A speech delivered by Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah at Jalsa Salana USA June 2001
Editor’s note. This has been edited and updated for this magazine
If you review the history of Islam you would note that great emphasis on the building of mosques has been laid from the very beginning of Islam. Broadly speaking, there are three fundamental reasons for this.
- A mosque facilitates and promotes worship of Allah and therefore fosters a personal bond of love and devotion between man and his God.
- A mosque is essentially a first step towards fostering unity and brotherhood amongst people and consequently, a powerful force in our endeavors to unite mankind.
- A mosque provides an effective tool for inviting people to Allah and is conducive to the propagation and progress of Islam.
Ahmadiyyat is the Renaissance of Islam and it was therefore all the more important that we carry on this process of building of mosques worldwide with even greater speed and devotion for our own benefit and benefit of mankind. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“…The whole Earth has been made a mosque and pure for me….” (Bukhari).
That is why the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) emphasized,
“The foundation stone of the Renaissance of Islam and a superior world order have been laid. Now mosques will be built and people will enter therein, and join the divine movement in droves”. (Noor Ul Haq Vol 2, p. 42).
The Importance of Mosques from the (1) Holy Quran (2) The Ahadith (3) Promised Messiah’s writings and (4) the instructions of the Khulafa of The Promised Messiah (peace be on him)
If you read the Holy Quran:
“And I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me”. (51:57).
If you consider this verse of the Holy Quran, we learn that the purpose of man’s creation is to establish the worship of God. Therefore, the places most adorable and lovable to Allah are those that are supportive and helpful in achieving this purpose -namely the mosque or Masjid. Masjid meaning any place where you do ‘sajda’ (prostration) before God Almighty. The forehead touching the ground as practiced in Salat.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“Surely, the first house founded for mankind is that at Becca (Mecca), abounding in blessings and guidance for peoples”. (3:97)
Mosques are the retainers and containers of divine grace and blessings. That is why there is a great emphasis on the importance of building mosques in great numbers.
Again if you look at early history of man after the construction of Kaaba, hundreds and thousands of houses of worship were built till the time of the Holy Prophet ( peace be upon him) who was the most true and the greatest worshiper of Allah. It is a pity that his own people did not permit him to build a mosque during his stay in Mecca. As the Holy Prophet ( peace be upon him) migrated to Medina, he stayed for a short time in Quba, a suburb of Medina (three miles north of the city). Here was built the first mosque in Islam by the Prophet and his companions. It is called Masjid-e-Quba or Masjid-e-Taqwa (Mosque of Piety).
In Surah Tauba (chapter 9 of The Holy Quran) we read:
“A mosque that was founded upon piety from the first day, is surely more worthy that thou should stand therein to lead the prayer service.. “ (9:108)
Some scholars believe that this verse is related to the building of this mosque.
When the second mosque at Medina Masjid-e-Nabwee was completed, the Holy Prophet ( peace be upon him) is quoted to have said:
“I am the last Prophet and this Mosque of mine is the last Mosque.” (Muslim)
Muslims all over the world have built thousands of mosques. As long as these mosques are built with Taqwa and solely for the worship of Allah and Muslims turn their faces to Kaaba in their prayers, they are all part of the last mosque built by the Holy Prophet.
We Ahmadis are the followers of the Grand Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him ) and his Messiah (peace be on him ) and in these latter days, the building and maintenance of mosques is our prime responsibility as Allah says in the Holy Quran.
“He alone can maintain the Mosques of Allah who believes in Allah, and the last day, and observes prayer and pays the Zakat and fears none but Allah; so these it is who may be rightly guided.” (9:18)
These are people who may reach the goal.
The Holy Prophet ( peace be upon him) on the importance of mosques
- In addition to Hadith that I have already narrated, there are several more Ahadith that reflect on the importance of mosques. O ye people, praise Allah. Whoever builds a mosque for Allah, Allah, The Exalted, shall build a house for such a one in paradise.
- To Allah, the most adored places are the mosques and the most undesirable places are market places.
- Mosques are the houses of Allah and those believers who enter therein are the guests of Allah.
- Those who visit the mosques in darkness convey to them the good news that Allah shall bestow upon them from Himself perfect light on the day of judgment.
- For him who makes his ablutions at home and then walks to one of the houses of Allah to discharge his obligations imposed on him by Allah, one single step of his towards the mosque wipes out a sin and next step raises his status. Whenever anyone of you enters a mosque let him pray that “O Allah open up for me the doors of Thy Mercy”; and whenever anyone from among you leaves a mosque, let him pray ” O Allah, I seek from Thee Thy blessings”.
All these Ahadith amplify the importance of mosques in our lives. In helping us reform ourselves and our souls by purifying us, by bringing Muslims together for obligatory congregational salats and fostering brotherhood and unity. To be recipients of the blessings as noted in these Ahadith, it is incumbent that we give top priority to the building and maintenance of mosques.
