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THE MASJID (MOSQUE) Basics & Management

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Mosque: Basics and Management

Basics & Management
Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf
Dr Lukman AbdurRaheem, MNIM


Mosque: Basics and Management

Copyright (C) District Global Concept

Second Edition (2013)

D i s t r i c t G l o b a l C on c e p t

First Published and Printed in Nigeria

Muharram, 1425 (March, 2004) by Salsabil Publishers

Al l R i ght s R eserved. Apart from any fair dealing for

the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review,
no part of this book may be r e p r o d u c e d , stored in any
retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means
electronic, mechanical, photocopying and recording without
the prior consent of the author or publisher.

Mosque: Basics and Management

All Praise is due to Allah, so we praise Him, and seek His
pardon and we turn to Him. We seek refuge with Allah from
the evils of ourselves and from the evil consequences of our
deeds. Whom Allah guides aright there is none to lead him
astray. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the
One, having no partner with Him. His is the sovereignty and
to Him is due all praise. He grants life and causes death and
is powerful over everything. This book is written in memory
of our beloved Muslim brothers who lived a fulfilled life of
activism and left indelible marks on the path of Islamic
propagation but have since answered the call of Allah.
Notable among them are AbdurRauf Akinteye, Musa
Akoshile, Abdul-Jelil Muhammad-Raji, AbdulHakeem
Popoola, Muhammad-Jamiu Adeyemi (MJ), Shua’ib
AbdulMu'min, Ismail Olowo, Nurudeen Animation,
AbdurRasaq Jumu’ah and host of others, too numerous to
mention. May Allah accept them as obedient servants and
grant them Jannat al-Firdaus, Amin. Allah counsels:
‫سو َل فَأ ُ ْولَـئِكَ َم َع هالذِينَ أ َ ْن َع َم ه‬
َ‫اَّللُ َعلَ ْي ِهم ِمنَ ال هنبِ ِيين‬ ُ ‫الر‬‫اَّللَ َو ه‬‫َو َمن ي ُِطعِ ه‬
َ‫ض ُل ِمن‬ ُ
ْ ‫ ذلِكَ ْال َف‬- ً ‫سنَ أولَـئِكَ َرفِيقا‬ ُ ‫صـ ِل ِحينَ َو َح‬‫آء َوال ه‬ِ َ‫ش َهد‬ ُّ ‫الصدِيقِينَ َوال‬ِ ‫َو‬
ً ‫اَّللِ َع ِليما‬
‫اَّللِ َو َكفَى ِب ه‬
“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, they will be
in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His
grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the martyrs, and the
righteous. And how excellent these companions are! Such
is the bounty from Allah, and Allah is sufficient as All-
Knower.” Q4:69

We pray Allah admit them and us to His abode, Amin.

Dr. Tajudeen Olalekan Yusuf
Imam Luqman Ishola AbdurRaheem MNIM
Mosque: Basics and Management

Our unalloyed thanks and gratitude go to Almighty Allah
who has given us the strength and time to write this book for
the guidance of humanity. May He accept it from us as act of

We sincerely appreciate the priceless assistance rendered by

Digital Concept for accepting to reprint this book for wider
dissemination of the message of Allah. We also appreciate the
moral support and encouragement from all brothers-in-Islam
in the course of reproducing this book.

In particular, we thank Brother Abdul Kareem AbdulQadr for

his valuable critique of the manuscript, while led to addition of
several ideas and graphics.

To all brothers who gave encouraging words and valuable

suggestions, we say Jazakumullahu Khairan.

The Authors
November, 2013 (Muharram 1435 AH).

Mosque: Basics and Management

Chapter One: AL-Masjid and Its Origin
Chapter Two: Towards Establishing a Masjid
Chapter Three: The Post of an Imam
Chapter Four: Islam, Masjid and Management
Chapter Five: Managing the Sermon on Friday
Chapter Six: Masjid and the Business World
Chapter Seven: Masjid as A Platform For Du’a
Chapter Eight: Imam, Masjid & Zakat System

Mosque: Basics and Management

All praise is due to Allah (May He Be Exalted). May His
peace and blessings be upon our leader, Prophet Muhammad
(SAW), his household, his companions and those who
follow his path till the day of judgement. This book - The
Masjid (Mosque): Basics & Management is a welcome
piece of work at this point in time. Without an iota of doubt the
Mosque is about the most important institution in Islam.
When the Prophet(SAW) arrived in Madinah, the first
assignment was to erect his mosque which served as a
rallying point for the new Ummah and provided shelter for
the less privileged members (Ahlu Suffah). It also served as
centres of knowledge, learning, training and spiritual
development. It was also the Administrative block from
which all issues affecting the Muslim Ummah were
discussed and finalised. The first mosque built by the
Prophet (SAW) and his companions achieved all the aims
and objectives for which it was built. The Prophetic mosque
produced scholars, saints, soldiers, Administrators et cetera,
the likes of which no other institution has ever produced yet
it was a simple building with sand as carpets and palm tree
leafs as roof.
Day-by-day, mosques are becoming more and more
sophisticated in term of structure, architectural designs,
roofing, et cetera, yet the most well-known function of the
mosque - Spiritual development is deluding the worshippers.
Definitely, something then must be wrong. It seems to me
that we have deserted the mosque though not physically but
spiritually. Our desertion is due to ignorance. A large number
of Muslims do not know the purpose which the mosque is
Mosque: Basics and Management

meant to serve either for us as an Ummah or for the

individual Muslims. An elite Muslim once defined the
mosque (ignorantly?) as a place where "you rush in and rush
out" i.e. just say your prayers and go out. Whereas to some
others, the mosque has become a place for argument, disputes,
strives, struggle for posts and tribal tendencies. This book is
meant to correct the erroneous perception of the mosque by
the Muslims. The authors have tried and succeeded in
broadening our knowledge on what the mosque ought to be.
They have also applied modern knowledge and theories of
management to the mosque in charting a new course for the
mosque and the Ummah in general.
Having the opportunity of going through this book I feel
happy and grateful to Allah for directing the attention of the
Authors to this work. The Muslim Ummah has been in dare
need of it most especially at a time when humanity is in
dare need of the Revival of the Muslim Ummah to provide
the much needed direction for the world.
The important role of the mosque in this direction cannot be
overemphasised. The Authors of course need no
introduction as the Arab adage says "A letter is known by
the address it bears." Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf is a well-known
lecturer, an erudite Islamic scholar, an Imam, a caller to
Islam (Da’iyah and a Teacher), while Imam Luqman
AbdurRaheem is a lecturer, an astute Administrator, a
manager and a caller to the path of Allah. It is my fervent
prayer that this book will not only find a place on the shelf of
every Muslim but also a place in their heart and application
in their lives. May Allah reward the Authors abundantly
increase them in knowledge and accept this work as an act of
Mosque: Basics and Management

Lecturer, Dept. of Science Education & Chief Imam

Federal College of Education (Technical) Akoka, Lagos
The Clarion Call
Undoubtedly, the Muslims are worthy vicegerents of Allah
on earth because they are given the mandate to lead, to
set the pace for others to emulate. To be able carry out
these noble duties, the Muslim community needs to put in
place viable programmes, institutions and projects that
will stand the test of time. It is however pathetic and
disturbing that Muslim community for a very long time
have not been able to live up to expectation judging by its
moribund institutions of which the Masjid is one. The
causes of this sorry state are diverse and complex,
but the major one is lack of management acumen and
inability of Imams and Masjid officials to understand and
cope with the dynamics of this age. The problem of
administrative incompetence has eroded the integrity of
Muslim clerics and has further subject them to ridicule at
enlightened fora like conferences, TV/Radio programmes,
naming ceremonies, funerals, graduation ceremonies and
marriages. This virus has spread to the mosques, and as
such, has turned the mosques to abodes of
arguments, rifts and conflicts. In fact, many of the
mosques we see around in the neighbourhood sprang up
as a result of rifts and disagreements with the leadership
and the style of management adopted by some clerics and

In order to bring the Masjid to limelight of the 21st

century, there is the dire need for better coordination
Mosque: Basics and Management

and organised efforts from Islamic workers and

professionals. The Masjid is a citadel of learning and a
veritable institution for the resurgence of Islam.
Revival of the roles of the Masjid is a clarion call,
which all Muslims must respond to, if the heritage of
our early predecessors must be sustained and
projected at this auspicious moment. The mosque was
the first communal project embarked upon by the Leader
of Mankind, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in his quest
to chart the course for the attainment of man's destiny.
Hence, we must therefore borrow a leaf from his example,
which suffices for us, for success and victory in this world
and the next. May Allah strengthen His people and bless
their efforts.

The Masjid: A Redefinition

Modern Muslims have diverse understanding on the
meaning of a mosque, a situation that calls for redefinition
of the Masjid from the Qur’an and Hadith viewpoints.
Masjid is a place reserved and dedicated for the worship of
Allah and several acts of worship most pleasing to Him
like five daily prayers (Salat), recitation of the Glorious
Qur'an, reading of the Hadith, reflection or
meditation, lectures of different aspects of Islam,
counselling, relaxation and other praiseworthy actions
and inactions. According to Professor Abdel-Hady
Zakaryya Mohamed1, the Masjidis not a monolith, rather it
is “any place in which one can perform the acts of sujuud
(prostration), or acts of worship or devotion; a house of
prayer. A much larger place for prayers is called jaamh or
jamih (the congregational mosque), where the Friday

The Masjid, Yesterday and Today, p.3
Mosque: Basics and Management

prayers are performed; because it is a place where people

congregate for a certain period of time.”
The Masjid is one of the oldest institutions on earth, even
older than man himself. One of the favours of Allah (May
He be Exalted) conferred on Mankind is the grace of
making the whole earth a Mihrab (abode of worship),
where the Lord is celebrated day and night. All activities
in Islam revolve around the mosque and in the same vein
the civilisation of Islam is not complete except with the
Masjid. Allah says:
“The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that
at Bakka, full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of
beings.” Q3:96.
“And remember Abraham and Ismail raised the
foundations of the House (with this prayer): “Our Lord!
Accept (this service) from us: for Thou art the All-
Hearing, the All-Knowing.” Q2:127.

Abu Dhar (May Allah be pleased with him) once asked the
Prophet (Peace be upon him):
"Which is the oldest mosque on earth? The Prophet
(SAW) said: "The Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah)."
Abu Dhar (RA) asked again "which is the next oldest
mosque?" The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "The
al-Aqsa mosque (in Jerusalem).” He asked further "How
much time was there between the building of the two.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) answered "forty
years." Then he said, "Wherever you may be, at the
time of salah, you may pray, for the earth is a mosque.
(This is related by the group).
Jabir bin Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him)
also reported that the messenger of Allah (Peace be upon
Mosque: Basics and Management

him) said:
"...the earth has been made sacred and pure and a
mosque for me, so whenever the time of prayer comes
for anyone of you, he should pray wherever he is ... "
(Bukhari & Muslim).
In another hadith, Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri (May Allah be
pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon
him) said:
"The whole earth is a Masjid except the grave and the
toilet.” (At-Tirimidhi)
Allah (SWT) says:
"And verily the Masjid belongs to Allah; so call not on
anyone beside Allah." Q72:18
"...Wamasaajid (And mosques) wherein the name of Allah is
often commemorated...” Q22:40

It is clear from the verses above, that Masjid is central to

man's existence. All the Prophets of Allah built mosques or
its semblance for the spiritual wellbeing of their people. For
instance Ibrahim and Ismail (Peace be upon both) both laid
the foundation of what is today called Ka'bah; Isa (Peace be
upon him) Jesus Christ prayed with his followers in the
garden of Gethsemane, the same applied to Ezra or Uzair
(Peace be upon him). History noted that Sulayman (Peace
be upon him) built a great Masjid in Jerusalem called
Masjid al-Aqsa (Temple of Solomon) and Musa (Peace be
upon him) led his people in worship in the synagogues. The
celebrated Islamic scholar and sociologist, Ibn Khaldun
noted “city mosques are of two kinds, great spacious ones,
which are prepared for holiday prayers, and other minor
ones, which are restricted to one section of the population or
one quarter of the city and which are not for generally

Mosque: Basics and Management

attended prayers.”(AbdulHady, 2010). In other words, there

are small local Masajid for daily prayers and big community
mosques for ceremonial prayers like Eid-ul-Fitri, Eid-ul-
Adha and Salatul Jumu’ah.

In order to shape the future generations, the companions of

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) built several
Masajid to reform the people, teach them the message of
God and to serve as abodes of security, peace and
devotion. This explains why people seek refuge in the
House of God during wars, disasters and aggression because
it is an inviolable abode respected, sometimes, even by
aggressors. The Qur’an lends credence to this assertion.
Allah says:
‫سعَى فِى خ ََرابِ َهآ‬ َ ‫اَّللِ أَن يُ ْذك ََر ِفي َها ا ْس ُمهُ َو‬‫ـجدَ ه‬ ِ ‫س‬َ ‫ظلَ ُم ِم همن همنَ َع َم‬ْ َ ‫َو َم ْن أ‬
ٌ ‫أ ُ ْولَـئِكَ َما َكانَ لَ ُه ْم أَن َي ْد ُخلُوهَآ ِإاله خَآ ِئفِينَ لَ ُه ْم ِفى الدُّ ْن َيا ِخ ْز‬
‫ى َولَ ُه ْم ِفى‬
‫االٌّ ِخ َرةِ َعذَابٌ َع ِظي ٌم‬
“And who are more unjust than those who forbid that
Allah's Name be mentioned in Allah's Masajid and strive
for their ruin. It was not fitting that such should
themselves enter them (Allah's Masajid) except in fear.
For them there is disgrace in this world, and they will
have a great torment in the Hereafter.” Q2:114
‫صلًّى‬ ِ ‫َوإِ ْذ َجعَ ْلنَا ْال َبيْتَ َمثَابَةً ِللنه‬
َ ‫اس َوأَ ْمنا ً َوات ه ِخذُواْ ِمن همقَ ِام إِب َْره‬
َ ‫ِيم ُم‬
“And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka`bah
at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind and a place of
safety. And take people to the place of worship of
Ibrahim.” Q2:125
It is strictly reserved for acts of worship alone, Allah
ِ ‫ِيم َم َكانَ ْالبَ ْي‬
َ ‫ت أَن اله ت ُ ْش ِر ْك ِبى‬ ْ
ً ‫شيْئا‬ َ ‫َو ِإ ْذ بَ هوأنَا ِإلب َْره‬
Mosque: Basics and Management

“And (remember) when We showed Ibrahim the site of the

Sacred House (Ka`bah at Makkah) saying: "Associate not
anything (in worship) with Me...'' Q22:26

The Prophets of God before and after Ibrahim (Peace be

upon all) were commissioned and elevated to deliver the
message of God to mankind at different epochs of human
history. Authentic narrations of Prophet Muhammad (Peace
be upon him)) put their figure above 124,000. The glorious
Qur'an mentions 25 of them by name, namely: Adam, Nuh,
Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Ya'qub, Yusuf, Musa, Harun, Daud,
Shu'aib, Sulayman, Lut, Salih, Hud, Ilyas, Al-Yasau, Yahya,
Zakariya, Idris, Yunus, Dhu-Kifl, Ayub, Isa and Muhammad
(Peace be on them all).
All the Prophets of Allah left memorable legacies for
their communities, peoples and followers. They led
the people in prayers (salawat), thanksgiving, offerings,
adjudication and counselling in the Masjid, temples
and synagogues. Today, we can talk and boast of notable
mosques around the world like Masjid al-Aqsa, Masjid
al-Haram, Masjid an-Nabawi, Masjid al-Qiblatan,
Masjid al-Quba, Masjid al-Kufa, Masjid al-Uqba,
Masjid az-Zaytuna, Sixty Dome Masjid in Bangladesh
and several others beautiful Masajid across the globe.
Therefore, the priceless treasures left behind by the
Prophets and their Companions are the Masajid. It was on
this basis that Allah instructs that all Masajid must be
properly managed and cleansed. He counsels:

ُّ ‫لطآئِفِينَ َو ْالقَآئِ ِمينَ َو‬

ُّ ‫الر هك ِع ال‬
‫س ُجو ِد‬ ‫ى ِل ه‬ َ ‫َو‬
َ ِ‫ط ِه ْر بَ ْيت‬
"And sanctify My House (Masjid of Ka’bah) for those who
compass it round, or stand up or bow or prostrate
themselves in prayer." Q.22:26.
Mosque: Basics and Management

Masjid, Yesterday and Today

As pointed out earlier in this book, Masjid is a place
reserved for the worship of Allah; the location should be
clean and free from dirt, unpleasant odour and impurities. It
should be as simple as possible in order for it to serve the
traditional purpose. However, Islam is not against modern
structures, it allows the building of standard beautiful
Mosque for the Glorification of Allah.

