M.E.- Masjid Etiquette... Something that I feel needs to be discussed.
Alhamdulillah recently there have been many people coming to the masjid for prayer on Fridays. For brothers of course this is a necessity but the number of sisters I have seen has be growing. May Allah reward everyone for their desire to serve Him and give us all the greater reward for praying in congregation.
Of course, with large groups there are always differences in opinion, but lately I have been witness to some things that I feel need to be mentioned if only to serve as a reminder to us all about the beauty of our place of prayer, the sacredness of the Qur'an, and the importance of Friday prayer.
Alhamdulillah, the sister's side of the masjid was so full last week that we had to keep the door open as we were literally almost spilling out trying to all fit in the prayer room. What was unfortunate was that there was a group of young girls (early teen 10-12yrs) that were sitting in the stairs with no intention of listening to the Khutbah. Insha'Allah Allah will move in their hearts and give them desire to listen to what the Imam is speaking about. What has made me mention these girls is that they were talking and laughing very loudly during the entire Khutbah. They saw the door was open and it was an obvious disruption to the rest of the mosque but they didn't stop. Even when a sister motioned to them on numerous occasions to quiet down, they disregarded her and continued to talk. Now I know the thought might be here, that they are "still young" but I truly believe they are old enough to know better. In addition to that I have also heard women talk to each other while the Khutbah is being delivered. Not only does this compromise their ability to focus on what is being said, and goes against what is asked of us as Muslims, but it directly impacts other brothers' and sisters' ability to focus on what is being said. Here is a hadith to consider...
In Sahih Muslim:Narrated Abu Huraira "The person who takes a bath then comes to the Jum`a prayer, then offers the prayer that was destined for him, and then keeps silent till the Imam finishes the sermon, and then prays along with him, his sins between that time and the next Friday would be forgiven, and even of three days more"(similar hadiths appear in Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, & Ahmad binHanbal)
Not only does it mention being silent during the Khutbah, but look at the reward insha'Allah a Muslim gets for doing such things.
But it should be mentioned that it is FORBIDDEN to talk during the Khutbah. Several sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) cover this subject. In an authentic hadith reported by the group of Ahadith collectors except Ibn-Majah, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, "If you told your friend to pay attention on Friday while the Imam is delivering the speech then you committed a sin of vain talk." Another authentic hadith which was reported by Imam Ibn-Majah and Attermizi that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, "Even who touches the gravel on the floor then he committed vain talk, and he who does commit that there will be no (Jummah) Friday for him."
Related to that, "The Muslim should not distract other praying Muslims in the Masjid, because the praying Muslim is in contact with Allah (S.W.T.) so he should not be distracted not even with reciting Qur'an, supplication, or remembrance of Allah. Imam Ahmad reported Abdullah bin Omar (R.A.) narrated that the Prophet (S.A.W.) saw some people praying, and they became loud in their prayer. He said: "The praying person is in contact with his Lord, so let him concentrate on whom he is in contact with, and do not raise your voices over one another with Qur'an."
It is said that Muslims should keep themselves busy supplicating and remembering Allah (S.W.T.) while they are sitting in the Masjid, because they are in the prayer as long as they are waiting for the prayer.
I believe if everyone knew this, the talking would cease.
I also wanted to mention the importance of coming on time to the masjid. Of course there are things that are at times outside of our control, and Allah knows best, but look at the following...
In a authentic hadith reported by Imam Abu-Dawod the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, "On Friday the angels come to stand on the doors of the mosque (masjid), the angels record who comes first, if the Imam starts delivering the speech, the angels close their files and come to listen to the speech."
Wouldn't it certainly be best to be among those whose names are recorded in the files of the angels?
But now something that is very frustrating... I have seen gum placed on furniture inside the prayer room, shoes left on, and Qur'ans placed on the ground.
The Qur'an is a sacred text. It is fairly common knowledge that the Qur'an should be placed on an elevated position such as a rihal (Qur'an stand), desk, or pillow. It should not be placed on the carpet or on any place which people stand or sit, and especially not on the ground.
Regarding the gum. What a sign of disrespect. The closest comparison I can find from the time of the Prophet (S.A.W.) is spit. The Prophet (S.A.W.) considered spitting in the Masjid to be a sin that could be forgiven only if the Muslim cleans the area. Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Spitting in the Masjid is a sin and its expiation is clean it." When the prophet (S.A.W.) saw a spit in the Masjid, he used to remove it with a stone.
Muslims should keep the Masjid clean and in good shape and smell as it is the house of Allah (S.W.T.).
May we all strive to do what is the best for us and our religion in the name of Islam and for the sake of Allah (SWT). May Allah (SWT) guide us all on the right path and make us among the pious. May He reward us for all of our good deeds and Insha'Allah we will remember Him in all that we do. Ameen.