Pakteahouse: by Marafi: Strange that no one cared to look up the meaning of the Arabic word ‘Masjid’. Had they done so, they would have found that it is derived from the word ‘sajada’ and literally means ‘place for prostration’. A little further study and they would have found that the word ‘Masjid’ was used by the early Muslims for all places of worship, of all religions and not exclusively for a place of worship for Muslims.
By Morafi :
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
(Romeo & Juliet)
Four hundred years ago when the great William Shakespeare penned these words, one wonders whether he could have imagined how wrong he would be. Listen carefully and one can hear the echoes of chants from the shores of Pakistan.
“It’s all in the name – stupid!”
Recently a new debate has arisen on the twitterverse – when is a ‘mosque’ not a mosque?
Five times a day worshipers attend congregational prayers, facing the Ka’aba in Mecca. The leader of the congregation stands in front and recites the prayers that were recited by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) over 1400 years ago. The worshipers claim to be Muslims, praying in their ‘mosque’. However, according to the law of the land, these worshipers cannot be called ‘Muslims’ and their place of worship cannot be called a ‘Mosque’.
This is nothing new; the sad story actually starts as far back as 1974, when the state took it upon itself to provide a considered and well reflected pronouncement on the actual definition of who exactly is a Muslim and who is not. One would have thought that the National Assembly, which had been given this auspicious task, would have consulted the Holy Scriptures and sayings of the founder of the faith. After all, who would know better? Sadly that was not the case. Neither did the National Assembly have the foresight to study the findings of a commission, that had been set up twenty years earlier, to understand the issues surrounding exactly – what’s in a name.
The Munir Commission Report concluded that no two sects could agree on the definition of a Muslim, each one considering the other Kafir. However, the distinguished members of the National Assembly disagreed and defined who was to be considered Muslim and who non-Muslim. September 7th 1974 saw an entire community of 4million Ahmadis being excommunicated.