Frontage of Masjid al-Aqsa

A brief comparison between Masajid of today and those of

yesteryears reveals very wide gap in terms of functions and
roles. In the past, the early Muslims placed emphasis on the
essence of the Masajid than its physical appearance;
whereas today, emphasis is on facade with disregard to
its essential roles. Thus, the key role of the mosque
becomes restricted to the observance of five daily prayers
and supplications on Sundays at Adhkar sessions.
Masjid was essentially part of life during the time of the
Prophet (Peace be upon him), his companions and the
Mosque: Basics and Management

foremost successors (Salaf as-Saliheen), but today it has

become isolated from life of the people under the pretext of
separating religion from temporal life; a clear imitation of
the non-Muslims. Government-sponsored preachers and
politicians with inimical motives take the centre stage in the
affairs of the mosques and posited that Imams have nothing
to do with politics, state matters or world events. However,
Islam is a comprehensive religion that combines spiritual
and temporal matters in perfect harmony.
Allah the Exalted Himself says:

َ‫َىءٍ َو ُهد ًَىو َرحْ َمةً َوبُ ْش َرى ِل ْل ُم ْس ِل ِمين‬

ْ ‫علَ ْي َك ْال ِكت َـ َبتِ ْب َيانً ِال ُك ِلش‬
َ ‫َون هَز ْلنَا‬
“We have revealed the Book (the Qur'an) to you as an
explanation of everything, guidance, a mercy, and good
news for the Muslims.” Q16:89

َ‫ش ْىءٍ ث ُ هم ِإلَى َر ِب ِه ْم يُحْ ش َُرون‬

َ ‫ب ِمن‬ ْ ‫هما فَ هر‬
ِ ‫طنَا فِى ال ِكت َـ‬
“We (Allah) have neglected nothing in the Book, and then
unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered.” (Q6:38)

Furthermore, the Masjid in the past served as a place

from which Muslim leaders launched the message of Islam
with its glittering civilisation to the whole world. Today's
Masjid has sunk into irrelevance, stagnation and antiquity.
Hardly do scholars utilise it for agenda-setting and strategic
thinking for the betterment of the Muslim Ummah.
The Masjid of yester-years was a modest structure built
with simplicity and sincerity. Its roof was made of the
branches of palm-trees. Its carpet was ordinary pebbles
and sand, yet enhanced God-consciousness (Taqwa).
Today's Masjid is a combination of sophistication
and elegance; adorned in luxurious tiles and carpets of
exotic quality and style. The roofs of the present generation
Mosque: Basics and Management

are made from silver, gold and expensive materials yet

could not enhance Taqwa like the Masjid of old.
Today, the Muslims busy themselves with decoration of
Masajid with fanciful titles; they also struggle for
positions and other unIslamic tendencies which are alien
to Masjid management. Little wonder, we have Masajid
established along ethnic, political, sectarian and
ideological lines in Nigeria. It is not uncommon to
hear parlance such as Syrian Masjid, Somali Masjid,
Sudanese mosque, Yoruba Masjid, Hausa Masjid et
cetera. At times, several small Masajid coexist on the
same street with provocative noise and nuisance value in
the community. Even at the international level, the story is
not really different, as people establish Masajid to
promote tribal, racial affiliations and national

The Qibla (Direction of the Masjid)

Qibla plays a fundamental position in Islam as all
prayers (salawat) either obligatory (Fard) or superogatoy
(Nawafil) must be performed facing the Qibla. The
direction of the Qibla is Makkah, and the actual object of
focus is al - Ka'abah or Baitul Atiq (the ancient house). The
Qibla represents the direction Muslims turn in prayer.
Islam attaches great importance to congregational
prayer in order to emphasis the universal brotherhood
and mutual cooperation. For such prayer, order,
punctuality, precision, symbolical postures, and a
common direction are essential, so that the Imam
(Leader) and his congregation may face one way and
offer their supplications to Allah. In early days, before
they were organised as a people, they followed a
symbol for their Qibla the sacred city of Jerusalem,
Mosque: Basics and Management

sacred both to the Jews and the Christians, the people of

the Book. This symbolised their allegiance to the continuity
of Allah's revelation.

When the early Muslims were despised, persecuted and

turned out of Makkah and arrived in Madinah,
Muhammad (Peace be upon) under divine guidance and
direction began to organise its people as Ummah, an
independent people, with laws and rituals of their own.
At the last stage the Ka'abah was established as Qibla,
thus going back to the earliest centre, with which the
name of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) was connected, and
traditionally also the name of Adam (Peace be upon him).
Jerusalem (Al-Quds) remained (and still remains) sacred in
the eyes of Islam on account of its post, but Islam is a
progressive religion, and its new symbolism enabled it
to shake off the tradition of a dead past and usher in the
era of untrammelled freedom dear to the spirit of Arabia.
The change of Qibla took place sixteen and half months
after Hijrah.

Warning from Allah

Qibla as earlier mentioned is sine qua non to the observance
of prayers. This informed the reason why Allah emphasised
the necessity of facing the direction of Ka'abah when
praying at all times. Allah says:
"... And We appointed the Qibla to which thou avast used,
only to test those who followed the Messenger from
those who turn their heels ... now shall We turn thee to
Qibla that shall please thee. Turn then, thy face in the
direction of the sacred Masjid wherever ye are, turn your
faces in that direction.... From whenever thou start from,
turn thy face in the direction of the sacred Masjid ... So

Mosque: Basics and Management

from wherever thou started forth, turn thy face in the

direction of the sacred Mosque; And wherever you are,
turn your face thither: that there be no ground of dispute
against you among the people ... so fear them not, but fear
Me; And that I may complete My Favours on you, and ye
may be guided. "Q2: 142 – 150

Salient Points to Note on Facing the Qibla

Turning towards the Qibla, the direction of Masjid al-
Haramin Makkah is fundamental to our religion. Any
Masjid observed or discovered not facing Qibla should
be prevailed upon peacefully to make the necessary
adjustment, either by re-shaping the Musalah (Place of
salat) to face the Qibla or tilting the mats, carpet or tiles
towards the Ka'abah as expected of them by Allah. No, rift
or acrimony should be employed in effecting such changes.
This is the path of decorum!
Every Muslim should learn and know how to locate the
direction of the sacred Masjid. Today digital compasses
and Qibla finders are available to assist Muslims in
this respect. The Qibla is a unifying symbol in Islam.
Whosoever, abhors facing it, technically removes himself
from the Islamic Ummah or Commonwealth. Allah says:
"To each is a goal which Allah turns him; then strive
together (as a race)... wherever you are Allah will bring
you together... turn thy face in the direction of the sacred
Masjid." Q2: 146 -148

Facing the Qibla pleases Allah and conforms to the saying

of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) that: "Pray as you see
me pray" (Bukhari & Ahmad).When the early Muslims
were notified of the change in Qibla by the Prophet (Peace be
upon him) they complied immediately.
Mosque: Basics and Management

Lastly, it is worth mentioning here, that one of the

unique features of Islam relative to other faith is the
Qibla. It is Differentia Specifica, that is, it differentiates
Islamic faith and civilisation from the other faiths and it is a
special symbol not seen elsewhere.

Mosque: Basics and Management


The Intention
The intention to build a Masjid for the worship of Allah
is a noble task highly esteemed in Islam. However, as
noble as the effort is, the following should be taken into
consideration. If we are serious about transforming and
taking our Masjid back to its golden era, this point should
be adopted wholesale. The golden era Masjid culminated in
the emergence of men of high spiritualism and intellect like
Ali Bn Abi Talib, Zayd Bn Thabit, Abdullah Bn Abbas,
Abdullahi Bn Umar, Mus’ab Bn Umayr, Anas Bn Maalik as
well as outstanding ascetics like Hassan Basri, Sufyan Ath-
Thawri (May Allah be pleased with them),. In essence,
every Muslim should derive spiritual and mundane value for
attending the Masjid, as a citadel of learning. Every
segment of the Masjid should be professionally
administered by the Imam with the support of other
competent hands in the community. The entire congregation
can make the Masjid more interesting, fascinating and
captivating to attract increasing followership or audience.
The language of communication in the Masjid (for the
purpose of Arabic and Islamic Studies classes) should be
flexible depending on the calibre of its worshippers and
audience. Where most of them are educated elite, English
should be preferred; otherwise, the local language like
Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo should be adopted. In relation to
this, the managers of the Masjid should embark on literacy
survey of its members. How many are literate and illiterate?
By knowing this, the management would be able to
organise literacy class session (LCS) for those with
Mosque: Basics and Management

deficiencies. It could be a two-hour weekly class session.

The class should start with making them literate in the local
language first and then, English and later Arabic. We should
not forget the emphasis on literacy in Islam. The first
revealed verse of the Qur’an is, “Read”; addressed to the
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).Therefore,
whosoever have advantages with regards to reading and
writing assumes leadership over the ignorant majority in the
society (whether Islamic or secular societies). Leadership of
Adam (Peace be upon him) over the other heavenly
creatures including the jinn was settled by the Almighty
through superior gift of intelligence and knowledge.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) also made it a
condition for releasing the pagan captives after the Battle of
Badr only if each of the captives could teach ten Muslims
how to read and write. This singular act of knowledge
promotion empowers and fortifies several non-literate
Muslims. Within a very short time, they became vanguards
of light and exemplary leaders of the world. All the feats of
knowledge sharing and learning were carried out in the
Masjid. Early Muslim scholars, intellectuals, scientists,
mathematicians, doctors, jurists were called Ahl-ul-Masjid
(People of the Masjid). Allah enjoins:

َ ُ‫علَى الت ه ْق َوى ِم ْن أ َ هو ِل َي ْو ٍم أ َ َح ُّق أَن تَق‬

‫وم فِي ِه فِي ِه ِر َجا ٌل‬ َ ‫س‬ َ ‫له َمس ِْجدٌ أ ُ ِس‬
َ‫ط ِه ِرين‬‫اَّللُ ي ُِحبُّ ْال ُم ه‬ َ َ ‫ي ُِحبُّونَ أَن يَت‬
‫ط هه ُرواْ َو ه‬
“Verily, the Masjid whose foundation was laid from the
first day on Taqwa is more worthy that you stand therein
(to pray). In it are men who love to clean and purify
themselves. And Allah loves those who make themselves
clean and pure. Q9:108.

Mosque: Basics and Management

Roles of the Masjid

The followings represent roles of the Masajid going by the
injunctions of the Qur'an, Hadith, Seerah and comments of
Islamic Jurists:
1) Masjid is the Headquarters of Muslims: It is a
place from where state affairs are run. The leadership of
the Muslims used to meet envoys, sign agreements,
outline state policies, address and counsel their subjects in
the Masajid. They learnt this practice from Muhammad
(Peace be upon him). The succeeding Khalifah, Abu Bakr
and others followed this practice without fear after his
2) Masjid is a judicial court: The Prophet (Peace be
upon him) and all his successors adjudicated in the
mosque. Disputes, rifts and disagreement among the
people were entertained and resolved from time-to-time.
3) Masjid is a school and university: The early
Muslims and their successors were all tutored in the Masjid
on different subjects ranging from 'Aqidah (Creed), Fiqh &
Shari’ah (Jurisprudence). Hadith, Ulumu-ul-Qur'an (Science
of the Qur'an),'Adab (Ethics), Iqtisadiyya (Economics),
Siyasah (Politics) et cetera. The teaching took the form of
study circles, debates, and practical. The university was
opened to everyone, day and night, summer and winter,
not requiring application form or formal permission.
4) M a s j i d i s a n I n f o r m a t i o n C e n t r e : All
important news relating to vital issues affecting Muslims
and Islam were announced in the Masjid and it ensured a
direct contact between the carrier and the receptor of the
information or message. News concerning epidemic,
new baby, war, death, marriage, famine, safety precautions
Mosque: Basics and Management

et cetera were announced in the mosque on Minbar (pulpit)

by the leadership.
5) Masjid is a Platform for Oratory/Poetry: 'Aishah
(May Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet
(Peace be upon him) used to provide Hassan bin Thabit
with a pulpit in the mosque from which he lampooned the
disbelievers (At-Tirimidhi and Al-Hakim). In another
hadith, Jabir Bn Samra reported: I sat with the
messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) more than
once; his companions would recite poetry and recollect
events from the times of Jahiliyyah while he would share a
smile with them (At-Tirimidhi).
6) Masjid as an Abode for Prisoners of War: Abu
Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: "The
Prophet (Peace be upon him) sent some horsemen to Najd
and they brought a man called Thumama Bn Uthal from
Banu Hanifah as a prisoner of war. They fastened him to
one of the pillars of the mosque. The Prophet (Peace be
upon him) came and ordered them to release him.
Thumama went to a garden of date-palm near the
mosque took a bath and entered the mosque, then said: "I
bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship
except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of
Allah (he embraced Islam).
7) M a s j i d a s a C l i n i c : 'Aishah (May Allah be
pleased with her) said, "Sa'd Bn Mu'adh (May Allah be
pleased with him) was injured in the battle of Trench;
being hit on the head arm vein by a Quraish called
Habban Bn Arqa. The messenger of Allah (Peace be upon
him) pitched a tent in the mosque for Sa'd Bn Mu'adh so
that he could be close to him for visitations. His wound
was bleeding profusely and he died after spending a month
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in the tent (Bukhari).

8) Masjid as an Abode for the Poor: The empathetic

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) reserved a
corner of the mosque as a shelter for the poor who were
known as the people of (Ahl-us-Suffah). Bukhari
reported that Abdullah Bn Umar (May Allah be pleased
with him) used to sleep in the Masjid an-Nabawi
(Prophet’s Masjid) when he was still young.
9) M a s j i d a P l a c e t o r e l a x : ‘Abdullah Bn
Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said: "During the
time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), we used to sleep
in the mosque and have our siestas when we were
young" (Ahmad, An-Nasai and Abu Daud).
10) Masjid as a Place for eating: 'Abdullah Bn Al-
Harith (May Allah be pleased with him) said: "We used
to eat bread and meat in the mosque during the time of the
messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)" (Ibn Majah). The
needy and destitute popularly referred to as Ahlu-us-
Suffah used the corridor of the Masjid as eating place.
11) Masjid as a place for consultation: The
messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) consulted his
companions on state socio-economic and political issues like
war, propagation, finance, expeditions, dealing with the plots
of the enemies, and other critical state policies right in the
Masjid. He received Christian envoys from Najran and
other emissaries from other nations in the precincts
of the Masjid (not the prayer point or Musalah). The
practice of using the Masjid as a platform for consultation
continued after him
12) Masjidis a P l a c e f o r D e v o t i o n : The Masjid
is a place reserved for spiritual communication with Allah
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in the form s of Salawat (Pra yers), I'tikaf

(Seclusion), Adhkar (Remembrance of Allah), debates,
lectures and all devotional activities pleasing to Allah.
13) Masjid is a place for the implementation of
Allah’s Decree: Sahl Bn Sa'd (RA) said he witnessed the
messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) carry out the
penalty of Mula'ana or Li'an (the oath of condemnation
or sworn allegation of adultery by either husband or wife) in
the mosque. The leading Imams of Ahadith consented to
this narration.

Role of the Masjid Today

While not jettisoning the role accorded Masjid during the
early days of Islam, we must, however, state that the Masjid
of today may not be able to accommodate the earlier role
due to increased population of Muslims. Instead, Masjid
with greater size and space could Masjid with bigger space
could create departments for these functions. For instance,
the management could make provision for first aid box,
libraries, meeting hall, counselling room for women and
youth, sport facilities, eateries and so on.

