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Masjid (mosque) etiquette and rules

Those who frequent and maintain the mosques of Allah (swt)
Almighty Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur'an:

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Only those shall maintain Allah's mosques, who believe in Allah and Last Day, and establish prayer and give zakat, and fear no one except Allah. They, hopefully, will be among the guided. (9:18)
Only Muslims can enter the mosque. Mu'minin are requested to ensure that all cleaning, repairs and maintenance inside the mosque be done by Muslims only. When inviting non-Muslims to the Centre for marriage and funeral ceremonies or during any other occasion, care should be taken to accommodate them outside the mosque such as in the Imambargha, adjacent rooms and foyers.

Why should we visit mosques often?
Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has advised:

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You are advised to visit mosques (often) for these are God's houses on the earth.

Benefits of saying congregation prayers in mosques
Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) said that the Noble Prophet (S) has said:

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He who walks to the mosque seeking the congregational (prayers), for every step he takes he receives seventy thousand good deeds, and his rank is raised accordingly. This status continues even after his death, for Allah appoints seventy thousand angels who would pray for him in his grave, give him good tidings, accompany him in his loneliness and plead for forgiveness for him till he his raised (from the grave).

Preparing to leave for the mosque
1. When leaving your home, work or business, go toward the mosque with eagerness and enthusiasm for you would be meeting fellow believers who have come to worship Allah.
2. Demonstrate your eagerness by wearing perfumed, good and neat clothes.
3. Ensure that your body and clothes are all pure and clean (tahir/pak). Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) says: One who goes to the mosque with (physical & spiritual) purity, Allah purifies this person from sins and includes him/her from the pilgrims of the mosque.
4. Do not carry any unclean & impure items (najasat) in your pockets to the mosque.
5. If you have eaten garlic, onions, etc do not go to the mosque, until the odor from your mouth has vanished.
6. It is forbidden for the one who is in the state of janabat and haydh to enter the mosque. Only after having performed the required ghusl (major ablution) can such a person enter the mosque. Sisters who are in the state istihadha can enter the mosque for prayers or otherwise. (For detailed rules on these please refer to books on Islamic Laws)

Entering the Center and then heading towards the mosque
1. At the first entrance of the Center, you would find the following verses from the Holy Qur'an. Read these with understanding and enter the precincts under Divine safety:

ٰ .

Bismilaahir Rahmaanir Raheem. Udkhuloohaa bi-salaamin aaminin; fallaahu khayrun haafizaa, wa-huwa arhamur raahimeen.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Enter it with peace and safety; for Allah is the best of protectors and the most merciful of the merciful ones. (Holy Qur'an 15:46 & 12:64)
2. Use the right foot to enter the Center, reciting the following Du'a:
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Allaahumma'ftah lanaa baaba rahmatika waj`alnaa min 'ammari masaajidika, jalla thanaa'u wajhik.
O Allah, open for us the doors of Your mercy and make us amongst those who frequent Your mosques. Exalted is the praise of Your countenance.
Have a quick look at the poster containing Rules and Etiquette of Mosque hanging near the entrance of the mosque and inside the mosque.
3. Please switch off or mute your cell/mobile phone. Experience has shown that phone rings irritate other worshippers and can sometime take away the concentration of worshippers including that of the imam.

Entering and being inside the Mosque
1. At the door of the mosque, recite this Du'a taught by Imam Hasan b. 'Ali al-Mujtaba (as):

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Ilaahi dhayfuka bibaabik, yaa Muhsinu qad ataakal-musee', fatajaawaz `an qabihi maa `indee bijameeli maa `indak, yaa kareem.
My God, Your guest is at Your door. O the All-Beneficent, the sinner has come to You; so overlook what is ugly with me with that which is beautiful with You. O the All-Generous.
2. Enter the mosque with humility and submissiveness for it is the house of Allah (swt) frequented by angels and believers.
3. It is forbidden to bring any inherently impure (najisul-`ayn) things into a mosque. Therefore, clothes containing blood, urine, semen, flesh of a dog or swine, etc. cannot be worn or carried when entering a mosque.
5. Greet the believers and angels with the best of greetings and a smiling face. Please note that if the believers are engaged in the Salat, it is not advisable to greet them.
6. Recite two rak'at prayer as a gesture of greeting and respect to the mosque.
(S). While in the mosque keep your focus on none other than Allah (swt) , as He says in the Qur'an:

Surely the mosques are for Allah (alone); so do not pray to anyone with Allah. (72:18)
8. Keep the mosque clean, tidy and fragranced.
9. Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has recommended that we say many prayers and recite many supplications in mosques:
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10. Sending Salawat on Prophet Muhammad (S) and his family (as) is the most effective supplication that the Muslims are blessed with.
11. Spend as much time in the mosque as possible as the Noble Prophet (S) said to Abu Dharr: As long as you are seated in the mosque, for every breath you take Allah will give you a rank in the paradise and the angels are praying for you.
12. It is recommended to say various prayers at different places or sites within the mosque. Therefore, for e.g., say Maghrib Salat at one place, nafilah of Maghrib at another place, and 'Isha prayers at yet another place. Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has stated: Say your prayers in the mosques at different sites, for every site would witness for the person saying prayers on the Day of Resurrection.
13. Ensure not to contaminate any part of the mosque, for it is forbidden (haram) to do so and goes against the sanctity of the mosque.
14. If any part of the mosque is contaminated it is obligatory for all those present and those who have the knowledge of it to immediately purify it (make it tahir/pak).
15. When bringing young children who cannot discern right from the wrong, into the mosque, ensure that they are under your continuous care - both for the respect of the mosque and for those present in it.
16. When inside the mosque, you are a guest of Allah (swt) . Additionally, you are in the presence of angels and believers. Beautify the environment with continuous remembrance of Allah (swt) and pleading for His forgiveness (Istighfar).
17. Avoid worldly talks, discussion and recitations (e.g. non-religious poetry) while you are inside the mosque.
18. Carrying out business transactions in the mosque is abhorrent (makruh).
19. Playing board or computer games, hide and seek, or any sport in the mosque is abhorrent (makruh).
20. Raising one's voice for reciting or talking in the mosque is detestable. Of course reciting adhan, du'a, etc. for congregation is exempt from this rule.
21. When you take an item for use, (e.g. Holy Qur'an, book of Du'a, prostrating tablet (turbah/mohr) take care of it and return it to its original place (e.g. book case).
22. Do not remove or take away anything belonging to the mosque. If you need to borrow an item temporarily then ensure that you have sought permission from the trustee or a keeper of the Center.
When exiting the mosque, step out with the left foot and recite the following supplication:
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Bismillah. Allaahumma Salli 'Ala Muhammadin wa Aali Muhammad. Fagh-fir dhunoobe waf-tah abwaaba fadhlik.
(I exit) In the Name of Allah. O' Allah! send Your prayers upon Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and forgive my sins and open the doors of Your grace (to me).
All praise belongs solely to Allah, the Lord of the Universe.

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