Recently, a widely published study claimed that mosques and Islamic schools are filled with extremist literature. For Muslims who have made significant contribution to society through faith-based charitable drives such as A Million Pounds of Food or countless Annual Blood Donation drives and city clean-ups across Canada, it is very disturbing and insulting news.
Mosques are primarily a place for worship especially the congregational prayers. Besides prayers it has major role of reforming, harmonizing and educating people. In modern terms mosque is like a community center where many types of community services can be rendered. However mosques are not for business, or for any type of criminal or illegal activities. All immoral acts are forbidden in mosques. Mosques are not for material gains.
From the traditions of the Holy Prophet (Peace be on him) we come to know about many useful and communal functions of any mosque:
Open to all for Prayers
A mosque is open to all for worship; men and women, travelers or residents. Even though some mosques do not allow women to pray in mosques, the Holy Prophet did not command so. According to Hadith “Do not prevent the maids of Allah from visiting the houses of Allah (the mosques).” (Ibn Majah)
Sometime small children are forbidden to enter mosques. That is contrary to the tradition of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
Religious Education and schooling
The illiterate used to learn how to read and write in the mosque of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Muslims developed their whole Islamic civilization based on education they got in the mosques
A Place for Socialization
The praying community used to connect in the mosque. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would inquire about someone missing for a day or two. He would ask to find out if the person was in need of help or he was well.
A Place for knowing about Islam (Tabligh)
There are several authentic hadiths that demonstrate that the mosque of the Prophet was the usual place where non-Muslims could come to get more knowledge about Islam.
A Place for Celebration
Many announcements related to birth, death, wedding, ill health and request for prayers are made in mosques. All Islamic events such as Eid and Ramadan are celebrated in mosques by holding activities related to the event.
A Place for Meetings and Deliberation
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to gather his companions in the mosque to discuss important matters and come up with decisions about them.