Masjids, or mosques, have always been considered as sacred places of worship for the Muslim community. But recently, there has been a growing call to open these places of worship to people of all religions, and to encourage inclusivity and community service. This call for inclusivity is essential, as it helps to promote social harmony and understanding, while also fostering a sense of unity among different communities.
One of the primary concerns for opening Masjids to all is to allow people of all religions to feel comfortable and welcome to enter the Masjids. The idea is to remove any perceived barriers that may exist and to promote an open and welcoming atmosphere. The Masjids must have seating arranged for all to visit and remember God, and there should be no restrictions placed on who can enter.
Women and children should also be able to enter the Masjids without any restrictions. Separate areas can be allocated for women to pray, ensuring that they feel comfortable and safe while worshiping. The Masjids must also ensure that the areas around the Masjids are well maintained, with flower pots around, orderly parking space for vehicles, enough space for leaving footwear, clean toilets, and so on. By doing so, it creates a conducive environment for people of all backgrounds to come together and worship.
Moreover, the Masjids can also be a place to initiate social service, relief aid, attending to the poor and the needy and even helping the unemployed people with jobs. These services must be for all of mankind, with no differentiation based on caste, colour, creed, or religion. This also means that separate funds for Zakaat and Sadaqah must be allocated to cater to all those in need.
In addition, sessions can be organized to introduce the pillars of Islam and articles of faith to the people visiting the Masjids. This will help to educate people about Islam and to promote understanding and harmony. Seminars can also be conducted in local languages to encourage participation from people of all backgrounds.
Finally, it is important to maintain the Masjids according to the local culture. This means that while the Masjids should be open to people of all religions, they should also maintain the local customs and traditions. This will help to foster a sense of belonging among the local community and promote social harmony.
During the times of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), even Non-Muslims entered the masjids and discussed with the Prophet. There were even times when a Christian delegation prayed in the masjid according to the Christian tradition. These are mentioned in the books of history. However the areas of Makka and Madina are maintained as the sanctuaries of Islamic monotheism. Hence the restrictions apply today to these places, in order to preserve the monotheistic culture there. Whereas the Non-Muslims enter the masjids in the arab lands even today in places such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Dubai, Muscat, Qatar and so on.
In conclusion, the call to open Masjids to all is a necessary step towards creating a more inclusive and harmonious society. It is important to remember that the Masjids are not just a place of worship, but also a platform to serve humanity. By serving all of mankind, irrespective of their religion or background, we will earn the pleasure of Allah and help to foster a more peaceful and harmonious world.
– Written and compiled by,
President, Discover Islam Education Trust,