Ramadan Guide: Functions of Mosque

by MCR Correspondent

By Femi AbbasE-mail: femabbas756@gmail.com Tel: 08122697498 (Text only)Whether in Ramadan or outside it, Mosque in Islam has both temporal and spiritual functions, none of which can be taken for granted.The word mosque is the corrupt English pronunciation of ‘MASJID’ as derived from the Egyptian dialect (‘Masgid’) which means a place of prostration. Mosque is not just a building in which Muslims worship. It is rather any pure place where observance of Salat can be done as an act of worship. As a place of congregation, Mosque serves many legitimate purposes each of which has a fundamental significance.For instance the very first Mosque established by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in Quba, Madinah, was a multipurpose one. That Mosque did not serve as a place of worship alone. It also served as a school, a library, a clinic, a court of justice and even a parliament for the Muslim community. And, ever since its establishment as a centre of congregational worship, Mosque has continued to serve all those purposes throughout the Islamic world. That was why the very first University ever established in the world, theUniversity of Cordoba in Spain, started as a Mosque. And, it will be recalled that even the three oldest Universities in the world today: Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt; Qarawiyyin University in Fez, Morocco and Zaytuniyyah University in Tunis, Tunisia, all started as Mosques.Using the above yardstick to judgewhat the Mosque is in our societies today, as against what it ought to be, therefore, one can sincerely conclude that our Mosques in Nigeria are grossly underutilized.Hardly can we find in our society today, a Mosque that is used as a court of justice, a library, a madrasah, a parliament and a hospital. Whereas Islam is a dynamic religion and the Mosque is supposed to be a symbol of that dynamism, this is rarely considered when it comes to establishing Mosques in our society.Today, we need Mosques at different echelons of our our societies, not just for Salat and thorough Islamic education but also for sound vocational training and good orientation for our youths, women and children. In fact, we need Mosques to back up Muslims’ proper home training and empower the trainees as a way of reforming our society.That is why we must provide, in every Mosque, those amenities mentioned above if only to give our children the best education they deserve, in our own little way of making our society a worthy place to live in.In our Mosques, we need tutorial classes for our Imams, our callers to prayers(Muadhdhins) as much as we need good libraries for reading and research centres for our children.
For Islam to continue to play its dynamic role as originally designed, enabling environments must be ventilated for the training of those children spiritually and temporally. Such provisions are the necessary attractors of our youths to our Mosques without forcing them.

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