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The Purpose of a Mosque

The Holy Quran directs that a mosque should be built to promote piety and righteousness among the believers and should not be used to create division among the Muslims. It says:

"Then they are those who built a mosque designing injury to the cause of Allah and support for disbelief and division among the believers, and as an ambush for whim who had fought against Allah and His Messenger. They will surely utter an oath: We intend nothing but good: But Allah bears witness that they certainly are liars. Never stand therein to lead Prayer. A mosque that was founded on piety from the very first day is surely more worthy that thou shouldst stand therein to lead Prayer. In it are men who love to be purified and Allah loves those who purify themselves" (9:107-108)

These verses refer to a mosque built by Hypocrites in the suburb of Medina to design a plot against Islam. They invited the Prophet to bless it by leading the Prayer in it. God told the Prophet their intentions and forbade him to go to that mosque to lead the Prayer. The object of a mosque according to these verses is therefore to purify oneself spiritually.

At another place the Holy Quran says that a mosque is a place of worship like other places of worship, primarily meant for the remembrance of God.

"If Allah did not repel the aggression of some people by means of others, cloisters, churches, synagogues, and mosque wherein the name of God is oft commemorated, would surely be destroyed." (22:41)

The Holy Quran recognises for all men the free and unrestricted right to worship God in a place of worship, any mosque is a place dedicated to the worship of God; Therefore the person who prevents others from worshiping Him in it, in fact contributed to its ruin and desolation. It states:

"Who can be guilty of a greater wrong than one who forbids Allah's name in being glorified in His mosque and seeks to bring about their ruin? It was not proper for such persons to enter the mosque except in fear of Allah. For them is disgrace in this world and a great punishment in the next" (2:115)

The Holy Quran also tells us that the mosques belong to no one but Allah.

"All mosques belong to Allah: So call not on anyone beside Allah." (72:19)

The Holy Book mentions the people who are responsible for the maintenance of a mosque. It states:

"It is not up to the idolaters, while they assert their disbelief, to maintain the mosques of Allah. It is they whose works are vain, and in the Fire shall they abide. He alone can serve the mosques of Allah who believes in Allah and the Last Day and observes Prayer and pays the Zakat and fears no one but Allah. It is these who are likely to be rightly guided." (9:17-18)

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