The Office of the Supreme Leader

Practical Laws of Islam

  • Rules of Taqlīd
  • Rules on Purity
  • Prayer
    • Importance and Conditions of Prayer
    • Prayer Times
    • Qiblah
    • The Place of Praying
    • Rules of a Masjid
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      Rules of a Masjid
      Q 387: Given that performing prayers in the neighboring masjid is mustaḥabb, is there any problem in leaving the neighboring masjid in order to go to the jāmi‘ masjid of the city to perform congregational prayer?
      A: There is no problem if one abstains from going to the local masjid in order to attend the congregational prayer of another masjid, particularly the jāmi‘ masjid of the city.
      Q 388: What is the rule with regard to performing prayers in a masjid which some people who participated in its construction claim that they built for themselves and their tribe?
      A: After being built as a masjid it does not belong to a specific nationality, group, tribe, or individuals, and it is permissible for all Muslims to make use of it.
      Q 389: Is it more preferable for women to perform prayer in a masjid or at home?
      A: The merits of performing prayer in a masjid are not restricted to men.
      Q 390: At present, there is a short wall between Masjid al-Ḥarām and the passage between Safā and Marwah. This wall measures half a meter high and one meter wide and is shared by both the Masjid and the passage of sa‘y. Could women sit on this wall during their period when it is not permissible for them to enter Masjid al-Ḥarām?
      A: There is no problem in programs like educational classes if they are not against the dignity of the masjid nor disturb holding the congregational prayers and the praying persons.
      Q 391: Is one permitted to do sports exercises or sleep in a local masjid? What is the rule of doing so in other masjids?
      A: A masjid is not a place of sport exercises and any practice incompatible with its standing and prestige should be avoided. Also sleeping inside a masjid is makrūh.
      Q 392: Is it permissible to use the yard of a masjid for providing youngsters with intellectual, cultural, ideological and military (through military lessons) information? And what is the shar‘ī rule of practicing these actions in the portico of a masjid (taking into account the shortage of places designated for such purposes)?
      A: There is no problem with activities such as educational classes, if they do not conflict with the dignity of the masjid and do not disturb the congregational prayer and the worshipers.
      Q 393: In some areas, particularly in villages, people hold wedding ceremonies in masjids. That is, they perform all celebrations involving dance and music at home, but serve lunch or dinner in the masjid. Does Islamic law permit this?
      A: There is no problem, in itself, in serving food to guests in a masjid.
      Q 394: A cooperative builds residential quarters and it is initially agreed upon that those areas include public places such as masjids. Now that residential units are prepared and have been submitted to the company’s shareholders, could some of them breach their agreement by saying that they are not content with building the masjid?
      A: If the company builds the masjid upon obtaining the agreement of all of its members and the masjid is constructed and endowed, the withdrawal of some members from the previous agreement will have no effect. If, however, their change of mind occurs prior to the realization of the masjid’s endowment, construction of the masjid using members money on the land which belongs to all members without their consent will be impermissible unless it is stated as a condition in a binding contract that a part of the land is allocated for the construction of the masjid and the members have accepted this condition. In such a case, they have no right to change their minds and their withdrawal will have no effect.
      Q 396: In order to combat the non-Islamic cultural invasion, we gathered about 30 students from elementary and high schools in the form of song bands in the masjid. The members of these bands participate in classes on the Qur’an, the practical laws of Islam, and Islamic ethics appropriate to their age and intellectual level. What is the rule regarding such activities? What is your ruling on playing a musical instrument called organ by this band? And what is the rule of playing this instrument in the masjid while observing shar‘ī standards?
      A: There is no problem in having classes on Qur’an, practical laws of Islam, Islamic ethics and practicing religious and revolutionary songs in a masjid. But it is obligatory to show appropriate respect for the status, sacredness, and position of the masjid. One should avoid actions that contradict the dignity of the masjid, and it is not permissible to disturb the praying persons.


      Q 397: Is there any objection, according to Islamic law, to playing cheerful music in the masjid on the occasion of the birthdays of the Infallible Imams (a.)?
      A: The masjid has obviously a distinguished shar‘ī status. Therefore, if playing music is not appropriate to its status; it will be ḥarām even if the music being played is ḥalāl.
      Q 398: When is it permissible to use loudspeakers of a masjid to broadcast programs outside? And what is the ruling with respect to playing Qur’anic cassettes and revolutionary songs prior to adhān?
