, faces and feet before prayers as a way to purify and prepare themselves to stand before God. Wudu facilities range from wash basins to specially designed areas with built-in benches, floor drains and faucets.

Bookshelves are found in most mosques. They contain works of Islamic philosophy, theology and law, as well as collections of the traditions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Copies of the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, are always available to worshippers.

Calligraphy is used to decorate nearly every mosque. Arabic quotations from the Qur’aan invite contemplation of the revealed Word of God. Other common features found in the mosque are clocks or schedules displaying the times of the five daily prayers and large rugs or carpets covering the musalla floor. Many American mosques also have administrative offices.

A: Though its main function is as a place of prayer, the mosque plays a variety of roles, especially in North America. Many mosques are associated with Islamic schools and day care centers. Mosques also provide diverse services such as Sunday schools, Arabic classes, Qur’anic instruction, and youth activities.

Marriages and funerals, potluck dinners during the fasting month of Ramadan, and Eid prayers and carnivals are all to be found in North American mosques. They are also sites for interfaith dialogues and community activism.

Many mosques serve as recreational centers for the Muslim community and may have a gymnasium, game room and weight equipment, as well as a library and classrooms.

A: Men and women should always dress conservatively when visiting a mosque, covering their arms and legs. Examples of inappropriate clothing would be shorts for men and short skirts for women.

Shoes are always left at the entrance to the prayer area so as not to soil the rugs or carpets. Shelves are usually provided to hold shoes. Women may be asked to cover their hair when visiting a mosque. Many mosques have scarves on hand for visitors to borrow, but it is better to bring a head covering in case none are available.

Visitors to mosques should behave as they would when visiting any religious institution, but they should feel free to ask questions about the mosque, its architecture, furnishings, and activities. Muslims are happy to answer questions about their religion.

Special thanks to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Greg Noakes and The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for permission to use the article, “Mosque a Vital Part of Islamic Life,” in the preparation of this material.

Masjids Rules

  • Do as many prayers in congregation in the Masjid, as possible.
  • Prayer in congregation is rewarded with 27 times more blessing than that said alone.
  • Do service to the Masjid by keeping it populated.
  • Go to the Masjid with eagerness and enthusiasm to say your prayers.
  • Keep the Masjid clean. Sweep it; dust it, fragrance it. Eat in the fixed place (down stairs,, not in the Masjid or School). Place the article that is in the wrong place, in its right place.
  • Greet the believer at the Masjid with sincerity and happiness upon seeing him or her. And don’t forget to smile to your fellow Muslim.
  • When sitting in the Masjid for the remembrance of Allah, seek humility and forgiveness and do not forget to feel that you are a guest and Allaah is the host.
  • When bringing small children to the Masjid, be mindful to keep them as quiet as possible out of consideration for those making Salat.
  • Do not use the Masjid as a throughway without purpose.
  • On entering the Masjid, use your right foot and say “O Allah, open the gates of Thy Mercy for me (Allahumm-aftah li abwaaba aromatic).”
  • On leaving the Masjid, use your left foot and say “O Allah! I seek your favor and blessings (Allahumma inni as’aluka min fadhlika).”
  • Do not rise your voice in the Masjid and let people do their Salât with Khoshoo’e and concentration.
  • Sisters should wear the Islamic veil (Hijaab). Take the flexible opinion when you (See the “The question of hijab”)

How devoted are we to the Masjid?

  • Do we ensure its upkeep and cleanliness? Do we attend to those we meet between its doors with sincere greetings and well wishes? Do we frequent the remembrance of Allah in mind and in our hearts or do we just go through the motions? Do we take for granted the needs of those who need help are being provided for without our input and resources? Do we support the efforts to propagate Al-Islam, which emanate (trust) from the Masjid? Do we invite others to the way of Allah and welcome them to the Masjid? Is the Masjid a nucleus around which our life rotates and is centered?
It is reported that the best part of the earth is that part on which a Masjid is raised. In the last few years, we have seen the destruction of Masjid in Bosnia, kosova and other parts of the world. Ask yourself, what would you do if you were separated form the Masjid? Ask yourself, what more you can do to support the Masjid and maintain it? Ask yourself, if you want for your brother what you want for yourself (a sign of belief as stated by Rasoolu-Allaah Muhammad, Salla Allaahu Alayhi WA sallama? Don’t wait for tomorrow to do what your belief beckons you to do. Tomorrow is not promised to you! Do it now, for the pleasure of Allah!
  • When you use anything; use it properly and return it to its place.
  • Keep the Bathroom clean and do not leave any trash there, also be aware of dirtying or contaminating the woudu area or by using the same shoes of bathroom in the area of woudu, the Hadeeth warned about no taking care of this issue as a major sin.
  • Use properly the Masjid’s installations, water, napkin, light etc. do not abuse or use more then your need because it is a (WAQF: God’s property) and it is a big responsibility before Allaah. f.. Before you leave be sure that cleanliness light, bathrooms, trash, the inside and outside of the Masjid is ok & beautiful. g.. Be sure that Masjid smells sweet smell and be aware of any bad smell.
  • This is only a reminder and we believe that you love the house of Allaah (The Masjid) and you are going to take care of it in the best way.
  • Brothers who come in Jmaa’ah (groups) should meet Imam for more details.

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