Masjid and Educational Development

Following Allah's command and the Prophetic sayings
enjoining Muslims to ponder, reflect and acquire
knowledge that would bring them closer to Allah and
assist them in finding solutions to their numerous
econo-psycho-socio-political problems, the early faithful
used the mosques to achieve giant stride in educational
development. The Islamic states and several communities
made elementary education almost universal amongst the

Mosque: Basics and Management

The association of the Masjid with education remains one of

its main characteristics throughout history. The schools,
library, laboratory and related places became indispensable
appendages to the mosques. Anywhere Islam took hold,
Masajid were established, and basic instruction began
and flourished. Once established, such Masajid
developed into well-known places of learning, often with
hundreds, sometimes with thousands of students, and
frequently contained important libraries and hostels.

The first school connected to the Masjid, was set up at

Madinah in 653, whilst the first in Damascus dates from
744, and by 900 nearly every mosque had an elementary
school for the education of boys and girls. Children usually
started school at five. One of the first lessons in writing was
to learn how to read and write the ninety-nine most beautiful
names of Allah and simple verses of the Glorious Qur'an.
After the rudiments of reading and writing were mastered,
the Qur'an was then studied thoroughly and arithmetic
was added. For those who wanted to study further, the
larger mosques, where education was more advanced,
offered instruction in Arabic grammar and poetry, logic,
algebra, biology, history, law, theology, politics,
economics and astronomy. More advanced teaching often
took place in madrassah, hospitals, observatories, in the
home of scholars or very big Masajid.
The basic format of Masjid education was the study
circle, better known in Islam as ‘Halaqat al–ilm’(circle of
knowledge or study circle). According to the new edition
of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, Halaqah is defined as "a
gathering of people seated in a circle" or "gathering of
students around a teacher." This model is still in use in
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Arab world, Northern Nigeria and in local madrasah in

Southern Nigeria. In several Halaqah of old, visiting
teachers and scholars were allowed to sit beside the
lecturer as mark of respect, and a special section is reserved
for visiting clerics. Al-Bahluli (d. 930) a magistrate from
the town in Iraq went down to Baghdad, accompanied by
his brother, to make a round of study circles. In their fact-
finding, they were opportune to meet a scholar who was
highly knowledgeable and aflame with intelligence, he
was taken up on all fields of knowledge by his students. Ibn
Battuta recorded more than 500 students attended the
Halaqah of the Umayyad Mosque. The mosque of 'Amr
near Cairo had over 40 Halaqah at some point, and in the
chief mosque of Cairo, there were 120 Halaqah. The
traveller Al-Muqaddasi, reported that between two
evening prayers, as he and his friends sat talking, he heard
a cry "turn your face to the class" and he realised that they
were sitting between two classes: altogether there were 110
students. During the Halaqah, while learned teachers
exercised authority, students were still allowed, in fact,
encouraged to discuss and even challenged the teachers,
often in heated exchanges. Disputation and intellectual
debates were unrestricted in all fields of knowledge, and
this was allowed to take place on Friday in the form of
study circles held around the Masjid, and "no holds were
Teaching and learning in most large Masajid became a full-
fledged profession, and Masjid school took on the
semblance of an academy or even university later on.
Indeed! Many big Masajid in the Islamic worlds exist today
as the oldest universities in the world. Among the notable
centres of learning are: Al- Qayrawwan and At-Zaytuna in
Tunisia, AlAzhar in Cairo (Egypt), Sankore Masjid in
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Timbuktu (Mali) and Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez (Morocco).

These places attracted great names, either as students or
scholars. Among the graduates of the Masajid of Muslim
Spain were Ibn Sina (D. 1037) author of Qanun fi-Tibb
(Canon of medicine), Ibn Rushd, Ibn Al- Sayigh and Ibn
Bajja. In Basra (Iraq) we have names like At- Khallil Ibn
Ahmad (Philosopher), Sibawaih a renowned Arabic
Grammarian of all times. In AI- Qarawiyyin in Fez
(Morocco) great minds like Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Al-Khatib, Al-
Bitruji, Ibn Harazim, Ibn Maymoun, Ibn Wazzan and
Gerbert (d.1003) who later became Pope Sylvester 11, he
was the one who taught Europe Arabic numerals. Al-Azhar
in Cairo Egypt attracted brains like Ibn Haytham (d. 1039),
he wrote the celebrated books Al-baytul-muzlim or camera
obscura (a dark room) a prototype of modern photographic
camera, he lived in the quarters of Al-Azhar for a very long
time, Ibn Khaldun taught there towards the end of the 14th
century, and Al- Baghdadi taught medicine in the same
Masjid the end of the 12th century.

History also recorded that Imam Nooriyah Sahid built

Madrasah al-Nooriyah in Damascus adjoined to the
Masjid with learning resources. The well-known traveller
Ibn al-Habib was amazed at the beauty and standard of the
Masjid-oriented school. Madrasah al-Hadith in Damascus
attracted the like of Imam Nawawi, Ibn al - Salah, Abu
ShammahTaqiuddinSabuki and Imaduddin among
others. Madrasah al -Nizamiyah in Baghdad paraded the
like of Ghazali, Shirazi, Imam al-
HaramainAllamahShasabi, KhatibTabrizi, Qazwini and
others. Salaudeen al-Ayubi built a Madrasah called
Madrasah al-Salahiyah; he employed the renowned
scholar, Shaykh Najmuddin Habooshani as principal of

Mosque: Basics and Management

the novel learning centre.

The contribution of the Masjid to educational development
cannot be exhausted. On the eve of the British occupation,
in Al-Azhar there were 7,600 students and 230 Professors,
while, the number of students on enrolment in the
department of theology in Cordoba were over 11,000 as late
as 9th century.
Similarly, wherever Masajid and madrasah were built, the
early Muslims ensure Libraries were added, this was
because the Muslim intellectuals were engrossed in learning
and scholarship. Maktabah al-Fatimiyyin (Library of the
Fatimid) Cairo, in Egypt has stock of books in various
aspects of Islam. There are copies of the Qur'an, Ahadith,
Taffasir, Fiqh et cetera numbering 2 million. Al-Maqrizi a
classical scholar put the stock of books at 1.6 million. Dar-
ul-Hikmah in Cairo established by Hakim bin Amr-Allah in
365 A. H., had 40 sections, each section has an average of
18,000 books on religion, sciences, art, grammar and it was
fully staffed with personnel.
Furthermore, Bait-ul-Hikmah in Baghdad was established
by Sultan Harun Rashid and perfected by Sultan Mamun
Rashid. The place was stocked with the latest books.
When Anqarah was conquered by Baghdad, the sciences,
arts and other knowledge of the conquered people were
translated and the books kept in the Library for the benefit
of seekers of knowledge. This historical analysis poses a
great challenge to Muslim communities, Masajid and
organisations today.

Early Masajid, Clinics and Hospitals

One of the social institutions, which our civilisation did
not neglect, is the Hospital and Clinics. Islam believes we
Mosque: Basics and Management

have to take good care of both our body and soul. Masjid is
the right place for the soul purification and cleansing while
the Hospital or clinic is the appropriate place for taking care
of the body. The noble Prophet (SAW) said:
"Assuredly the body too has a claim over you.” (Bukhari
and Muslim)
In the early period of Islam, Masajid served the dual
purposes of spiritualism and healthcare centre, as veteran
of wars, victims of disaster and sick destitute were treated
in the Masajid. As quoted earlier on, when Sa'd Ibn
Mu'adh was wounded in the battle of Trench (Khandaq), the
Prophet (Peace be upon him) instructed that a tent should be
erected in the Masjid for him, where treatment was
administered on him for 30 days. Harith bin al-Kaldah
lived during the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), he
was a medical officer to the companions and looked after
them when they were sick. He was consulted regularly by
the sick Muslims.
At the height of Islamic reign in Qurtabah (Cordoba, Spain)
alone 50 major hospitals existed in the Masajid aside from
mobile dispensaries. Ibn Tulun built a world famous Masjid
in Egypt, at one end of the Masjidis a place for ablution and
a dispensary well equipped with medicines and attendants,
while at other end of the same Masjid, Ibn Tulun stocked
hundred thousand books on medicine and other aspects
of medical sciences. On Friday after Jumu'ah people
queue for medical attention and received first-class
treatment! The same standards held in Baghdad, Damascus,
Bait al-Maqdis, Makkah, Madinah and Andalusia. For
instance, 'Addi Hospital in Baghdad built by 'Adl al-
Daulahbn al-Buwaih in 371 A.H., which was renovated,
re-organised and stocked with liquid medicines of various

Mosque: Basics and Management

types by Khalifah Qa'im Bn Amr-Allah in 449 A.H. In

Damascus Sultan Malik Noorudin established a Hospital
beside the Masjid; it was equipped with the best facilities
Ibn Jubair who visited the place in 580 A. H praised this
Damascus Hospital. It is interesting that the Damascus
hospital lasted till 1317 A.H. In the same vein, Sultan
Mansoor Abu Yusuf of Muwahidin dynasty established a
Masjid in Morocco equipped with the best facilities and
medicine. The sultan went there every Friday to visit and
pray for the sick people. Alas! A sultan by name Malik
Mansur Saifuddin Qaladoon in 683 A.H. converted a
beautiful palace into a model Hospital with mosque,
madrasah and maktab for the orphan, poor and the
less privileged in Egypt, it lasted till 1798.

Mosque: Basics and Management

Virtues of Supporting the Cause of the Masjid

Masjid as the house of Allah has unlimited virtues
associated with it. Here are a few of them.
Reward of Paradise
Building a Masjid for the sake of Allah is a rewardable
act. Uthman bin Affan (May Allah be upon him)
reported, "The messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)
said, he who builds a Masjid for Allah seeking his
pleasure, Allah would reward him with a mansion in
Paradise." (Bukhari &Muslim)
Award of Good Pleasure
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be upon him) said, "The
messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said, he who
frequently goes to the Masjid, Allah would prepare a
quarter for him in Heaven while he goes and returns."
(Bukhari, Ahmad & Muslim)

Forgiveness of Sins
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be upon him) said, "The
messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: He who
purifies himself at home and then walks to one of Allah's
houses to perform one of Allah's commands, shall have
one of his steps wipe out a sin while the other would cause
increase his rewards." (Muslims)

Proof of Piety and Righteousness

'Abu Hurairah (May Allah be upon him.) narrated, "The
messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said, "If you see a
man going frequently to the Masjid, do bear witness that
he is a believer; for Allah, the Master of Honour and
Glory said: "He only shall attend Allah's Masjid who
believe in Allah and the Last Day.” Q9:18 (Tirimidhi).
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Tranquillity and Peace of Mind

Masjid is a place of comfort and serenity. Anybody who
goes there to pray or engages in any act of worship
automatically receives Allah's Sakeenah (Tranquillity) and
peace of mind. Allah says: "...Then Allah did send down
His Sakeenah on the messenger and on the believers,
and send down forces (angels) which you saw not ..."


Masajid are honoured places before Allah. He specifically
conferred honour on some ancient Masajid by virtue of their
position in Islam. Such Masajid include Masjidul-Haram
(Ka'abah in Mecca), Masjidul Nabawi (Prophet's Masjid in
Madinah), Masjidul-Aqsa (Aqsain Jerusalem). Any prayer
observed in those places have exceptional rewards
compared to other Masajid elsewhere. For instance, a single
prayer observed in the Ka'bah is equivalent in reward to one
hundred thousand prayers offered somewhere else. Jabir
reported that the Prophet (SAW) said:
"Prayer in Masjid al-Haram is like 100,000 prayers
elsewhere. And prayer in my Masjid is like 1000 prayers
elsewhere. And a prayer in Bait al-Maqdis (Jerusalem
M asji d ) is l ike 500 prayers elsewhere." (Baihaqi)

He also said: "One should not undertake a journey,

save to three Masajid: Masjid al-Haram, Masjid an-
Nabawi and Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem)." (The Group)

Mosque: Basics and Management

The Ka’bah, Bait al-Atiq

The Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Mosque: Basics and Management

Etiquettes of the Masjid

Masjid, being the exclusive abode of Allah on earth,
deserves some high level of attention by Muslims. The
position enjoys by it requires that its managers must be
people of sound faith and high moral integrity. Allah (SWT)
"The Masajid of God shall be visited and maintained by
such who believe in God and the Last Day, establish regular
prayers, and practise regular charity, and fear none (at
all) except God. It is they who are expected to be on true
The nine (9) valuable etiquettes of the Masjid include:
1) Building A Masjid on the basis of Sincerity
The first major project embarked upon by the Prophet
(SAW) on reaching Medina, after his historic migration
was the building of the Masjid. He sent for the sons of
Najar, the landowners, to purchase the land. They
refused to collect any money for the land, preferring
that to be a loan to Allah. The Prophet (Peace be upon him)
insisted and afterwards, the land was levelled and work
began to which he actively participated. To further
encourage the companions, the Prophet (Peace be upon
him) was carrying bricks and earth, saying:"O Lord! There
is no living except that of the Hereafter. So help the
Ansars and Muhajirs."
He further said:
"Whoever builds a Masjid for God, seeking thereby the
Pleasure of Allah, He will build a beautiful mansion for
him in Paradise (Bukhari).
Masajid are to be built in locations frequented and
accessible to the people without ostentation and waste.

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The messenger (Peace be upon him), in particular,

forbade the excessive decorations of the Masjid to the
extent of its distracting the worshippers from devotion and
total concentration in the worship of their Lord.
This was why the Fifth Khalifah, Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez
(R.A.) made this historic remark, on sighting the
Amawee Masjid adorned in extravagant decorations in
"Certainly, I almost contemplated taking out those
mosaic works and marbles; pull them out, replace
them with red bricks; remove those chains and install
ropes in their places; or rather pull it down with the
proceeds turned to the public treasury."
This scenario, no doubt, fits our modern state of art
edifice called Masajid. The ostentatious decorations
are nothing but avoidable distractions in the House of
Allah. Most times, the worshippers are so carried away
by the lightings alone, which become the objects of
attraction while the spiritual nourishments expected to fill
their hearts are lost. At the end of their stay therein,
they would not be able to convince themselves of
whether they had just attended a tourist centre or a place
of devotion to Allah.
Contrasting this with the Masjid of the Prophet (Peace
be upon him) in Medina, one would automatically
discover a wide gap: His pulpit was just of three steps,
high enough to make him visible to the worshippers. It
was not that greatly extended as to be cut-off from the rows
of the worshippers. The minaret was not known then; as
the Muadhin (Caller of the prayers) used to stand on the
mere floor of the Masjid or at times stand on a higher
surface. But if there is a greater need for the minaret or
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the electronic gadgets as of today, there is no harm in

employing them.
Besides, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) condemned
the erection of Masjid on the grave or adopting the
graveyard as a Mosque; as that would be tantamount
to Shirk (associating partners with God). Ibn Taymiyyah
(Rahmatullahi alaihi), in particular mentioned the
unanimity of the scholars on the abominable position of
praying in the Masjid built on the grave stressing further
the futility of such act to some of the Imams (Majmu'
2) Maintenance of The Masjid
Compulsorily, Muslims must be in a state of cleanliness
each time they want to pray. Some of the conditions for
the validity of Prayer are purity of clothing, body, and
place. When Islam urges purification, it accords the Masajid
the foremost priority of all places. In this regard, the early
companions were the foremost in maintaining the physical
and environmental sanitation of the mosque as well as
perfuming the interior with sweet fragrance of perfume.
The Messenger (Peace be upon him) in fact, regarded
spitting saliva in the Masjid and its precincts as a
condemnable act (Bukhari and Muslim). Allah (May He
be Exalted), in particular, commands the Muslims to
wear their beautiful apparel at every time and place of
prayer (Qur'an. 7:31).
The Messenger (Peace be upon him):
"These Masajid are not fit for foul things like urine and
dirt. They are rather places for remembrance of Allah and
the recitation of the Qur'an." (Muslim)
This remarkable etiquette of Islam, when applied to the
present time, requires that regular attention should be
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paid to walls of the Masajid as well as washing and

scenting it. It would also enhance its hygienic state, while
keeping it free of offensive odour. It should be highly
ventilated and spacious. Those who eat garlic or
smells offensive odour of cigarettes, snuff and similar
substances should steer-clear of the Masjid. Otherwise,
they should take a bath and put on strong and beautiful
perfume before entering the Masjid. This is in
consideration of our religious concern for the feelings of
3) The Obligation of Praying in Congregation
The Islamic jurists all agree to the obligation of observing
prayer in congregation citing quotations from that the
Messenger (Peace be upon him) contemplated setting the
houses of those who prayed at home ablaze, while someone
took his position to lead the other Muslims in
prayer(Bukhari and Muslim). The blind folks are not even
exempted from going to the Masjid once he could hear
the call, talk less of those with sight (Muslim). Those
Muslims who pray congregational prayers in the Masjid
are promised a special hospitality in Paradise each time
they do so (Bukhari and Muslim).
Islam, thereby, enjoins coming to the Masjid in tranquil and
dignified manner. The worshipper must hasten in his tracks;
but must not do so when the prayer is in progress, nor
should he raise his voice to the hearing of the Imam to
lengthen his bowing so as not to miss the Rak'ah. The
Messenger (SAW) said:
"When anyone of you hear the ‘Iqamah (call to prayer),
he should walk to join the prayer in a tranquil and
dignifying manner. Never hasten, but observe whatever
you are able to meet while you complete the ones you
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miss”(Bukhari & Muslim).

