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Ritual Prayer and Mosque

The first institution which came into being after the establishment of Islam in Yathrib (Medina) was the mosque (masjid, i.e. the place of prostration). The Holy Prophet (PBUH) during his few days of stay with the tribe of Bani `Umar b. `Awf, near Medina, laid the foundations of Quba’ Mosque. The mosque was originally intended as a place of worship, but it came to serve many other functions. The first Islamic university was established in a mosque, where jurists and traditionists began to promulgate Islamic teachings. It came to function as a place of public assembly and a hub for the dissemination of information. Legal proceedings and administrative functions were among various other activities carried out in mosques. Today, the mosque continues to be a place of congregation for the Muslims of a neighborhood or town. It is the focal point of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil and the place of real tawhid: “The places of worship belong to God, so call not along with God” (Jinn 72: 18). It is recommended to avoid using a mosque for such activities as trade, implementation of punishments, or sleeping.

* source: Gorji , Abolghasem "Islam Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.8 ,pp.410

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