During the period of Khilafat-i-Rashidah, wherever the sahaba/companions took the message of Islam, they erected mosques and filled the known world with houses of God and the Unity of God was proclaimed everywhere.
The Promised Messiah (peace be on him ) on the importance of Mosques
The Promised Messiah said:
“If you want Islam to progress build a mosque. Wherever our Jamaat is established, a mosque should be built. Our Jama’at’s progress is founded on the construction of mosques. If there are only a few Muslims in a village or a city, build a mosque with good intentions and God will bring more Muslims to that place. It is not mandatory that the mosque be embellished or be a brick building. Wall off a piece of land and build a room with a thatched roof…” (Malfoozat Vol 2, p. 42)
On laying the foundation of Mubarak Mosque in Qadian in 1883, the Promised Messiah ( peace be on him ) received the revelation:
“This is a blessed mosque to impart blessings. Every blessed work will be done in it.” (Braheen-i-Ahmadiyya Vol. 4, p. 559)
The Khulafa of The Promised Messiah (peace be on him)
Through the years since then, Jamaat Ahmadiyya has continued the building of mosques under the guidance of the Khulafa.
Hazrat Khalifatul Massih II
Huzoor said “May mosques be constructed from one end of the world to the other and may Azan be heard from every mosque. Wherever the sun may rise, it may see that the holy name of God is being raised there. My desire is that there should be a mosque at every place in the world”.
What we see in Jamaat Ahmadiyya today is the zeal to send missionaries worldwide and to build mosques worldwide. This is an offshoot of Tehrik-i-Jadid, a plan launched by Hazrat Khalifatul Massih II in 1934. Huzoor described Tehrik-i-Jadid as a stepping stone to the establishment of the new world order.
“We need manpower to reach the entire world population. We need money to attain this noble goal. We need determination and steadfastness to accomplish this great task. We need desperate prayers to attain this purpose which could attract God’s special favors. A composition of all these things is known as Tehrik-i-Jadid” (Alfazal Vol. 30, No. 280).
…”All demands of Tehrik-i-Jadid have been introduced for the reason that you could become manifestation of Allah’s attributes.” (Alfazl Vol. 15, No. 283)
In 1968, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III gave a series of sermons elaborating on 23 great reasons for the building of Kaaba. He said:
“In the building of Baitullah as the First House of God, we are instructed to build houses on the same model and purity at every place so as to provide mankind the same benefits as contained in the verse “Mubarakaon wa hodal lilaalameen ” (abounding in blessings and a guidance for all mankind 3:97). In the next 20-25 years people will be entering Islam in great numbers and you will need to prepare now by building mosques to provide for these people consistent with these verses of the Holy Qurán.”
In his Friday Sermon March 19, 1999, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV said:
“Among the guidelines I had issued to the Jama’ats, the most significant advice was that they should start building houses of God and build them in great numbers. Since it is God’s work to fill these mosques, He will bring people to these mosques….Our efforts should not be limited to building of central and big mosques. In fact, every community where there are a few Ahmadis we should look into building small mosques….”.
Although all the Khulafa emphasized the importance of building of mosques, the pace of building mosques increased after 2003, consistent with the expansion of the Jamaat.
Today our pace in building mosques in the world has increased tremendously under the guidance and direction of Khalifatul Masih V
Almost every Jamaat is working towards it.
- Building mosques is our priority because the Holy Qurán says so. ” You are the best people raised for the good of mankind”. (3:111) There is nothing better than inviting people to Allah and establishing His Worship
- Building mosques is our priority because the Holy Prophet ( peace be upon him ) said so. “To Allah the most adored places are the mosques….”.
- Building mosques is our priority because the Promised Messiah (peace be on him ) said so.”Our Jamaat’s progress is dependent on the building of mosques.”
- Building mosques is our priority because the Khulafa said so. “Start building mosques and build them in great numbers since it is God’s work to fill these mosques, He will bring people to these mosques.” (Khalifatul Massih IV)
We will continue to build mosques to see the victory of Islam and the unity of mankind.
“That He may cause it to prevail over all other religions” (48.29)
Today, Jamaat Ahmadiyya has spread over the globe in over 200 countries and territories .
Following the footsteps of Kaaba and the Prophet’s Mosque, Jamaat Ahmadiyya is busy in constructing mosques all over the world consistent with
“Mosques will be constructed on the model of The Prophet’s Mosque and make every land the land of Hedjaz.”
On 3rd April 2013, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, addressed a Special Reception held to celebrate the recent opening of the Baitur Rahman Mosque in Valencia, Spain. During his address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad explained the true Islamic teachings of peace, justice and tolerance. He concluded by saying
“This Mosque has been built to serve as a place of brotherliness and unity. Whoever comes here with pious intentions, be it a Muslim or a non-Muslim, will have the doors of the Mosque always open for him or her. This Mosque has been named Masjid Baitur Rahman – that is a House of God, who is Ever Gracious and who shows kindness to His Creation without any conditions. We, who have built this Mosque, will ensure that we continue to serve and help the communities we live in and to serve God’s Creation.”