What is a Masjid?

By Mufti Muhammad Kadwa
Posted: 11 Safar 1424, 13 April 2003


Q.) We need the following clarification

What is a masjid in light of the of Qur'an and Hadith and What are the (necessary) conditions for a premises to be a masjid?

Are there any difference of opinion among the Islamic Scholars regarding the definition of a mMasjid ? According to Hanfi school of Jurisprudence, a masjid must be Waqf (pious endowment) to the community and once a land is declared as a masjid it must not be moved, sold or changed to other purpose. Do all Islamic scholars agree with this interpretation?

A leased (rented) property in a non-Muslim land, has been used for past 10 years as a prayer facility (Musallah) and it offers arrangements for five time daily salat with jamat, Friday and taraweeh prayer and a madrassa for children (and also communtiy is trying very hard to acquire a suitable property to establish a permanent masjid and nearest masjid is about 10 kilometre away ). May it be called a masjid? If not, what would be the difference in (virtue) merit by performing salat with Jamat in either places. [Siddique Katiya]

A.) 1. A plot of land or building either donated by the owner or purchased by the community for the specific use of a Masjid when salat starts to take place therein.

2. Once a building or land is declared a masjid, it falls under the category of waqf and may not be moved, sold or treated otherwise.

3. The leased property in the proposed question is not declared a masjid. It will be referred to merely as a musalla. The salat performed in a masjid far exceeds the salat of a musalla as far as the rewards and merits are concerned. However, it is not incumbent on the community to go to the masjid situated 10 kms away as it would be impractical to go there so frequently. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best