A Mosque, in Islamic terms, is referred to as “masjid” in Arabic, which means “a place of prostration.” From an Islamic perspective, a mosque is a sacred space where Muslims gather to perform their five daily prayers, engage in community activities, seek knowledge, and come together for various religious and social events.
Here’s a more detailed definition from the Islamic point of view:
- Place of Worship: The primary function of a mosque is to serve as a place where Muslims can come together for prayer. This includes the five daily prayers, the special Friday prayer (Jumu’ah), and other congregational prayers like the Tarawih prayers during Ramadan.
- Center for Learning: Mosques often have attached schools or madrasahs where Islamic education is provided. They serve as centers for learning the Quran, Hadith (sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him), and other Islamic sciences.
- Community Center: Beyond just prayers, mosques play a pivotal role in fostering community bonds. They host community events, dinners during Ramadan, Eid celebrations, and other social gatherings.
- Spiritual Retreat: Many mosques have facilities for itikaf, which is a form of spiritual retreat during the last ten days of Ramadan. During itikaf, Muslims stay in the mosque, dedicating their time to worship, reflection, and seeking closeness to Allah.
- Direction of Prayer: Every mosque has a niche in the wall, known as the “mihrab,” which indicates the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca. This direction, called the Qibla, is the direction Muslims face when performing their prayers.
- Purification: Mosques have areas designated for ablution or “wudu“, which is the ritual washing Muslims perform before their prayers.
- Symbol of Unity: The act of congregational prayer in a mosque symbolizes the unity of Muslims, as they stand shoulder to shoulder in rows, irrespective of their race, nationality, or social status.
It’s important to note that while mosques are primarily for salah and worship, they also play a crucial role in the social, educational, and spiritual life of the Muslim community.
Mosques in Different Countries: