Thursday, February 18, 2010

Etiquette in the Mosque

It is an evil deed to disturb others in the Mosque.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

How should one behave, especially in a masjid, when the Adzan is being called? Are we allowed to talk worldly affairs while it is being called? Are we allowed to exchange "Salam" (greetings) while it is being called?

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the al’aalameen.

Al-Hakim reported in Al-Mustadrak (4/359) that Anas Ibn Malik RA said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said:

‘There will come a time when people will sit in circles in the mosques and they will have no concern except this world. Allah has no need of them so do not sit with them.’”

This is a sahih hadith even though al-Bukhari and Muslim did not narrate it. Al-Dhahabi said in Al-Talkhis that it is sahih.

This hadith states that this blameworthy deed is disliked, because the mosques are not built for such a purpose. Allah commanded that mosques should be built to remember Him and to conduct prayers and acts of worship and obedience to Him, such as I’tikaf (retreat, seclusion for devotion and worship), and different kinds of zikir such as circles for reciting Qur’an and seeking knowledge.

On the other hand, there are hadith that command us to repeat the words of the adzan after the muezzin, as a mustahabb or encouraged deed, and to set an example of how one should behave when hearing the adzan. Some people neglect it, and do not realize how much reward they are missing out on and how much they are to blame for that. What sort of hearts must they have?! They hear the remembrance of Allah then they turn away from Him, and it has no effect on their hearts so that they may fear Him and feel compelled to listen.

One of these hadith is that narrated by Imam Muslim in his Sahih from ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas RA, who said that he heard the Prophet SAW say: “When any one of you hears the muezzin, let him say something like he says, then send blessings on me, for whoever sends blessings on me, Allah will send blessings tenfold on him. Then ask Allah to grant me Al-wasilah, for it is a status in Paradise that only one of Allah’s slaves will attain, and I hope that I will be the one. Whoever asks for Al-wasilah for me, will be granted my intercession for him.” [Muslim 384]

As for giving the greeting of salaam and shaking hands, there is nothing wrong with this, for these are acts of obedience to Allah. There is no conflict between doing these things and responding to the muezzin, because a person may do all of these things at once.

Muslims should beware of doing anything that may offend or disturb those who come to the mosque for worship. This includes disturbing those who are reading Qur’an, praying or remembering Allah in the mosque.

It is an evil deed (sayi’ah) to disturb the people in the mosque by talking about worldly affairs, because this is offensive to them and distracts Muslims from doing acts of worship properly.

Disturbing others is not allowed, even if it takes the form of reading Qur’an, more so how about if it takes other forms.

Ahmad Ibn Shu’aib An-Nasa’ie reported in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra (5/32) under the heading Zikir Qawl Al-Nabi SAW Laa yajhar ba’dukam ‘ala ba’din fi’l-Qur’an (Mentioning the statement of the Prophet SAW, None of you should compete with one another in reciting Qur’an loudly), a report from Abu Hazim Al-Timar from Al-Bayadi, that the Prophet SAW went into i’tikaf (seclusion or retreat for worship) in the mosque, and he heard them reciting Qur’an in loud voices while some praying. He pulled the curtain and said:

“The one who is praying is conversing with his Lord, so let him think about what he is saying to Him. Do not compete with one another in reciting Qur’an loudly.”

Ibn Muhairiz RA is reported to have said: “Speaking in the mosque is idle talk, except for one who is praying, or remembering his Lord, or asking for help or giving help.” [Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq, part 8, Bab Kalam ‘Ikrimah].

Ibn Al-Hajj said, concerning the manners of the Muslim when he sets out for the mosque: “He should intend to avoid idle talk in the mosque or talking about that which does not concern him, for there is a report that says that speaking in the mosque about anything but the deeds of the Hereafter is like fire in dry wood, it eats up hasanat (good deeds). So he should take care to avoid that, lest he goes out to engage in trade and comes back having lost everything because of his idle talk.” [Al-Madkhal by Ibn Al-Hajj, part 1, Al-Sunnah fi’l-Mashiy ila’l-Masjid].

And Allah knows best.

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