By Sikandar Azam

A mosque (masjid in Arabic) is a place of worship where the believers throng to worship the Lord Almighty, in total submission to Him, with utmost devotion and ever renewed commitment. The believers visit the mosque to say obligatory prayers five times a day. And at other times they visit there to say supererogatory prayers, to recite the Qur’ān, the Book of Guidance revealed by God, and to learn the basics of the Deen or the way of life taught by God and His Messenger Muhammad ﷺ. Thus, owing to the specially supermundane nature of its utility, the mosque assumes sacredness and reverence.

This sacredness and reverence of the mosque demands that it should be respected and venerated. And people should provide facilities like road and water and electricity supply for the mosque so that the believers may have easy access to it. No one should enter it with any idea other than to worship God. But, as the ignorant vandals would have it, we see mosques being violated, targeted, attacked and even destroyed. Who are these people who have the cheek and temerity to do excesses with the places of worship, and what the Qur’ān says about them. The Qur’ān says that they are ‘unjust’. “Who is more unjust than he who forbids God’s name to be mentioned in His places of worship, and seeks to destroy them?” (The Qur’ān – 2:114)

This verse says that such ‘unjust’ people have ‘no right’ to enter the mosque: “Such people have no right to enter them except with fear in their hearts.” Here the Qur’ān emphasises that those who impede  the use of mosques should themselves enter such places in fear of God, for it would be the most appropriate way for them to show respect for such places and to acknowledge the infinite power and glory of the Lord Almighty. But, if they do not mend their ways, they would earn the Divine Wrath as the tone of the verse turns seriously severe and rightly so: “They shall suffer ignominy in this world and awesome suffering awaits them in the life to come.”

The Qur’ān (22:40) talks of repelling some people through others just for the sake of protection of places of worship: “If God were not to repel some through others, monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques wherein the name of God is much mentioned, would certainly have been pulled down.”

Here we see that all places of worship should be protected and venerated. And those who will come forward to pull them down will be severely punished.

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