"O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer
on Friday (The Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the
Remembrance of God…” (Qur'an 62:9)
This implies the feeling of readiness and intention to
attend the prayer. It does not mean running or jogging for
that would be distracting other worshippers and rob off on
the total concentration expected in prayer.

4) Supplicating and Entering With The Right Leg

Part of these etiquettes is that the worshipper should step into
the Masjid with his right leg. The Messenger of Allah
(Peace be upon him) always loved to commence all his
engagements from the right and whenever he was going
out of it (the mosque), he would use the left leg (Bukhari).
All worshippers are enjoined to follow suit in this practice.
When entering the mosque say:
َ ‫ب ا ْغ ِف ْر ِلي ذُنُو ِبي َوا ْفتَ ْح ِلي أَب َْو‬
َ‫اب َرحْ َمتِك‬ ِ ‫َر‬
"Rabbi Ighfirli Dunuubi WaftahleeAbwaabaRahmatika.”
Oh My Lord! Forgive me my sins and open for me the doors
of Your Mercy (Mishkat).
When going out say:
َ ‫ََرِ ُ َْ ُ ب ُون أِيِليُن َتْْو َي ُون ذَي َل‬
َ‫ْر َْاُِّب‬

""Rabbi Ighfirli Dunuubi Waftahlee Abwaaba Fadlika."

Oh My Lord! Forgive me my sin and open for me the doors
of Your Bounties (Mishkat).

At other times, the Messenger (Peace be upon him) used to

say while entering the Masjid:
“A'udhu billahilAzeem, wa bi waj-hihil Kareem wa
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I seek refuge in Allah, the Great, in His Honourable
Face, and His Ancient Authority from the accursed
Devil(Abu Daud)
5) Saluting The Masjid and Waiting For Prayers
Each time a Muslim enters the Masjid, he should observe
two Rak'ats (Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid)as a form of salutation to
the Masjid before he sits down (Bukhari). This shall hold
when an obligatory prayer has not started, but if it has,
then he should join the obligatory prayer instead.
On this vital etiquette, Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi, noted in his
celebrated treatise al-Mughni in Vol. 1:1048 that: "It is a
sunnah for Muslims who enter the Masjid not to sit until
they pray two Rak'ats. Abu Qatada (May Allah be pleased
with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be
upon him) said: "If one of you enters the Masjid, do not sit
until you pray two rakats" [Bukhari and Muslim].
After completing the two prayer of salutation, he should
then sit gently awaiting the time of the next obligatory
prayer. For in that situation, he would be regarded as
being in Prayer if that were his intention.

6) Adopting A Barrier (Sutrah) in Prayer

When a Muslim enters the mosque early he should prefer
the first row and adopt the front wall of the mosque as his
barrier (Sutrah). If other people have preceded him, he
should pray behind them, making their row as his barrier.
No one should pass in front of a praying worshipper as
Messenger (Peace upon him) had seriously warned against
that: Abu Juhaim (RA) heard the Prophet (Peace be upon
him) said:
"Had a passer-by in front of a praying man known
what is on him, he would have preferred to wait for forty
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(days) rather than doing that" (All the group).

In another narration by Zaid Ibn Khalid (May Allah be

pleased with him), the Prophet(Peace be upon him) said:
" would be better for him to stand for 40
autumns” (Al-Bazzar).
Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) further instructed:
"When anyone of you adopts a barrier while praying and
someone wishes to pass in front of him, he should draw
him back at his chest and when he insists, he should fight
him for he is a Devil" (Bukhari &Muslim).

Fighting him as used in this Hadith means, he should resist

him strongly. The various statements of the Prophet
(Peace be upon him) on the issue of barrier are not
limited to any particular Masjid or place. It also includes
the holy Masjid (Ka'abah) and the Prophet's Masjid in
Madinah. Had it not been as a result of people's
carelessness and stampede at times, the continuous
passing, which seriously distracts the worshippers, they
would have been checked. But it would be deemed better
that he places an object that would prevent people from
passing in front of him. This issue appears to be contentious
in most of our Masajid; it is the responsibility of the Imam
and the learned scholars to enlighten the congregation
on the seriousness of this act so that everyone would be
aware and thereby refrain from passing in front of
somebody observing salat.

7) Refraining From Disturbing Worshippers

It is a logically sensible practice to see people sit
wherever a vacancy exists in the public gathering. This
etiquette is even more desirable and applicable in the
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Masjid. Therefore, it is against Masjid’s decorum to

cross the rows already filled by foremost worshippers,
as this causes disturbance and distraction to those
praying. It is therefore not proper for a new entrant to
cross between two seated-people or insist that someone
should stand-up for him to sit. Said the Messenger (Peace
be upon him):"None of you should unseat his fellow
brother on Friday and then sit on that place but he should
rather say: 'make way for me.” (Muslim)
It is the duty of the Imam and learned scholars to sensitise
his congregation on this etiquette. The Messenger (SAW)
rebuked a man causing inconvenience to worshippers
saying: "Sit down! You are causing irritation." (Abu
Daud, Nasai &Ahmad)

8) Straightening of Rows and Closing Gaps

Another fading etiquette in the Masjid is the practice of
straightening the rows ensuring a single line shoulder-to-
shoulder, toe-to-toe. Going early to the Masjid to line-up
on the first row is meritorious and rewarding as well as
closing all gaps. The praying Muslims are expected to
stand firmly on their rows like solid cemented-
structure with one side reinforcing the other side. This
adorable practice brings about the development of the
spirit of brotherhood, cooperation and equality among
all classes because the shoulders of the poor Muslims
would touch the rich Muslims; the toes of the weak
Muslims would meet those of the strong Muslims. This,
further, inculcates in the Muslims the true meaning of
leadership and followership as well as the spirit of
soldiering in the observance of worship.
Abdullahi Ibn Mas'ud Al-Ansari (May Allah be pleased
with him) once reported that the Messenger (Peace be upon
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him) used to rub our shoulders together saying:

"Stand straight and do not be at variance so that your
hearts do not differ and let those gifted in understanding
and insight be close to me; then those who follow them
and soon." (Muslim)
The Messenger (Peace be upon him) mentioned those gifted
in understanding so that they could take his position
should the occasion demand that he has to abdicate his
position for recognised excuse or remind him if he
falters in his recitation.
Nu'man Bn Bashir (May Allah be pleased with him) also
“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) used to straighten our
rows as if he were straightening the arrows (in the state of
war).” (Muslim)
The Prophet (SAW) also advised:
"Had people known the merit of responding to the call to
prayer and the first row, and they have no option but to
draw lots, they would surely do so." (Bukhari &Muslim)
9) Avoiding Disturbance
The worshippers in the mosque require a tranquil
atmosphere to converse with their Lord. Therefore, it is
part of the etiquettes of the place that conducive
environment is enhanced for total devotion. It is not
proper that any act of disturbance of any kind should be
tolerated in the Masjid

Things Prohibited In the Masjid

The Masjid, by virtue of its sanctity and sacredness,
deserves utmost respect and decorum. Some of the actions
and behaviours stated below are abhorred therein:

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1. Fighting, Shouting and Acrimony

Under no circumstance should there be fighting or acrimony
in the Masjid. Allah says: "...if anyone undertakes that
duty (worship) therein (House of Allah Ka'abah) let
there be no obscenity or wickedness nor wrangling ..."
(Q2:197). According to Sa'd Bn Yazid, the leader of the
Muslims, Umar Bn Khattab, (May Allah be pleased
with him) ordered the arrest of noise-makers in the

2. Distractive Decoration and Beautification

These are two vices, which had been predicted would
occupy the minds of Muslims during the End of Time.
There is an acceptable level of decoration allowed by
scholars but excessive decoration is disliked going by the
following Ahadith:
Anas Bn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The
Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said, “the
hour will not come until people boast in the mosque"
(Bukhari, Muslim &Ibn Majah).
In another Hadith, Abdullahi Bn Abbass (May Allah be
please upon him) said: The messenger of Allah (Peace be
upon him) said:“I was not ordered to decorate the
Masjid" (Abu Daud).

3. Trading and Announcing of Lost Objects

Islam has made it a disliked practice (Makruh) to buy
and sell in the Masajid for obvious lack of spirituality.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported
that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
"If you see a man buying and selling in the mosque,
say to him 'May Allah never make your trade
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profitable 'and if you see a man announcing the loss of

a riding beast say to him 'May Allah never return it
to you" (At-Tirimidhi and An-Nisai).

4. Cracking the Fingers Together in a Noisy Manner

Abu Said al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him)
reported that he entered the mosque with the Prophet (Peace
be upon him) and there was a man sitting in the middle of
the mosque with his knees together joining his fingers
together. He signalled to him, but the man did not see
him, so the Prophet (Peace be upon him) turned around
and said:
"If any of you were inside the Masjid let him not join his
fingers as this is an act of Shaytan and everyone of
you is in fact in prayer as long as he is inside the
Masjid until he comes out of it” (Imam Ahmad).
5. Spitting In The Masjid
It is condemnable to spit in the Masjid. Anas Bn Malik
(RA) said, "the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)
"Spitting in the mosque is a sin and its indemnity is to
bury it.” (At-Tirimidhi & An-Nasa'i)
6. Eating, Garlic, Onions, and Food with Displeasing
Abdullahi Bn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him)
related that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)
said:"A person who has eaten this vegetable (garlic)
should not come near our mosque."
Anas Bn Malik (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah
(Peace be upon him) said: "A person who has eaten this
plant (garlic) should not come near us nor pray along
with us."(Bukhari & Muslim)
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Similarly, Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him)

reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
"whoever eats garlic, onion, or leek should not come to
our mosque for angels are harmed by what harms the
children of Adam." (Bukhari & Muslim)
7. Dancing, Singing and Clapping
The Masajid should not be structured like the churches or
synagogues where dancing, singing and clapping are
formalised. Allah says:"We have not instructed the
Prophet in poetry, nor is it meant for him: this is no less
than a Reminder and clear Qur’an." Q36:69
8. Turning the Masjid to a Graveyard
It is prohibited to make graveyard a Masjid or bury
somebody there. 'Aishah and Abdullahi Bn Abbass (May
Allah be pleased with them) reported that at the last
moment of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), he
said: "May Allah curse the Jews and Christians, for they
build t h e p l a c e s o f w o r s h i p s a t t h e g r a v e s o f
t h e i r Prophets." (Bukhari)
9. Plotting, Treachery and Mutiny
It is forbidden to plot against the constituted authority
whether in the Masjid or elsewhere. It is very common to
see dissidents scheming against their Imams and Masjid
officials at the slightest disagreement. Allah says: "Have
you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret
counsels, and afterwards returned to that which they had
been forbidden. Conspired togethe r for sin and
wrongdoing and disobedience to the Messenger ... Secret
counsels (scheming) are only from shaytan, in order that
he may cause grief to the believers." Q58:8-9

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Masjid and the Elite

Masjid is a place of sanctuary for all individuals regardless
of social status. This is often reflected when worshippers
line-up for prayers. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was
reported to have instructed that straightening of the rows
by all worshippers, standing shoulders-to-shoulders and
toes-to-toes was part of the prayer. This is instructive
for all to be humble, while coming to the Masjid (the
house of Allah) to pray. The elite class constitutes the
intelligentsia of the society. They direct and control the line
of thought and opinions in the society. If the Masjid is to be
relevant to the society, this class of people who have sound
religious consciousness must be the decision makers and
shapers of public opinions in conjunction with the Islamic
The Muslim elites are either scared away by the traditional
managers (Alfas) or they themselves show indifference to
state of affairs in the Masjid. Several reasons may be
adduced for this. First, is the state of hygiene of the Masjid.
A business executive who gets his dress stained each time
he prays in a mosque may be discouraged from coming
next time. Even when he manages to come, he may not stay
long before jetting out. Another instance could be a medical
doctor, who by happenstance sights a reptile crawling inside
the ablution kettle. He may take a second look at coming
again for his prayer in the mosque. Some unbearable
odour issuing out of the mosque sometimes could also
be a discouraging factor to this class of people.
A second reason may be due to the outside image of
the mosque structure. A structure not strategically
positioned may be unattractive for visitation. This may be
reflected in its size as being too small or inaccessible to all
and sundry. It may also be a problem of poor lighting or
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sheer darkness caused by epileptic power outage in Nigeria.

The third reason may be in the manner and method of
sermon delivery from the mosque through the public
address system. Either the system is not functioning
properly or inaudible. Worse still, the voice behind the
microphone may be another nuisance who is grossly
incompetent to be the mouth piece of the Muslims. He
may not be gifted in speech mannerism or lacking in
adequate Islamic knowledge to make Islam attractive to
passers-by. Some of the mosques do not appreciate the
importance of public address system. The ill-informed, un-
informed and the jesters are not qualified to be spokesmen
for the Muslim Ummah, Alas! This is the picture in most
mosques around us. Some of the elite class may be
embarrassed by the un-informed comments of the
incompetent Imams and therefore stay away. The
microphone should only be handled by the intelligent and
the informed.
Another reason that could be adduced for lack of elitist
appeal for our mosque may be traceable to the quality of
discussion that goes on in the mosque. Where an issue is
not being professionally handled or parochially presented,
the elite group may not be interested in waiting to partake
in the topic of discussion. This problem may further be
aggravated if his reasonable professional comments or
suggestions are not considered at all.

Muslim Ummah worldwide is blessed with cream of elites,

intelligentsias, businessmen and professionals ranging from
accountants, engineers, bankers, teachers, administrators,
businessmen, mechanised farmers, journalists, pilots,
doctors et cetera. Yet, most of these elites do not participate
actively in the running of the mosques (based on the
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reasons given above) and in improving the welfare of

the Muslims in particular and humanity in general. In
order to raise the standards in our mosques to the desired
twentieth century realities, the elites should be involved in
the day-to-day running of the Masajid (mosques) as
recommended below:
Cross-sections of the elites who are accountants,
managers and financial experts should make themselves
available to serve in the Finance/Account Committees
of the mosques. They should assist to fine-tune, audit
and straighten the books of accounts in order to enhance
the principle of accountability, transparency and probity,
which are cherished qualities in Islam. Umar Bn Khattab
(May Allah be pleased with him) used to say: "Reckon
yourselves before you are reckoned, and weigh your
deeds before your deeds are weighed for you."They
should also provide financial advice to the leadership
from time to time.

The elites who are seasoned administrators and experts

in Human Resources Management, Economics, Estate
Management, Accounting, Engineering, ICT and
Communications should assist with the running of the
Masjid, Committees and other different segments like
secretariat, library, clinic, day-care, counselling office,
projects et cetera.

The Masjid requires services of lawyers because as a legal

entity, it enters into legal contracts with individuals,
groups and firms/organisations. Therefore, the legal
luminaries and solicitors among the Muslims should face
the task of setting up a Legal Committee for our various
mosques to handle all legal matters affecting the Masajid
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and the interests of the congregation.

