''And hold tight to the rope of Allah and divide not,'' [ Ale-Imran: 103],

Etiquettes of Visiting a Mosque

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I am writing this post as many Non-Muslims want to visit the mosque and those people must know what are some of the etiquettes of visiting mosques.

Non- Muslims are most welcome to visit a mosque if your intention is good and you have respect for the place and for the worship that takes place there.

Here are some of the things that a person must keep in mind while planning to have a visit to mosque

Clothing in the Mosque

Clothing must be clean and of modest nature for both men and women visiting. These must not have pictures of living creatures.

Women must observe:

- Ankle length skirt or trousers which should be loose fitting and must not be tight or transparent.

- Long sleeved top which covers to the neck and the arms to the wrists that are loose fitting and not tight or transparent.

- A headscarf which will cover the hair completely.




Men must observe:

- Bottoms which are below the knees, preferably to the ankles.

- A top where the sleeves are no shorter than a typical T shirt.

General

- Its better to inform the management of the mosque or take a scheduled time before visit so they can give proper attention to you and wont get disturbed.

- Visitors may be greeted by the Arabic greeting “Assalam Allaikum” which means “peace be upon you.” The answer, if the visitor would like to use it, is “Wa ‘alaikum- as-salaam”, which means “peace be upon you too”.

- Shoes are removed as you enter inside the mosque and placed in the shoe racks provided.

- Please speak softly.

- If prayers are in progress please remain quiet. Keep small children with you and try to stand at the back.

- Switch off all mobile phones/pagers etc.

- Do not bring food/drink into the halls.

- Never walk in front of kneeling worshipers. There may be a few praying worshipers no matter what time you visit a mosque. Never walk in front of them as this is very disrespectful. Remain behind and at a distance.

- Exchanges of hand shake with the opposite gender must be avoided.

- The mosque must always be kept clean and if possible some scent/Atr should be used here; nothing dirty should be left here.

- You should not eat anything that gives bad smell, before going to the mosque; your mouth odour will be very disturbing to others.

- You should not spit inside the mosque or on its stairs.

- If there are any special needs, do let the Mosque know in advance so that preparations can be arranged. For example, it is the custom of the mosque to sit on the floor but chairs can be provided for elderly, infirm, disabled visitors and anyone who desires one.

For Muslims

- The mosque is an Islamic place of worship devoted to the remembrance of Allah; it may also be used as a meeting place for religious affairs. Nothing should be done there that might desecrate it.

- None should indulge in gossip or spreading rumors in the Mosque. One should either be praying here or engage themselves in the remembrance of Allah or the people should talk about the religious affairs – but this must not disturb those who are engaged in their Prayers.

- Try to come to the Mosque with Wudhu.

- On entering the mosque with your right foot you should offer the following prayer:
“Allaahum-maf-Tahlee Abwaaba Rahmatika.”

- You may offer two Rakaat Nafl on entering the mosque;

- If somebody is praying, you should not pass in front of him.

- It is very undesirable that the people should talk loudly or do something undesirable - these things disturb the people who are engaged in prayer at that time.

- Do not engage yourself in buying or selling things in the mosque nor should you talk of trade there.

- Those who come late should not jump over the heads of others to go to the front lines.

- Small children who might make noise or who might urinate here, should not be brought to the Mosque.

- When the Imam is delivering Friday Sermon, the audience must maintain silence; no talking should be carried on; even if somebody has to be told to be silent, he should not be told by words of mouth; you should just point to him that he should keep silent.

- When you come out of the mosque, use your left foot and you should pray in the following words: "Allahumma innee as-aloka min fazlika wa rahmatika."

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