      A: There is no problem in relaying the recitation of the Holy Qur’an over the loudspeaker for a few minutes prior to adhān when it does not cause discomfort and disturbance for neighbors and the residents of the area.
      Q 399: How do you define a jāmi‘ masjid?
      A: It is a masjid built in the city for the gathering of most of the residents of that city without being specific for a particular tribe or group of people.
      Q 400: A roofed section of a masjid has been left vacant and no prayers have been performed there for the last thirty years. Now, it has become a ruin and a part of it is used as storage. Recently, some repairs have been done in this masjid by the Basīj Forces that have been headquartered in its roofed section since approximately 15 years ago. The reason for these repairs was the inappropriate condition of the building, especially that the roof was about to fall. Since the brothers in the Basīj Forces were unaware of the rules of masjid, and those who knew the rules did not guide them, the brothers built a number of rooms in a part of this section spending large amounts of money on the project. Now that construction operations are nearly completed, we would be grateful if you clarify the shar‘ī rule concerning the following matters:
      i. Assuming that those in charge of this project and those supervising it were unaware of the rule, are they considered liable, according to shar‘, for the expenditures spent out of the public assets of Muslims? And are they sinners or not?
      ii. Given that the expenditures were obtained from the public assets of Muslims, would you allow — as long as the masjid does not need this part and no prayers is performed there — that these rooms are used, in full compliance with shar‘ī rules and restrictions concerning a masjid, for educational purposes like teaching the Holy Qur’an and practical laws, and for other affairs of the masjid? Or is it obligatory to destroy those rooms?
      A: It is obligatory to restore the roofed part of the masjid to its original condition by demolishing the rooms that were built in it. As regards the expenditures, it is not certain whether anyone is responsible for them as long as there was no extravagance, wastefulness, wantonness and negligence. There is no problem in using the roofed section of the masjid for holding classes of the Holy Qur’an, laws, and Islamic theology and engaging in other religious ceremonies as long as such activities do not disturb those who are performing prayers and are held under the supervision of the imam of the masjid. The imam, the Basīj Forces, and other persons in charge of the masjid should cooperate to preserve the attendance of Basīj Forces in the masjid as well as to prevent any disorder in its worship related duties such as prayers, etc.
      Q 401: Several masjids are located inside the area covered by a road-widening project. Therefore, it is necessary to demolish some of these masjids completely and some others partially in order to facilitate the traffic of motor vehicles. Please clarify your esteemed opinion in this regard.
      A: It is not permissible to demolish a masjid or a part of it except when there is a specific advantage which cannot be neglected and ignored.
      Q 402: Is it permissible for people to make personal use of a small quantity of a masjid’s water, which is specifically there for performing wuḍū’. For example, could shopkeepers use it for drinking cold water, making tea, or for their cars, given that the masjid has no single endower who can prevent people from doing so?
      A: If it is not known that the masjid’s water is endowed to be used for wuḍū’ only by those who want to perform prayer, and in the masjid’s area the neighbors and passers-by usually use such water, there will be no problem with it, although observing caution in this regard is preferred.
      Q 403: There is a masjid near a graveyard. When some believers come to pay a visit to the graves of their dead, they take water from the masjid to pour over the gravestones. We do not know whether this water has been endowed for the masjid or may be subject to general use. And assuming that we know that the water is not endowed for the masjid, and we do not know whether or not it is allocated for use in wuḍū’ and toilet uses, is it permissible to use the water in the said way?
      A: There will be no problem in taking water from the masjid for pouring over the gravestones located outside if it is commonly practiced, nobody objects to doing that, and there is no evidence suggesting that the endowment was specifically for wuḍū’ and purification only.
      Q 404: Is the permission of the authorized religious authority or his attorney required when a masjid needs to be repaired?
      A: For the voluntary repair of a masjid — spending one’s own money or the money of charitable contributors — there is no need to acquire any permission from the authorized religious authority.
      Q 405: Is it permissible for me to make a will that I should be buried in the local masjid to which I have made many contributions? That is because I would like to be buried in that masjid, whether inside or in its yard.
      A: If the burial of a dead is not excepted at the time of pronouncing the formula of the endowment, it is not permissible to bury anybody there, and therefore, your will in this regard has no validity.
      Q 406: A masjid was constructed about 20 years ago and decorated with the lovely name of Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, (may Allah hasten his reappearance). Given that it is not known whether this name was mentioned in the endowment formula of the masjid, what is the rule of changing the masjid’s name from ‘Ṣāḥib al-Zamān’ to jāmi‘ masjid?