Muslim elites who are public relations professionals, media
consultants, journalists, TV/Radio programmes presenters
and communications experts should work tirelessly to help
project the battered image of Islam and Muslims by show-
casing the beauties of the religion in diverse ways.
They should also assist the Masjid in the area of
media publicity for their programmes, designing of banners,
bill board, leaflets, educative tracts, newsletters,
magazines, newspapers, jingles and issuance of press
releases on national and international issues as it affect
the Muslims and Islam. They should also facilitate wide
dissemination of the video and photograph coverage and
documentation of the Masjid’s programmes/events such
as Eidul Fitri, Eidul Adha, Tafsir, Lectures, Seminars,
Symposia, Adhkar and other laudable events. They
should also ensure yearly calendar and diaries; Islamic
books and inspiring stickers are produced, as all these
will augment the meagre resources of the mosques.
In the same vein, the Muslim political elites should
represent the interests of the Masajid wherever they are and
whatever circumstances they find themselves be it the
Senate, House of Representatives, local government
secretariats or the counsellorship positions. Muslim
elites must know the visions, demands and aspirations of
the Masajid and their congregations. The professional
contributions of Muslim elites when done with sincerity,
selflessness and commitment would accord Islam great
respect from the adherents of other faiths, who will look
upon Muslims as able and desirable representatives of the
people in the position of Authority.

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At present most Muslim elites in the corridor of power have

either goofed or compromised good names and integrity for
worldly things acquired illegally.

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An overview
The post of an Imam is very central to Islam; this informed
why caution must be taken when appointing an Imam. Just
as the position of human head is crucial to the body, the
position of an Imam is non-negotiable in Islam. When two
people are travelling the Prophet (Peace be upon him)
enjoined them to appoint an Imam amongst themselves.
This same principle holds for a group of three and above. A
society, group or institution without an Imam would be led
by the Devil. The political scientists opined that a society
devoid of leadership would be thrown into chaos,
pandemonium and hullabaloo. The concept of Imam can be
perceived narrowly and broadly depending on the
circumstances, usage, context and environment.
Narrow Usage: The Situational Imam
Wherever Muslims are, they are to be coordinated, directed
and led by an Imam not by personal whims and caprices.
For instance, when on a journey, at a programme, a
conference or any other forum, an Imam must be appointed
to take charge of the situation. The mandate given to him
terminates at the end of the programme.

Broad Usage: The Substantive Imam

This refers to Imam whose mandate and tenure of authority
is on a permanent basis or on a relatively longer period.
The authority to direct, coordinate and control the people
or community does not cease until the death of the
Imam, expiration of the appointment or when removed
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from the post of Imam due to gross misconducts and other

acts of indiscipline which Islam abhors. The Imam of
Masjid and Muslim rulers fall within the definition of
substantive Imam. Substantive Imam is a Trust bearer for
the community - this is, the post is a Social Contract. A
contractual agreement in which, the RULED (followers)
relinquished their liberty to the RULER (Imam) under an
agreement between both parties, in this case on the basis
of Qur'an and Sunnah.


Traditionally, Imam performs so many functions for the
community he is appointed to lead. The following is a
summary of the functions, viz:
1. A Guardian and Leader
By virtue of his knowledge and insight, he functions as a
Guardian (Murshid) and a Leader (Amir). He leads
prayer, offerings and other acts of worship. Where
people are well-informed, the Imam combines both
spiritual and political powers.

2. An Arbiter/Judge
His profound knowledge of Shari'ah allows him to counsel,
adjudicate and settle disputes happening in his domain or in
the mosque.
3. A Spiritual and Ceremonial Head
The Imam of the community solemnises and anchors all
spiritual matters; he officiates all Islamic rites/ceremonies
such as: burial (Janaza), naming (Aqiqah), salat, War,
Marriage (Aqdun-Nikkah) et cetera. This was the tradition
during the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the
righteous companions.

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4. Chief Security Officer

He is charged with task of providing maximum security for
his followers: their lives, property, integrity and wealth
are secured under his control and leadership. The Imam
must have contact phones of the police departments,
chairmen of local governments, leaders of other faiths and
key members of the community in his domain.
5. Financial Officer
The Imam should safeguard the wealth of the community
generated from the proceeds of Zakat, Waqf (endowment),
fines, subscriptions, levy and proceeds from land under
cultivation and leasing. He may delegate this assignment to a
qualified person, but ensures that report is received from the
person from time-to-time.
6. A Counsellor and Adviser
An Imam should be seen as a person whose advice and wisdom
is sought from time-to-time by virtue of his spiritualism and
intellectual erudition. He should be contacted for guidance on
marital matters, political principles, morality, religion,
contemporary issues et cetera.
7. A Spokesman for the Muslim Community
An Imam is the person to be contacted to make statement on
issues relating to Islam and Muslims. He should be contacted
to provide sound opinions on national and international
issues, and whatever the Imam says represents the authentic
position of the entire community. Before commenting on issues,
an Imam must have consulted the Qur'an and Sunnah as
reference for his verdict or ruling and in consultation with his
eminent followers. He must issue press releases regularly in
response to national/international issues.
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Cri teri a for App oi n tin g Ima m s

Islam takes pride on the fact that it has veritable source
from which it draws guidance and direction. The Glorious
Qur'an and Hadith have clearly spelt out the criteria for
appointing a would-be-Imam. Allah says:
"Have you not thought about the group of the
Children of Israel after Musa (Peace be upon him)?
When they said to a Prophet of theirs, "Appoint for us a
king and we will struggle in Allah's way. And their
Prophet said to them: "indeed Allah has appointed
TALUT (SAUL) as a king over you". They said: "How
can he be a king over us when we are better fitted than
him for the Kingdom, and he has not been given enough
wealth. "He said: “verily Allah has chosen him above you
and has increased him in knowledge and stature. And
Allah grants his kingdom to whom He wills..." (Q2: 246-

When Allah said to Ibrahim (May Allah be pleased with

"Verily, I make you an Imam for mankind, Ibrahim asked.
And my offspring? Allah said, 'my promise is not meant
for the unjust." Q2:124

Furthermore, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gave the

following advice: Abdullahi Bn Mas'ud (May Allah be
pleased with him) said, the messenger of Allah said:
"The one who recites the Book of Allah most should be
the Imam of the people. If they are equal in recitation,
then the one who knows the Sunnah most, then the earliest
of them to emigrate and if they are equal in emigration
then oldest among them in Islam, and no one should lead
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another in prayer in his domain or sit in his place of

honour." (Muslim)
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the
Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
"A woman is never to lead a man in prayer, neither a
Bedouin (desert Arab) to lead an emigrant, nor an
unchaste man to lead a believer.” (Ibn Majah)

On the basis of the divine edicts quoted above, the

following are the criteria for appoint capable Imams.
1. Faith
The candidates vying for or being considered for the post of
Imam must be a Muslim who believes in the Islamic
fundamentals without doubt. A disbeliever cannot lead the
Muslim community.
2. Knowledge
A would-be-Imam must be highly knowledgeable. He
must be versed in Ulum-ul-Qur'an (science of Qur'an),
Hadith, Fiqh (Jurisprudence), Tafsir (Exegesis), Thaqafatul
Islamiyyah (Islamic civilisation), Siyasah (Politics), 'Adab
(Ethics and Morality).
3. Leadership Traits
The post of an Imam is better occupied by somebody
who has natural and acquired traits of leadership like
wisdom; eloquence, stature, charisma and ability to make
independent judgment/decisions. He should also possess
diplomacy, humility, resoluteness and patience.
4. Age And Maturity
A potential occupant of the post of an Imam must be
an adult as a minor of today may not be able to manage the
affairs of the Muslim community. When two people are

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equally qualified to hold the post of an Imam, the older is

preferred from the point of view of Islam. This is because
human behaviour is complex and erratic; it requires
experience and maturity to administer and to lead
mankind. Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio (Rahmatullahi
alaihi) said: "you can shepherd 100 sheep with one
stick, but you cannot shepherd one man with 100
sticks." This quote shows how complex human nature
is. Therefore, anybody put in charge of the affairs of
human beings must be matured and experienced.
5. Male Preserve
The post of an Imam is exclusively for the male folk. A
woman is not allowed by Shari’ah to lead the Muslim
community no matter the level of her knowledge, piety
and leadership acumen. She could however assist the
Imam to coordinate the women folks or other task assigned
to her.
6. Background
An Imam should come from a civilised environment as
this would impact positively on his behavioural outlook,
speech, thinking and worldview. This explains why the
Prophet (SAW) preferred somebody from the town to a
savage or peasant from the desert.
7. Dynamism
An Imam must acquaint himself with changes in the world
vis-a-vis Islam. He must be current on global happenings.
He must also be able to tackle new issues on Islam.

Mas jid Offici als an d Fu n cti ons

The status quo in Nigeria’s religious environment is
such that Masajid irrespective of size have appointed
or elected officials charged with defined responsibilities
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of seeing to the day-to-day running of the Masajid. A

typical Masjid has an Executive Council (EC) with a
Chairman, an Imam, a Naibul Imam (Deputy Imam), a
Muffasir, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary,
Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relation Officer,
Asset Maintenance Officer, Welfare Officer and Muazzin.
The graphic below sheds more light on the composition of
Executive Council of most mosques in Nigeria.

T ypi cal Masjid Offici als

Source: Author (2013)

Chairman: This is the overall head of the Masjid. He

controls the spiritual and administrative going concern in
the mosque.
Imam: He is the spiritual head of the Masjid. His
functions are many and diverse.

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Naibul Imam: This is next in rank to the substantive

Imam. He deputises for him when the Imam is
indisposed or officially engaged. When the Imam dies he
takes over the office of Imam pending appointment of
another person or his confirmation as the successor.
The Naibul Imam leads the prayers and other ceremonial
prayers in the absence of the Imam.
Muffasir: He is the third in the spiritual hierarchy. He
delivers lectures and gives the interpretations of the
Qur'an in Ramadan and other times. His erudition and
scholarship in the knowledge of Qur'an and Hadith
enhances this position. He is like the orator of the Masjid.
There are occasions or situations when the Muffasir is also
the Naibul Imam.
General Secretary: He is the scribe of the mosque. He
keeps the legal documents, minutes of meetings, copies of
resolutions and other vital documents of the Masjid. The
post is reserved for literate person. The General Secretary
could be one of the signatories to bank account if the
constitution empowers him.
Assistant General Secretary: He deputises for the General
Secretary and does all other assignments stipulated in the
constitution. He makes arrangement for meeting, sends
out circulars and notices, et cetera.
Financial Secretary: He keeps all the Books of accounts
of the Masjid. He prepares the cash book, ledger, receipt
and payment account, income & expenditure account and
balance sheet at the end of the year. He may be signatory
to the bank account if the constitution made provision
for such. The post is usually reserved for somebody who is
accounting inclined.

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Treasurer: He keeps the cash of the mosque both at

hand and at Bank. He arranges for collection of money
and donations at Islamic functions/ceremonies organised
by the Masjid or the Muslim Community. He
releases money to officials when necessary vouchers
are appropriately authorised.

Public Relation Officer: He is image-maker and life-wire

of the Masjid. He is responsible for the dissemination
of vital information to the generality of the
congregation and the entire public. He makes provision
for postal, handbills, banners electronic gadgets and
public address system at public programmes. He issues
press releases on behalf of the Masjid. Somebody who is
educated, articulate, social and fluent in local
language usually fills the post. There are times when
the Muadhin combines this office.
Asset Maintenance Officer: He is often called AMO. He
safeguards, maintains, repairs, upgrades and refurbishes
when the need arises. He makes available Masjid's
gadgets and equipment as at when needed. There are times
when the Muadhin combines this office.
Welfare Officer: He is charged with responsibility of
seeing to the spiritual and medical well-beings of the
congregation. The officer coordinates programmes like
visit to the hospital, Remand Home, Old People's Home et
Mu azzin : This is the person charged with the duty of
making calls to prayers five times daily. He also re-
echoes the speeches or supplications of the Imam where
the population is large.

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Tawaf at Ka’bah


Conflicts, rifts and intrigue are common features in
human society; hence the Masajid cannot be immune
from conflicts. The lingering conflicts in Masjid are caused
majorly by lack of able leadership. Worse still, most crises
out local Masajid escalate and remained unresolved.
Most of these conflicts arise from petty quarrels and
disagreements over trivialities; the bond of brotherhood is
severed and mutual suspicion surfaces. If the personality
concerned occupies a privilege position in the Masjid
this could further degenerate into partisanship and in
grouping, thus turning the Masjid into battleground. It is
normal for disagreement to occur but leadership must be
equipped with maturity and skill to manage crisis so that
it does not escalate.

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From what has been observed in many Masajid around

us, the following are causes of such unfortunate situation.
1) Ideology and idiosyncrasy
Opinions and views about certain principles in Islam
and extreme inclination to schools of thought are known to
have caused disagreement within the ranks and files in the
Masjid. One faction would not see anything good in the
opinions or views of the other side. Abu Hameenah Bilal
Philips in his book titled "Evolution of Fiqh" opined that
excessive attachment to opinion of oneself or specific
scholars was responsible for the emergence of Schools of
thought in Islam. Initially, the disagreement was mild, it
later degenerated to a level where a member of a particular
school decline to associate with rival schools in the society,
mosques, schools, market and even in marriage.
2) General Ignorance of the Muslim Folks
Masajid around us are led by officials whose knowledge of
Islam, its civilisation is seen to be very shallow by some
sections of the congregation. This ugly development and
scenario created doubt and lack of trust in the
competence and ability of such officials found wanting.
It is a rational fact that knowledgeable people cannot
succumb to ignorant leadership. The most distinctive factor
of Islamic survival trait is the position of eminence it has
accorded knowledge and its people. Allah (May He be
Exalted) has even buttressed this when He mentions in a
verse of the Qur'an thus:
"Those truly fear God, among His servants, who have
knowledge." (Q35:28)
The picture painted above was graphically corroborated by
Sheikh AbdulQadr Audah in his book "Islam between
ignorant followers and incapable scholars" stating that:
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"The knowledge Muslims possess of their jurisprudence

differs according to their circumstances and education.
They may be divided into three groups in this regard. The
first is the un-educated. The second is those who received
European education, and the third comprises of those who
received Islamic education."
The Un-Educated group mentioned above contains the
illiterate and those who have such a small amount of
education that they have difficulty in understanding
independently, ideas, submitted to them, as well as inability
to give a correct opinion about these ideas. Individuals
within this group do not know anything about Islamic
jurisprudence except superficial information about
the rituals of worship, in imitation of their fathers,
fellowmen and spiritual leaders. It is quite rare to find
among them one who performs his worship as an
expression of reliance upon his own study and personal
information. Unfortunately, the Muslim majority can be
classified under this group, a possible 80% majority of the
total Muslim population in the world.
These individuals are greatly influenced by the
directions of the educated, whether such are educated on
European or Islamic lines. However, they are more
inclined to listen to the Islamically educated in matters
related to religion, since those are expected to be more
knowledgeable than others about such issues. But then,
the people cannot comprehend the relationship between
certain issue and Islam; they follow the lead of those who
have European education.
Surprisingly, this Shaykh was writing of his experience
of Egypt, a country with a more profound Islamic legacy.
One would certainly not err to conclude that the same
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situation holds for our own society too. It is this pervading

ignorance that sweeps over the landscape that people could
not fathom the purpose and the comprehensive nature of
There is the need for Muslims to understand Islam in line
with modern challenges as succinctly put by Imam Hassan
Al Banna (May Allah have mercy on him) thus:
"Islam is a comprehensive system which deals with all
spheres of life. It is a state and a homeland (or a
government and a nation). It is morality and power (or
mercy and justice). It is culture and a law (or knowledge
and jurisprudence). It is material and wealth (or gain
and prosperity). It is an endeavour and a call (or an
army and a cause). And finally, it is true belief and
worship." (Message of the Teaching)

Most of our people do not see Islam as this comprehensive

they cannot really task the Imam or the Masjid leadership
about the role and use of the Masjid. This ignorance
menace, in fact, imposes its residual effect on the Ulama
class. (Islam Between the Ignorant Followers and Incapable
scholars Pages 88 - 90)
3) Financial Mismanagement/Lack of Transparency
Another source of conflict in most Masajid in Nigeria is
financial mismanagement. Worse still, the financial
board for recording of the accounts of the Masjid
takings are wrongly placed in the front of the worshippers.
Everyone, no doubt, would agree that this is an avoidable
Also, the statements of the income are not exhaustive
enough. The use to which they are being put to, in itself,
are also not judicious. The most disturbing of it all is the

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non-investment of these funds in profit -yielding ventures

that would be beneficial to the Ummah. They are rather
left dormant in the bank till when only Allah knows.
Worse still, there may be some of the members who are in
dire need of financial assistance that could threaten their
faith. With no help coming from the Masjid, they become
desperate to seek solution from any source even if from
the church or the shrine. How then, would such
managers of the Masjid justify their position from divine
retribution on the Last Day? The solution actually calls for
urgent and critical solution.

4) Ambition and Aspirations

Offices in several Masajid have been heated-up and
politicised thereby arousing interests amongst the ranks
and files in the community. Those who are unfortunate to
achieve their aspirations of holding influential positions
in the Masajid see the winners as enemies to be despised
thus creating competition and rift in what is supposed to
be “the House of Allah” dedicated solely for His worship.
The picture painted above is true of both neighbourhood
and organisationally-owned Masajid.
5) Rumour and Mutual Suspicion
The above twin evils were known to have caused serious
problems for the early generation of Muslims. Today these
evils have resurfaced in our Masajid and Muslim
communities thus causing serious rifts, intrigues
and proliferation of congregations. There are instances
where policemen were invited to forestall crises or to
enforce the outright closures of Masajid when the tempo of
violence could no more be contained peacefully.

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6) Insincerity of Purpose
Many have established Masajid with intentions that are
diabolical and clearly unIslamic. Such Masajid are used
to project founder's image, political agenda, tribal
partisanship or ideological motive. Those who do not
subscribe to the diverse motives enunciated above are seen
as enemies, foes and members of the opposition who should
be marginalised, maligned, tagged and excommunicated.
7) Overlapping of Functions and Powers
Looking at the hierarchical structure of many Masajid,
one would observe serious overlapping of functions.
There is no clear-cut demarcation of functions and
powers, and as such, everybody exercises authority not
assigned to them. We have seen instances where the
Chairman usurped the power of the Financial Secretary or
the Secretary defining the "dos and don'ts' for the
Imam. Anywhere power and schedules overlap there is
the possibility of chaos and pandemonium.
8) Gross Under-Utilisation of Resources
The idea of opening most of our central Masajid only on
Fridays and closing it for the rest of the week is a serious
gross under-utilization of resources. The vastness of
these giant edifices should have rather been kept busy
for various developmental programmes, which we shall
later itemise. Members of the Masjid who criticise
this state of affairs are usually at loggerhead with the
leadership. Worse still, the phenomenon of local militancy,
global terrorism and extremism has provided powerful
justification for censuring of Islamic activities in the

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Masjid’s Defective Structure

Looking at our previous discussion under - Masjid officials
and functions/conflicts and intrigues, you will agree to
the fact that our Masajid’s organisational structure is
undoubtedly defective and need to be corrected and
fortified. A typical Masjid’s organisational chart has
dichotomy, as it divides authority and leadership viz:
i. Spiritual leadership and
ii. Administrative leadership
This dichotomy in authority engenders ill feelings,
factionalism, stagnation and other negative effects, which
inhibits the progress of Islam and supremacy of the
Muslim Community. Observing the offices and function as
previously discussed, we would observe that the power of
the Imam is restricted only to spiritual matters. He has
no say in anything administrative, an area reserved for
the Chairman and others. Imam does not sign cheques or
presides over meeting. He has no Executive power to
sanction and give approval for projects and programmes.
In fact, his sermons, speeches and opinions are in most
cases teleguided, censored and vetted. This makes his office
purely ceremonial. This scenario explains why the
Executive committee, government and Businessmen
toss around most Imams.

Conversely, however, the chairman exercises great power in

matters relating to administration and control. His
opinions count when approval for anything is requested.
The chairman, at times screens what the Imam would say on
the pulpit (Minbar) on Friday or at other fora. The
Chairman is de facto leader whose opinions matter in all
affairs. This defective structure needs to be redressed if the
Muslim Ummah wants the best from the learned Islamic
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scholars. The Islamic scholars also need to do more in the

areas of personal development, contemporary relevance,
exposure and acquisition of higher education that would put
them at vantage position of respect among the elites.

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Need for Balance
Islam is a holistic religion which dabbles into all facets of life
be it politics, economics, science, religion, morality, law et
cetera. Therefore, the issue of management is not alien to
Islam. The noble Prophet (SAW) and his followers were
distinguished Managers & Administrators during their time.
Traditionally, management involves the coordination and
harmonisation of three variables - Man, Machine and
Money. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) managed money,
men and materials resources with perfection and excellence
in Makkah and Madinah. These skills were later passed on
to his companions – Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali and host
of others (May Allah be pleased with all of them).
Therefore, an Imam or any Muslim placed in a position of
leadership in the Masjid should equip himself with the
leadership skills and beneficial knowledge to carry the
followers along. Allah says: "So ask of those who know
the scripture (learned men), if you know not." (Q16:43)

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was cautious when

appointing administrators, emissaries and diplomats. He
appointed Mu'adh Bn Jabal (May Allah be pleased with
him) as ambassador to Yemen because he was grounded
in administrative skills by virtue of the knowledge of
Qur'an, Hadith and Qiyas. He elected Mus'ab Bn Umayr
(May Allah be pleased with him) as his viceroy in Yathrib
by virtue of his knowledge, ability to manage people and
resources put under his care. Khalid Bn Walid (May Allah
be pleased with him) was also allowed to lead the Ghazwah
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(War) because he could manage warriors in battle. He

later rose to be the most celebrated warlord in the history
of Islam. To further buttress the significance of
management skills; this Hadith would be an eye opener.
Anas and Raafi Bn Khadeej (May Allah be pleased
with him) reported that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be
upon him) came to Madinah and found people grafting
their date-palm trees. He asked them what they were
doing and they informed him that they were artificially
pollinating the trees. He said, "Perhaps it would be better if
you did not do that." When the farmers managing the date-
palm trees abandoned the practice, the yield of the date-
palm became less. So they informed the Prophet (Peace
be upon him) and he said, "I am human being. So when
I tell you to do something pertaining to the religion,
accept it, but when I tell you something from my personal
opinion, keep in mind that I am a human being."You
have better knowledge (of technical skills/management)
in the affairs of this world' (Muslim).
In another critical situation, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be
upon him) accepted the war strategy and tactic suggested by
Salman al-Farsi (May Allah be pleased with him) on the
Day of the battle of Khandaq (Trench).
These are instances of managerial skills and borrowed
tactics. The various instances demonstrated that competence
should be favoured over and above sycophancy when
making selection for posts in Islam especially sensitive
posts like Imamship.

Imperative of Masjid Management

The need for Masjid management becomes inevitable
considering the sayings of the noble Prophet (Peace be
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upon him):
"He whom Allah has made an administrator over the
affairs of the Muslims but remains indifferent to their
needs and their poverty, Allah will also be indifferent to
his needs and his poverty." (Abu Dawud)
He (Peace be upon him) further counselled that:
"Any ruler who is responsible for the affairs of Muslims
but does not strive sincerely for their wellbeing will not
enter Paradise with them." (Muslim)
The above Ahadith emphasise two (2) things, viz:
Maintenance of Masjid and Functional Management.

Maintenance of Masjid
This involves "work undertaken in order to keep or
improve every part of a building, its services and
surrounding, to a currently accepted standard and to
sustain the utility and value of the facility." Umar Bn
Abdul-Azeez (RA) as earlier discussed used to carry
out routine inspection of the Masjid and its' facilities with
the view to correcting defects and check excesses. Masjid
maintenance could be classified into the following:
Preventive Maintenance, Predictive Maintenance and
Corrective Maintenance.

A. Preventive Maintenance
This involves regular inspection, cleaning, testing and
routine checks from time to time. This type of maintenance
does not wait for the total collapse of the mosque
building before it is repaired, the idea is to prevent a
total breakdown before necessary and inevitable repairs are
made. Preventive maintenance also incorporates routine
sanitation of the Masjid. This entails employment of

Mosque: Basics and Management

cleaners to scrub the toilets, sweep the floors, cut the weeds
and clear away dirt in the precinct of the Masjid. Taking
care of the Masjid by cleaning the floor, furniture, toilets,
minbar and conference halls is a divine obligation in Islam.
Included in the cleaning and sanitation is scenting,
perfuming and rehabilitation of sections of the Masjid that
is repulsive especially toilets, bathrooms and storeroom.
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) commanded
that Masajid be built among houses and that they be cleaned
and perfumed.” (Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah).

Picture 1: Sweeping of the Masjid

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Picture 2: Sweeping of the Masjid

B. Predictive Maintenance
This is almost identical to preventive maintenance, but its
main focus is to foresee and prevent a breakdown of
facilities in the Masjid. In this case the maintenance
takes place when there is warning signal, i.e. signal of
danger in the operation of electrical devices, cistern, roof,
storage water tank, leakage of pipes, cracking wall, et
cetera. In predictive maintenance, those concerned have
spare part ready to curb breakdown; they have strategies in
place to minimise inconvenience when sudden breakdown
occurs; and also they have alternative facilities in place
when the substantive one breaks down suddenly.
C. Corrective Maintenance
Here effort is to rectify damaged or worn-out equipment in
the Masjid to a serviceable condition through minor or
major repairs. Corrective maintenance involves replacing
damaged components or repairs in the Masjid. From the
three maintenance systems mentioned above, the preventive
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maintenance is preferable in that repairs are carried out in

anticipation of major defects, which might eventually cost
more. It involves pre-planned programme and scheduling
of maintenance of building to determine common
defects, diagnosing their causes and apply
appropriate remedial measures instantly.

Procedure for Preventive Maintenance

Generally, a team of experienced maintenance technical
staff are used to carry out regular inspection survey of
building and facilities to determine the likely nature of
any defects on major elements like external wall, painting,
plumbing, drainage, electrical services, roof, tiles and
carpets, toilets et cetera.

Common Structural Defects of Our Masajid

Professionals and Islamic scholars must work together when
designing the layout of a mosque. All the Masajid must be
designed to face the Qibla. There is no compromise on this
requirement because it is a compulsion. The Masjid’s layout
should be very simple and nice. There should be entrance
that is spacious enough for the people to pass through
without intermingling of males and females. There should
be an ablution area for minor and major purifications.
Worshippers should be able to take off their shoes and keep
them safely in secured places before entering the Musalla
(praying area).
The prayer area for the women typically should be at the
back or along the side of the walls. In the Arab world, there
are certainly more complex Masajid with special rooms for
Imams and officials involved in maintaining the House of
Allah; some have balconies, domed roofs or flat-roofed,
internal and external gardens.

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The structural design of our Masajid in Nigeria leaves

much to be desired as toilets are erected beside the main
Masjid or inside the ablution centres or at times facing
the Musalah (the praying area inside the mosque).
This aberration has led to one of the following

The unpleasant stench or odour from the toilets and

bathrooms generates irritation and inconveniences for
people (especially the elites) performing ablution and those
praying inside the mosques. This explains why the Masajid
no longer serve the purpose of spiritual rendezvous
intended for it by Allah, as many people especially the
professionals, technocrats, politicians and elites rush out of
the Masajid the moment the Taslim ( As-salam
Alaykum Warahmatullahi) is made by the Imams.
Whereas, there are several beneficial mundane activities
like counselling, competitions, physical exercises,
intellectual discourse, analysis of contemporary issues
affecting Islam, socio-political and economic policies,
health talk, light exercises et cetera that post-salat period
can accommodate.
Because the toilets are located inside the ablution
centres, people are barred from wearing shoes into the
ablution centres. Those who want to make use of the
toilets for urination or defecation do so without their
shoes on and in the process may be infected with toilet-
related diseases. Worse still, long queues formed in front
of the few toilets could be painful stress, just like voters
awaiting their turn to vote in general elections. These are
shameful scenes!!!

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A better arrangement should be that f emale toilets

should be located separately and at a reasonable
distance away from the male toilet area, to conform with
the Islamic norms and principle of demarcation.
Furthermore, the Muslim architects, builders and structural
engineers, when building contemporary Masajid should
make adequate provision for facilities that were available
during the time of the Prophet. For example, aside from the
praying hall (Musalah), there was also a place for the
Ahl-us-Suffah. This type of space would today be useful
for those who have to spend the night in the mosque for
various reasons. Various committee meetings can also
hold in such spaces in the Masjid. When this is not
available, unavoidably, the Musalah would combine these
functions and without doubt, there would be some
inconvenience. The picture of the desirable toilet for Masjid
is as shown below:

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B. Functional Management
This involves the ability of the Imams to coordinate the
available material and human resources optimally to advance
the cause of Islam and Muslims. By human resources we
imply the entire congregation while the material resources
refer to the physical structure, funds and assets. When
these two resources are properly harnessed, the
congregation would increase and their spiritual wellbeing
enhanced and sustained.
Functional Management is a sine-qua-non for the
survival and advancement of an institution. This
explains why companies, Government and other
Agencies invest so much in the training of personnel
after which they would be entrusted with challenging
managerial roles (to whom much is given, much is

Functions of Management
A simple acronym for understanding the seven (7)
functions of management is POSDCORB, which was
developed by Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick in 1937 in
their treatise entitled ‘Science of Administration’. The full
meanings are planning, organising, staffing, directing, co-
ordination, reporting and budgeting. In whatever setting
management is taking place, its principles must be put
into use. They can also be adapted to suit mosque
management by the Imams and their officials.
Contemporary Imams are leaders in all spheres, they
cannot handle all issues on their own; they require the
support services and inputs of some officials for the
realisation of Masjid’s objectives and targets. To
achieve effectiveness in running the mosques, there must be
division of labour and specialisation. Division of labour
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refers to the breaking down of organisational activities into

sub-units to facilitate effective accomplishment of the
organisational task. For effectiveness, there must be
parity of authority and responsibility, that is, authority must
equal responsibility. Authority is the right to give orders
and the power to exact obedience. Responsibility is the
obligation created in the part of subordinate to use authority
in order to carry out assigned task.
To avoid conflict in the Masjid, there must be clearly
defined objectives for the management members. The
management structure of the Masjid should enhance
easy enforcement of discipline and orderliness among
officials. On no occasion should an individual be
allowed to be responsible to two superiors at a time.
The modus operandi should be ‘one man one boss’ to
avert conflict and overlapping of orders and instructions.
The Imam and his team must be fair to all, adopt
participatory management style and remunerate staff as
at when due.
The position/employment of Masjid officials should be
stable in order to forestall the fear of dismissal,
retirement or abrupt termination. The line of command
should be clear and information flow must not be
hindered. In this case it would be easy for all to
subsume their individual interests to the corporate goal
(goal of the Masjid) to foster espirit de corps among all
members of management.
21st Century Realities Challenges
Muslims all over the world cannot live in isolation. They
should be part and parcel of the modern technology.
Some Muslim organisations and mosques have taken

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the advantage of modern technology to enhance their

method of propagation. A large amount of primary
sources and vital materials about Islam and Islamic
civilisation are available on the internet and specialised
websites, including full text of Holy Qur'an in various
translations and several collections of Hadith, book of Fiqh
and free E-books.
Several Islamic organisations Masajid have been fully
involved and have spent so much money in developing and
hosting useful websites on internet to provide unhindered
access to Muslims and NON-Muslims longing for
information on Islam. Most of these websites have fatwa
corners, newsletters, magazines, mostly free for Muslims,
explaining core aspects of the religion. In the United
States, Europe and Canada, different Islamic
organisations and community Masajid have their own
websites explaining their philosophies, activities and
projects. There is room for group discussions on various
Islamic projects, fatwa corner and several da’wah
platforms for disseminating information to non-
The Nigerian Imams and congregation should avail
themselves of the opportunities available on websites,
where contemporary information on Islam and mundane
issues can be found. Instead of allowing our precious
time to waste away, we can engage ourselves on the
internet, and such useful exercise which will be recorded
for us as an act of worship.
Besides, the Harf Information Technology, an ICT cum
Software Development Company based in Saudi Arabia
developed a digital library for a reference that answers all
the questions and inquiries made about Islam via
information technology. The library includes about 70
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million references, 62,000 Prophetic Ahadith, as well

as 750,000 juristic analysis of the judgment of Islamic
Law based on the four juristic schools: Hanafi, Sha'fii,
Maliki and Hanbali. The library includes also major
Islamic references such as different Tafsir books and
Islamic stories.