      A: There is no problem in the mere change of the masjid’s name.
      Q 407: Some masjids have been equipped with electricity and air conditioners by using nadhr money and believers’ gifts to these masjids. Whenever one of the neighboring residents dies, ceremonies for reciting the Fātiḥah are held for him in the masjid and the masjid’s electricity and air conditioning system are used during the service but the organizers do not pay anything towards the expenses of such usage. Is this permissible according to Islamic law?
      A: The permissibility of using the facilities of the masjid for special mourning events and the like is dependent on the conditions of the endowment or donation of those facilities as nadhr for the masjid.
      Q 408: There is a newly built masjid in a village (on land where the old masjid stood). Due to the lack of knowledge, a room was constructed for making tea in a corner of this masjid, the land of which was a part of the old masjid. Furthermore, a library was built on the rooftop of the terrace that exists inside the masjid. Please express your honor’s opinion on this matter and also the completion of, and how to use, the interior half of the building?
      A: Building a tearoom on the land of the old masjid is not correct and it is obligatory to restore the place to its previous status of being a masjid. The same rule applies to both the rooftop of the masjid and the masjid itself and all rules and shar‘ī effects pertaining to the masjid also apply to its rooftop. However, there will be no problem in setting up bookcases there and gathering there for the purpose of reading books if such things do not disturb praying persons.
      Q 409: In a village, there is a masjid which is going to be ruined. Since this masjid does not obstruct any path or route, there is no justification for demolishing it. Is it permissible to demolish this masjid completely? Besides, this masjid has certain equipments and properties. To whom should these things be given?
      A: It is not permissible to demolish and destroy a masjid. Generally speaking, a masjid does not cease to be a masjid merely due to demolishing it. As for the assets of the masjid, if there is no need for using them there, there is no problem in transferring them to other masjids so that they are used.
      Q 408: Is it permissible, according to Islamic law, to build a museum in a corner of the hall of the masjid without interfering with the masjid’s building itself, just like a library that constitutes a part of the masjid’s construction at the time being?
      A: It is not permissible to build a museum or a library in a corner of the masjid’s hall if it is against the specifications of the endowment of the masjid’s hall, or results in a change in the masjid’s building. It is preferred that you build another place adjacent to the masjid for the said purpose.


      Q 410: Is it permissible, according to Islamic law, to build a museum in a corner of the hall of the masjid without any change in the masjid’s building itself, just like a library that constitutes a part of the masjid’s construction nowadays?
      A: It is not permissible to build a museum or a library in a corner of the masjid’s hall if it is against the specifications of the endowment of the masjid’s hall, or results in a change in the masjid’s building. It is preferred that you build another place adjacent to the masjid for the said purpose.
      Q 411: There is an endowed place where a masjid, a school for Islamic studies, and a library are built and all of them are currently operational. This place is a part of the map of the places that are to be demolished by the municipality. How could we cooperate with the municipality for the destruction of these places and obtain clearance from them to build better places?
      A: If the municipality demolishes them and compensates for them, there is no objection to it. However, the very demolishing of an endowed masjid or school is not permissible unless there is a more significant interest that could not be overlooked.
      Q 412: In order to enlarge a masjid here, it has become necessary to cut down some of the trees which exist in its yard. Given that the masjid’s yard is quite big and it has numerous trees, is it permissible to do so?
      A: There is no problem in it if cutting the trees is not considered an alteration in the endowment.
      Q 413: What is the ruling with regards to the land that was originally a part of the roofed section of a masjid but was altered to a street after the masjid was included in the municipality’s development plan and a part of it was demolished due to necessity?
      A: The rules for masjids do not apply to it if the probability of the restoration of the land to its original status of a masjid is zero.
      Q 414: There was a masjid that had been destroyed and its traces are completely effaced or another building has been built in its place and there is no hope that the building of the masjid will be restored, for example, all surrounding buildings are ruined and the people have moved to another area. Is the act of making this place najis ḥarām and is purifying it obligatory?
      A: In the given question, it is not ḥarām to make this place najis, although it is a caution not to make it najis.
      Q 415: I have been conducting congregational prayers at a masjid for a while having no information about the details of the masjid’s endowment. Given that this masjid is presently facing numerous financial difficulties, is it permissible to rent out its basement to do something that fits the masjid’s status?