Pragmatic Way Forward (PWF)

Muslims in the West are forging ahead in the acquisition of
information technology. They spend their money and
sacrifice their time in order to achieve their goal. The rest
of us need to imbibe the following:
a) There is the need for Muslims in the neighbourhood
mosques and organisationally-owned Masajid in
Nigeria to acquire computers, telephone and other
telecommunications gadgets for effective and
efficient communication and propagation of Islam.
b) All local Islamic schools (Madrasah) should not be
left out. A very simple program could be designed
for computer usage.
c) Muslim professionals specializing in the area of
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
owe the Muslim Ummah the responsibility of
developing Islamic packages that can facilitate
learning/teaching for Imams and their officials in the
discharge of their routine responsibilities. As
beautiful as the suggestions above may be, we
need active Imams who will give the required
impetus to the Ummah in order to move forward.
d) Apart from the above, in the area of poverty
eradication, economic empowerment and political
awareness, the Masjid has a great role to play. In

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countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Sudan, Saudi

Arabia and some emerging Muslim communities in
Britain, France, Germany and Sweden, Muslims
through the aegis of the mosques have established
Islamic cooperative societies, Banks, Insurance
companies, Hospitals, Halal Hotels, Motels, Tea
cafes, Cyber cafes, Supermarkets, Abattoirs, Video
and other community based institutions catering for
the interest of the Muslims in particular and non-
Muslims in general.

Mosque: Basics and Management

Power of the Minbar
The Minbar is a potent platform for societal reformation. It
is therefore vital for all Masajid to have a well-designed
Minbar (pulpit) like the one in the picture below for
dissemination of fruitful messages of Islam to the
congregation. The Imam or Khateeb is expected to mount
this pulpit and deliver his well-prepared sermon to Muslims
every Friday. When the Imam begins his sermon on Friday
standing on the pulpit, he should say the statements of
exhortations often called Khutbah al-Haajah in Arabic along
with the translation in local languages for the benefit of the
listening audience. The text of Khutbah al-Haajah is
provided below.
‫إن الحمد نحمده ونستعينه ونستغفره ونعوذ باهلل من شرور أنفسنا‬
‫ومن سيئات أعمالنا من يهده هللا فال مضل له ومن يضلل فال هادي‬
‫له وأشهد أن ال إله إال هللا وحده ال شريك له وأشهد أن محمدا‬
‫عبده ورسوله‬
Verily] all praise is for Allah, we seek His help and His
forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of
our own souls [and from our bad deeds]. Whomsoever
Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever
Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that
there is no god but Allah, [alone and without any partner]
and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
is His slave and Messenger.

Mosque: Basics and Management

After the exhortation aspect of the Khutbah al-Haajah, the

Imam is expected to recite the following three Ayat of the
Glorious Qur’an. Allah instructs:
َّ ‫يَا أَيُّ َها الَّ ِذينَ آ َمنُوا اتَّقُوا هللاَ َح‬
‫ َو َال ت َ ُموت ُ َّن ِإ َّال َوأ َ ْنت ُ ْم‬،‫ق تُقَاتِ ِه‬
]201 :‫س ِل ُمونَ [آل عمران‬ ْ ‫ُم‬
O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared,
and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with
complete submission to Allah [Q3:102],

ِ ‫اس اتَّقُوا َربَّ ُك ُم الَّذِي َخلَقَ ُك ْم ِم ْن نَ ْف ٍس َو‬

‫احدَ ٍة َو َخلَقَ ِم ْن َها‬ ُ َّ‫يَا أَيُّ َها الن‬
َ‫سا َءلُون‬َ َ ‫اَّللَ الَّذِي ت‬
َّ ‫سا اء َواتَّقُوا‬ َ ِ‫يرا َون‬ ‫ث ِم ْن ُه َما ِر َج ااال َكثِ ا‬َّ َ‫َزوْ َج َها َوب‬
]2 :‫علَ ْي ُك ْم َرقِيباا} [النساء‬ َ َ‫اَّللَ كَان‬َّ ‫بِ ِه َو ْاْلَرْ َحا َم إِ َّن‬
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you
from a single person, and from him He created his wife,
and from them both He created many men and women,
and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual
(rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs
(kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you).
[Q 4:1],

‫ص ِل ْح لَ ُك ْم‬
ْ ُ‫سدِيداا * ي‬ َ ‫ َوقُولُوا قَوْ اال‬،َ‫َيا أَيُّ َها الَّ ِذينَ آ َمنُوا اتَّقُوا هللا‬
‫از فَوْ ازا‬ َّ ‫أ َ ْع َمالَ ُك ْم َو َي ْغفِرْ لَ ُك ْم ذُنُو َب ُك ْم َو َم ْن يُ ِط ِع‬
َ َ‫اَّللَ َو َرسُولَهُ فَقَ ْد ف‬
]02-00 :‫ع َِظي اما [اْلحزاب‬
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear
Him, and speak (always) the truth). He will direct you to
do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins.
And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he
has indeed achieved a great achievement. [Q33:70-71].

Mosque: Basics and Management

After the Khutbah al-Haajah, the Imam is expected to recite

the following three Ayat of the Glorious Qur’an. Allah
َّ ‫يَا أَيُّ َها الَّ ِذينَ آ َمنُوا ات َّقُوا هللاَ َح‬
‫ َو َال ت َ ُموت ُ َّن ِإ َّال َوأ َ ْنت ُ ْم‬،‫ق تُقَاتِ ِه‬
]201 :‫س ِل ُمونَ [آل عمران‬ ْ ‫ُم‬
O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared,
and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with
complete submission to Allah [Q3:102],

ِ ‫اس اتَّقُوا َربَّ ُك ُم الَّذِي َخلَقَ ُك ْم ِم ْن نَ ْف ٍس َو‬

‫احدَ ٍة َو َخلَقَ ِم ْن َها‬ ُ َّ‫يَا أَيُّ َها الن‬
َ‫سا َءلُون‬َ َ ‫اَّللَ الَّذِي ت‬
َّ ‫سا اء َواتَّقُوا‬ َ ِ‫يرا َون‬ ‫ث ِم ْن ُه َما ِر َج ااال َكثِ ا‬َّ َ‫َزوْ َج َها َوب‬
]2 :‫علَ ْي ُك ْم َرقِيباا} [النساء‬ َ َ‫اَّللَ كَان‬َّ ‫بِ ِه َو ْاْلَرْ َحا َم إِ َّن‬
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you
from a single person, and from him He created his wife,
and from them both He created many men and women,
and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual
(rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs
(kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you).
[Q 4:1],

‫ص ِل ْح لَ ُك ْم‬
ْ ُ‫سدِيداا * ي‬ َ ‫ َوقُولُوا قَوْ اال‬،َ‫َيا أَيُّ َها الَّ ِذينَ آ َمنُوا اتَّقُوا هللا‬
‫از فَوْ ازا‬ َّ ‫أ َ ْع َمالَ ُك ْم َو َي ْغفِرْ لَ ُك ْم ذُنُو َب ُك ْم َو َم ْن ي ُِط ِع‬
َ َ‫اَّللَ َو َرسُولَهُ فَقَ ْد ف‬
]02-00 :‫ع َِظي اما [اْلحزاب‬
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear
Him, and speak (always) the truth). He will direct you to
do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins.
And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he
has indeed achieved a great achievement. [Q33:70-71].
After all the required exhortations, the issues to be
discussed as sermon should then be properly introduced by
Mosque: Basics and Management

the Imam to enable the congregation follow his line of

thought and arguments.

An example of a modern Minbar

Suggested Theme for Sermon

It is a common experience in the neighbourhood Masajid
that most Imams do not prepare effectively for Khutbah in
terms of contents and delivery; it is also true that some
Imams do not prepare at all, while other group of Imams
repeat collection of sermons prepared decades ago. This
regular experience create a serious disconnect between the
Imam as teacher and the congregation as learners. It is also
the reason behind lateness to Masajid on Fridays.

Mosque: Basics and Management

For effective management of the spiritual development of

the congregation, we suggest the following themes for
weekly Khutbah. It is the responsibility of the Imam and his
committee to frame topics around the themes listed based
on happening within their environment and Islamic
calendars. The suggested themes are Ablution (‫)الوضوء‬,
Angels (‫)المالئكة‬, Anger (‫)غضب‬, Arrogance (‫ تكبر‬,
Brotherhood (‫) أخوة‬, Character( ‫ )األخالق‬, Charity ( ‫)صدقة‬,
Cleanliness (‫)طهارة‬, Community (‫)الجماعة‬, Consensus (‫)إجماع‬
, Consultation (‫)الشورى‬, Covenants (‫)العهود‬, Creation (‫)خلق‬,
Creed (‫)العقيدة‬, Day of Resurrection (‫)القيامةيوم‬, Death (‫)الموت‬,
Desires (‫)الشهوات‬, Ease (‫)اليسر‬, Envy (‫)حسد‬,
Excellence/Goodness ( ‫اإلحسان‬,) Family Ties (‫)الرحمصلة‬,
Fasting (‫)صيام‬,Forgiveness (‫)مغفرة‬, God-fearing (‫)التقوى‬,
Guidance (‫)هداية‬, Hatred (‫)البغضة‬, Hell (‫)جهنم‬, Hereafter
(‫)اآلخرة‬, Humanity (‫)اإلنسانية‬, Humility (‫) تواضع‬,Hypocrisy
(‫)نفاق‬, Innovation (‫)البدعة‬, Intention (‫)نية‬, Islamophobia
(‫)اإلسالممنالخوف‬, Jihad (‫)الجهاد‬, Justice (‫)العدل‬, Knowledge
(‫)العلم‬, Leadership (‫)اإلمامة‬, Legal Reasoning (‫)االجتهاد‬, Love
(‫)محبة‬, Manners (‫)األدب‬, Marriage (‫)نكاح‬, Mercy (‫) رحمة‬,
Moderation (‫)الوسطية‬, Modesty (‫)حياء‬, Monotheism (‫)التوحيد‬,
Neighbours (‫)الجيران‬, Obedience (‫)طاعة‬, Paradise (‫)الجنة‬,
Parents (‫)الوالدين‬, Patience (‫)صبر‬, Peace (‫)السالم‬, People of the
Book (‫)الكتابأهل‬, Pilgrimage (‫)الحج‬, Pious Predecessors
(‫)السلف‬, Prayer (‫)الصالة‬, Prophetic Biography (‫)السيرة‬, Public
Welfare( ‫)مصلحة‬. Purification (‫) تزكية‬, Quran Exegesis(
‫)التفسير‬, (Ramadan ‫)رمضان‬, Reform (‫ )اإلصالح‬, Reliance (
‫)التوكل‬, Remembrance (‫)الذكر‬, Repentance (‫)توبة‬, Sharia

Mosque: Basics and Management

(‫)الشريعة‬, Sincerity (‫)إخالص‬, Truthfulness (‫)صدق‬, Unbelief

(‫ )كفر‬and host of other topical themes.

Beyond the points discussed above, the Imam should

be a better manager of the Minbar.

Mosque: Basics and Management


Masjid and Resourcefulness

Business is established to make profit and not to make
loss. Similarly, the goal of Islam is to win souls for
Allah, thereby making the whole mankind subservient
to His whims and caprices. Consequently, the leadership
of Masjid must manage its affairs with utmost dedication,
zeal and sincerity to achieve the goal stated above. In the
business world, when goods are produced, they are well
packaged, branded, advertised, marketed and delivered
to the users with ease. No producer manufactures for
the fun of production. The classical social scientist, Adam
Smith talked about the concept "self-interest". This
concept states that the interest of the consumer is to derive
utility or satisfaction from the goods bought. Similarly, the
producer's interest is to make profit. He further said, it is
not the benevolence of the bakers, butchers or brewers
that bring meat to our table but "invisible hand".

From the foregoing, it is crucial for the Imam to have a

clearly defined goal and aspiration. The goal of the Masjid
is to enhance the spirituality of the congregation and by
extension, making Islam the preferred religion. In the
pursuit of this goal, the Imam must harness both human
and material resources together. He must market the
goal of the Masjid’s like a Godly marketing officer;
advertise the goal like advertisement consultant. Our
Imam should know that Da'wah (propagation) and
advertising are similar in many respects, as both are aimed
Mosque: Basics and Management

at disseminating messages to the public. An advertisement

programme has three crucial objectives and ditto for the
propagation exercise of Religion, viz:
Informative Objective
Competitive Objective
Persuasive Objective

Information Objective
This perspective sees advertisement as geared towards
providing information to the populace in order to intimate
them about the emergence of new products, its uses, and
benefits and where the willing public could find them. The
Imam must be responsive and proactive to the needs of the
congregation by providing them with informati on on
matters of spiritualism, economics, politics, education,
health, science, global happenings, et cetera.

Competitive Objective
Another objective of advertisement is the need for
existing or new products to compete with its rivals in the
quest to control the market with a view to increasing
output, sales and profit. Companies achieve this through
provision of incentives and free after-sale services to
customers. Imam must also learn to compete favourably
with existing religions and ideologies. The competition
could take the form of debate, discussion, phone-in
programme, seminar or round table conference under an
atmosphere characterised by maturity, wisdom and
intellectualism, not by rift or acrimony.

Persuasive Objective
Advertisement programme may be tailored or geared
towards persuading the people to buy a particular product

Mosque: Basics and Management

or services based on superior arguments and certain

highlighted features and characteristics, which made
the product distinct relative to others. Slogans
chanting the superiority of the products or services over
others are usually employed. For instance, 'The difference is
clear" and "our products lead while others follow". All
these are slogans of persuasion. A proactive Imam must
employ persuasion in the delivery of his sermons and
lectures, dialogues, debates, public lectures, Radio/TV
discussions, counselling and style of administration.
His preaching on the pulpit should be captivating,
empathetic, straight-forward and articulate to inspire
Muslims and Non-Muslims, thereby guiding them to the
path of rectitude (Islam).

Need for better Organisational Structure

The need for a new organisational structure for Nigerian
Masajid cannot be over flogged considering the endemic
conflict and operational problems that defective
organisational structure had engendered in various Masajid
around us.
The new organisational/Masajid structure should clearly
delineate authority and assign functions without any
overlapping of duties. The Qur'an and Sunnah confer on
the Imam power to oversee both Spiritual and Temporal
matters of those under him on the basis of trust, consultation
and accountability. He has officials who assist him in the
day to day running of the Masjid. He gives schedules to
subordinates and collects feedbacks (verbal or written) from
them on a regular basis. Looking at our Masajid today, the
Imams have been stripped of his power; they function
mainly as ‘paid Priests’ who follow the dictates of their
employers. Their functions are reduced to leading five daily

Mosque: Basics and Management

prayers and where applicable, Friday prayers.

A new Organisational structure, should reposition the

Imam in a proper position. He should assume both
the Spiritual and Administrative leadership based on
clearly defined constitution specifying the responsibilities of
Imam, his privileges and limits. He is the Chief Executive
while other officials handle specialised functions for which
they are expected to send regular reports to the Imam.
On no circumstance should any official or privileged
person overrule the decisions of the Imam except when
there is superior evidence.
During the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), he
combined both Spiritual with Temporal; he led his
followers in Salat, political matters, decision-making,
wars, Da'wah expeditions and other state functions, which
we have today dichotomised. He played leadership role
but delegated some functions to capable companions. He
made Zayd Bn Thabit (RA) his secretary, Abu Hurairah
(May Allah be pleased with him) at one time was made
custodian of Zakat proceeds, Umar Bn Khattab (May
Allah be pleased with him) was an administrator over
people and the treasury (Baitul-Mal), Ali Bn Talib (May
Allah be pleased with him) deputised for the Prophet (Peace
be upon him) when he was away on expedition. Instances of
delegated responsibilities abound in the history of Islam.
However, our Imams must employ the tool of consultation
in taking decisions.

Redefined Functions of the Masjid

The need to redefine functions for our Masjid’s' officials
becomes imperative looking at the complex problems and
the modern challenges begging for attention. Most Masajid

Mosque: Basics and Management

today are still operating by the standard of the ancient times,

as they remain averse to modern knowledge and
technological advancement that ordinarily ought to enhance
our understanding and practice of Islam.
Based on defects in the role assigned to Imam and other
officials in our Masajid, we advocate redefinitions of roles
and functions as follow:

1. The Imam (TM)

Qualifications and Qualities
The post of Imam must be occupied by a Muslim who
is literate in both Arabic and English, probably a
graduate in any field of study in conjunction with an Arabic
Certificate called Tawjee or proficiency in Arabic
literacy to be able to read and understand any Arabic text.
The second language apart from Arabic depends on the
environment. There should also be proficiency in Qur’anic
recitation and memorisation (set a minimum standard.
Desirable Imam must memorise at least the forty Hadith of
Nawawi's collection. He must be conversant with all issues
in the local and international worlds particularly the Muslim
world. Besides, a good Imam must be completely
detribalised, making the entire Muslim world his
constituency. More importantly, an Imam must be worthy
of emulation in both his private and public affairs; a
conscious Muslim with above average level of morality.