      A: There is no problem in it if the title of ‘masjid’ does not apply to the basement, the basement is not considered a part of the facilities that the masjid needs, and it is not endowed to be utilized itself.
      Q 416: The masjid does not have any properties through which its affairs could be run. The supervisory board has proposed digging a basement under the roofed section of the masjid in order to build a small factory and facilities for public utilities for the service of the masjid. Is this permissible?
      A: It is not permissible to dig a basement under the roofed section in order to set up a small factory or the like.
      Q 417: In general, is it permissible for non-Muslims enter Muslims’ masjids even for the purpose of visiting ancient monuments?
      A: According to shar‘, they should not enter Masjid al-Ḥarām. If their entrance to other masjids is considered to entail disgrace and disrespect to the sanctity of the masjid, it is, also impermissible; in general, they should not enter any masjid.
      Q 418: Is it permissible to perform prayers in a masjid built by non-Muslims?
      A: There is no objection to performing prayers in it.
      Q 419: Is it permissible to accept the money or other kinds of donations offered by non-Muslims for building a masjid?
      A: There is no objection to it.
      Q 420: What is the duty of someone who enters a masjid at night, sleeps there, and has a nocturnal emission but cannot leave the masjid after he wakes up?
      A: If there is no way that he can leave the masjid and go to somewhere else, it is obligatory for him to perform tayammum at once which makes it permissible for him to remain in the masjid.
    • Rules Regarding Other Religious Places
    • Clothes of the Praying Person
    • Wearing and Using Gold and Silver
    • Adhān and Iqāmah
    • Recitation [of the Fātiḥah and the Other Chapter] and its Rules
    • Dhikr of Prayer
    • Rules of Prostration
    • Things that Invalidate Prayer
    • Rules of Greeting in Prayers
    • Doubt in Prayers
    • Qaḍā’ Prayer
    • Qaḍā’ Prayers of the Parents
    • Congregational Prayers
    • Rule of Incorrect Recitation by a Congregational Prayer Imam
    • Congregational Prayer Led by a Person Lacking a Body Part
    • Women’s Attendance in Congregational Prayer
    • Performing Congregational Prayer behind Sunnīs
    • Friday Prayer
    • The Two ‘Īd Prayers
    • A Traveler’s Prayer
    • Someone for Whom Traveling Is a Job or a Preliminary for the Job
    • Rule of Students
    • Intent of Traveling the Shar‘ī Distance and Staying for Ten Days
    • Tarakhkhuṣ Limit
    • A Travel for the Purposes of Committing a Sin
    • Rules Regarding the Watan
    • Wife’s and Children’s Following as far as Watan Is Concerned
    • Rules of Large Cities
    • Prayer Performed by Hiring
    • Āyāt Prayer
    • Nāfilahs
    • Miscellaneous Issues of Prayers
  • Fasting
  • Khums
  • Jihad
  • Enjoining the Good and Forbidding Evil
  • Ḥarām Gains
  • Chess and Gambling Instruments
  • Music and Ghinā’
  • Dancing
  • Clapping
  • Non-maḥrams’ Pictures and Films
  • Satellite Television Equipment
  • Theatre and Cinema
  • Painting and Sculpture
  • Magic, Conjuring, and Evocation of Spirits and Jinn
  • Hypnosis
  • Lottery
  • Bribery
  • Medical Issues
  • Teaching, Learning and Their Proprieties
  • Copyrights
  • Dealing with non-Muslims
  • Working for Oppressive States
  • Rules on Clothing and Conspicuous ones
  • Treating the West
  • Smoking and Narcotics
  • Shaving the Beard
  • Attending Gatherings of Debauchery
  • Writing Supplications and Istikhārah
  • Religious Events
  • Hoarding and Extravagance
  • Buying and Selling
  • Miscellaneous Issues in Business
  • Rules Concerning Ribā
  • Right of Pre-emption
  • Hiring, Renting, and Lease
  • Surety
  • Pawning and Mortgaging
  • Partnership
  • Presents and Gifts
  • Debt and Loan
  • Ṣulḥ
  • Power of Attorney
  • Mustaḥabb Alms
  • Deposits and Loaned Properties
  • Leaving a Will
  • Usurpation
  • Placement under Guardianship and Signs of Maturity
  • Silent Partnership
  • Banking
  • State Property
  • Endowments
  • Rules Concerning Graveyards
  • Glossary
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