Functions of Imam
i. He sees to the efficient and effective functioning of
the affairs of the Masjid and its people.
ii. He consults with the head of each unit on its
activities and the congregation on general matters.
iii. He leads all activities of the congregation in its
Mosque: Basics and Management

internal and external engagements.

iv. He reacts promptly to matters affecting his
congregation in particular and the Ummah in
v. He struggles continuously towards the realisation of
global Muslim unity and the Khilafah.

2. Naibul Imam (Spiritual) (NIS)

Qualifications and Qualities
i. Must be literate in both Arabic and English
though with an edge in Arabic.
ii. Must meet the same criteria as the Imam but must
accept his (the Imam) authority on all issues and at all
times except when he (the Imam) deviates from the
iii. Must have the ability to educate, preach and offer
counselling in matters delegated to him, e.g.
(education and Da'wah affairs).
iv. Must be a conscious and practicing Muslim who
possesses the minimum level of morality expected of
a Muslim.

Functions Naibul Imam

i. He deputises for the Imam on all spiritual matters
(educational and Da’wah) in the absence of the Imam.
ii. He leads the prayer and delivers the sermon in the
absence of the Imam.
iii. He co-ordinates the effective and efficient
functioning of the educational and Da'wah units.
iv. He counsels the members of the congregation
on matters related to the delegated unit under him.
v. He reports all his activities and problem to the
Imam and also seeks his advice on all issues.
Mosque: Basics and Management

vi. He issues out, press releases information, and

enlightenment through the notice board, and the mass

3. Naibul Imam (Administration) (NIA)

Qualification and Qualities
i. Must be literate in both Arabic and English though
with bias in English. (A graduate in any field
ii. Must be computer literate and have some
knowledge in statistics and accounting as well as
administrative skills.
iii. Must be able to initiate social and humanitarian
projects for the Masjid.
iv. Must be able to supervise the departments delegated
to him.
v. Must be a conscious and practicing Muslim who
possesses the minimum level of morality expected of
an average Muslim.
vi. He keeps the bio-data of all members as well as the
statistics on a regular basis.

Functions of Naibul Imam (Administrative)

i. He deputizes for the Imam on all administrative
matters, e.g. social functions, execution of projects
and financial matters.
ii. He leads the prayer and delivers the sermon in the
absence of both the Imam and Naibul Imam
iii. He co-ordinates the effective and efficient functioning
of the social and finance unit.
iv. He counsels the members of the congregation on
matters related to his unit.

Mosque: Basics and Management

v. He reports all his activities and problems to the Imam

and also seeks his advice.

4. Education Officer (EO)

Having met the minimum requirement expected of a
conscious Muslim, as well as the skills necessary to perform
efficiently in his unit, the education officer performs the
following functions:

Functions of Education Officer

i. He runs the affairs of his office as it relates to
education of the congregation.
ii. He runs the Islamiyyah School of the Masjid, which
sees to the Arabic and Qur’anic Literacy of the
iii. He runs the library of the Masjid ensuring its effective
and efficient functioning as well as its being stocked
with relevant and current materials in all fields of
human endeavour.
iv. He encourages the studying ability of the
congregation through the employment of persuasive
and appealing approach.
v. He heads the Adult Education Class with annual set
targets of literacy rate for the congregation.

5. Da'wah Officer (DO)

Having met the minimum requirements expected of a
conscious Muslim as well as the relevant skills necessary
for the efficient and effective performance of his office; the
Da'wah Officer performs the following functions:

Functions of Da'wah Officer

i. He runs the affairs of his office, as it relates to
Mosque: Basics and Management

ii. He coordinates the daily Usrah (discussion gathering)
of the Masjid following a programme schedule for the
iii. He organises the weekly or fortnightly neighbourhood
public lectures.
iv. He trains and mobilises for the house-to-house
Da'wah programmes.
v. He reports all his activities and problems to the
Naibul Imam (spiritual) and seeks for his advice.
vi. He oversees the activities and development of the
congregation and also works for their increase.

6. Social Services Officer (SSO)

The officer must meet the minimum requirements expected of
a conscious Muslim as well as the basic qualities that are
necessary for the effective and efficient performance of his
functions, which are hereby understated.

Functions of Social Services Officer

i. He sees to the smooth running of his unit.
ii. He coordinates the activities and development of the
women group.
iii. He also coordinates the affairs of the less privileged,
the disabled and the orphans (Welfarism).
iv. He initiates and executes projects approved by the
mosque management committee (Asset/project
acquisition & Maintenance).
v. He supervises all humanitarian and social services
projects embarked upon by the Masjid.
vi. He offers general counselling for members.
vii. He reports his weekly activities and problems to the
Naibul Imam (Administrative) and also seeks his
Mosque: Basics and Management

6. Finance Officer (FO)

Apart from meeting the minimum requirements
expected of a conscious Muslim, this officer must possess
the qualifications peculiar to his functions, i.e.
proficiency in accounting, and book-keeping.
Functions of Finance Officer
i. He sees to the smooth running of the unit.
ii. He oversees all mosque takings and ensures its
judicious expenditures.
iii. He prepares for the mosque the necessary books of
account on monthly and annual basis.
iv. He invests idle funds of the mosque on profit yielding
and halal ventures.
v. He sees to the payment, calculation and collection of
Zakat of members regularly and also provides
guidelines on such matters.
vi. He ensures prompt payment of salary of all mosque
workers and other financial commitments.

Mosque: Basics and Management

Source: Author (2013)

Keys & Acronyms:

NIS = Naibul Imam Spiritual
NIA = Naibul Imam Administration
EO = Education Officer
DO = Da’wah Officer
SSO = Social Services Officer
FO = Finance Officer

Recommendations on the Newly Proposed Structures

The new Masjid structure as discussed and depicted above
is better than the common structure in most Masajid
because, the new one has defined posts with clearly defined
functions and distinct line of reporting. The Imam runs the
Masjid with his officers without having to take orders from
the Chairman or President of the Community. For the
organisationally-owned and community-owned Masajid, for
prudence and accountability there may be meetings where
the Imam would be requested monthly or quarterly to give
report on the going concerns of the Masajid. This is better
and acceptable. However, the following recommendations
should be noted for implementation.

i. W
here a Masjid could not afford the structure displayed
above or lacks the necessary manpower, the Imam
could combine the functions of the two deputies.
And if it is still not attainable, the functions of the
Education and the Da'wah Units could be given to one
person and ditto for Social and Finance Units.
ii. S
eminars and Workshops on regular basis must be
Mosque: Basics and Management

organised for the Imams and their officers to update their

knowledge on modern challenges.
iii. E
ach of the offices can also set up Committees and sub-
committees to assist them in the effective discharge of
their assigned responsibilities.
iv. H
uman beings by nature are fallible and forgetful.
These defects informed why regular seminars and
workshops should be organised for our Imams and
those involved in the management of Masajid to keep
them abreast with new ideas, knowledge, procedures,
information and technical skills. There should be
quarterly seminar or workshop on issues bothering on
leadership and management. For instance, the following
topics are suggested: Oral and written communication
(Arabic, English and other local languages); Effective
Human Relation; Time and Resources Management;
Managing subordinates & Congregation; Accountability
and Record Keeping; Relating with Faith-Based
Organisations; Peaceful Coexistence in a multi-religious
communities; Community Development and Grass root
v. W
hen our Imams feature regularly at seminars and
workshops their intellectual and spiritual capabilities will
be enhanced. This fact informed why Lecturers in the
academia are taken as mentors and role models. Many
people anchor their stands or opinions on whatever
they hear from the Professors and Doctors from the
university by virtue of their erudition and research. The
classical scholars of Islam (like Ibn Taimiyyah, Ibn
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Khaldun and Imam Nawawi) had their names inscribed

on golden platform because they were abreast with
happenings around them. They held seminars and
workshops for their followers on exegesis of Qur'an,
Science of Qur'an, Hadith and criteria for authenticating
Hadith, History, Biography, critique of existing
ideologies, science of Tawheed, Sources of Islamic
information, et cetera. Today, our Imams are contented
with archaic knowledge and skills acquired in
elementary Madrasahs. They present before the
congregation sermons which have no correlation or
relevance to the contemporary happenings and age. They
can also not link stories and events mentioned in the
Qur'an to what obtained in the age of Information
Communication Technology (ICT) and Globalisation.
More importantly, sending our Imams to seminar and
workshop would go a long way in reshaping them for

Imperativeness of Constitution
Many Muslims and Islamic organisations do most of their
activities informally and without recourse to the
constitution or internal rules and procedures guiding
interpersonal relations. By not following the due process of
law, many Masjid officials (paid workers and volunteers)
put themselves into avoidable problems, crises and at
times, unwarranted disagreements. Evidence abounds
in Qur'an and Hadith pointing to the need to ensure
documentation and seeking counsel from stakeholders
before embarking on any endeavour. Allah says:
"O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in
transactions involving future obligations in a fixed of
time, reduce them to writing let a scribe write down

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faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe

refuse to write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate,
but let him fear His Lord and not diminish aught of
what he owes. If the party liable is mentally deficient, or
weak, or unable Himself to dictate, let his guardian
dictate faithfully. And get two witnesses, out of your
own men. And if there are no two men, then a man and
two women, such as ye choose, for witness..." (Q2:282)
Unfortunately, however many flout these instructions with
impunity. Many Masajid appoint officials without any
codified constitution on ground, no clear - cut proof on who
owns the land, basis of interaction and source of funding.
Methods of appointment, composition of Shurah committee,
terms of reference, removal, re-election and duties are never
documented nor verbally communicated to elected
appointees. Consequently, some elected officials turn
to dictators and despots because there are no
constitutional guidelines for checkmating excesses.
Therefore, all Masajid should endeavour to have a simple
constitution in place, which should be generally
acceptable to the whole congregation. Muslim Lawyers
under the aegis of Muslim Lawyers Association of
Nigeria (MULAN) and competent Islamic scholars should
be contacted to make a draft of typical Masjid constitution
for use in our contemporary Masajid. This is a big
challenge for our Muslim Lawyers and Jurists.

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The Missing Link
In Islam, the Masjid provides a good platform for training
of Muslims on the texts of Du’a (supplication) and its
decorum. Several erroneous notions abound on the concept
of Du’a, which the Imam as the guide is well positioned to
address in the Masjid. Du’a is an Arabic word which could
be roughly translated to mean a spiritual communication
between Ar-Rabb (The Lord) and Al-Abd (The Slave). The
essence of supplication is to forge closeness between a slave
and his Lord. Imam should assure the congregation that
Allah is indeed close to His slaves whether Muslims or
Non-Muslims, but closer to the believing Muslims. Allah

ُ ‫سهُ َون َْح ُن أ َ ْق َر‬

‫ب‬ ُ ‫س ِب ِه نَ ْف‬
ُ ‫سـنَ َو َن ْعلَ ُم َما ت ُ َو ْس ِو‬ َ ‫اإلن‬ِ ‫َولَقَ ْد َخلَ ْقنَا‬
‫إِلَ ْي ِه ِم ْن َح ْب ِل ْال َو ِري ِد‬
And indeed We have created man, and We know what his
self-whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his
jugular vein. Q50:16

‫يب دَع َْوةَ الدهاعِ ِإذَا‬ُ ‫يب أ ُ ِج‬ ٌ ‫عنِي فَإِنِي قَ ِر‬ َ ‫سأ َ َل َك ِعبَادِي‬ َ ‫َو ِإذَا‬
ُ ‫ان فَ ْليَ ْست َ ِجيبُواْ ِلى َو ْليُؤْ ِمنُواْ ِبى لَعَله ُه ْم يَ ْر‬
َ‫شدُون‬ ِ ‫ع‬َ َ‫د‬
And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad
concerning Me, then answer them), I am indeed near (to
them by My knowledge). I respond to the invocations of
the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator
or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so
that they may be led aright. Quran 2:186

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Apart from daily salawat (obligatory prayers), the Masjid is

the best place for supplications. The Most High also said:
“And the Masajid are for Allah (alone) so do not invoke
anyone along with Allah.” {Al-jinn 72:18}”

On the strength of the verses above, the Imam must

emphasise that Du’a represents the most potent weapon of
the believer. It affirms a person’s belief in One God and
dissuades believers from all forms of idolatry or polytheism.
Du’a is essentially submission to God and a manifestation
of a person’s need for God.

Significance of Supplication
Throughout the Quran, Allah, the Almighty encourages the
believers to call on Him, He asks us to lay our dreams,
hopes, fears and uncertainties before Him and to be sure
that He hears every word. Refusal is arrogance. It is the
responsibility of the Imam to teach his congregation proper
etiquette of Du’a. Allah says:
َ َ‫عونِى أ َ ْست َِجبْ لَ ُك ْم ِإ هن الهذِينَ َي ْست َ ْك ِب ُرون‬
‫ع ْن ِع َبادَتِى‬ ُ ‫َو َقا َل َربُّ ُكـ ْم ا ْد‬
َ‫س َي ْد ُخلُونَ َج َهنه َم دَ ِخ ِرين‬َ
And your Lord said: "Call upon Me, I will answer you.
Verily, those who scorn My worship they will surely enter
Hell in humiliation!'' Q40:60
Another point that Imam needs to stress is that fact that
Du’a is a vehicle for repentance and a second chance to
Allah’s mercies and forgiveness. Allah enjoins:
‫طواْ ِمن هر ْح َم ِة‬ ُ ‫علَى أَنفُ ِس ِه ْم الَ ت َ ْق َن‬
َ ْ‫ى الهذِينَ أَس َْرفُوا‬ َ ‫قُ ْل ي ِع َبا ِد‬
‫الر ِحي ُم‬
‫ور ه‬ ُ ُ‫وب َج ِميعا ً ِإنههُ ُه َو ْالغَف‬ َ ُ‫اَّللَ يَ ْغ ِف ُر الذُّن‬
‫اَّللِ ِإ هن ه‬
Say, O My slaves who have transgressed against their
souls; despair not of the Mercy of Allah: For Allah
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forgives all sins; for He is oft Forgiving, most Merciful.

(Quran 39:53)
َ‫عواْ فَلَهُ االٌّ ْس َمآ َء ْال ُح ْسنَى َوال‬ ُ ‫الرحْ َمـنَ أَيًّا هما ت َ ْد‬
‫عواْ ه‬ ُ ‫اَّلل أ َ ِو ا ْد‬
َ ‫عواْ ه‬ ُ ‫قُ ِل ا ْد‬
ِ ‫ َوقُ ِل ْال َح ْمدُ ِ ه‬- ً‫س ِبيال‬
‫َّلل‬ َ َ‫ت بِ َها َوا ْبت َغِ َبيْنَ ذَلِك‬ ْ ‫صالتِكَ َوالَ تُخَا ِف‬ َ ‫تَجْ َه ْر ِب‬
َ‫ى همن‬ٌّ ‫الهذِى لَ ْم َيت ه ِخ ْذ َولَدًا َولَم َي ُك ْن لههُ ش َِريكٌ ِفى ْال ُم ْل ِك َولَ ْم َي ُك ْن لههُ َو ِل‬
ً ِ‫الذُّ ِل َو َكبِ ْرهُ ت َ ْكب‬
Say, Call upon Allah, or call upon ArRahman (The Most
Beneficent): By whatever name you call upon Him, (it is
well): For to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. And
say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not
begotten a son, and Who has no partner in (His)
dominion, nor is He low to have a supporter. And magnify
Him with all magnificence.'') (Quran 17:110-111)

Conditions for Acceptance of Du’a

Imam as a matter of trust must inculcate in his congregation
the conditions for the acceptance of Du’a. The following
points must be conveyed to the Muslims.
(1) Sincerity to Allah: Actions in Islam including
supplications must be preceded by good intention. Sincerity
in supplicating to Allah entails directing your requests to
HIM alone and not to other creatures. It is narrated that the
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: "Actions
are judged by motives (Niyyah), so each man will have
what he intended...” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim].
(2) An Attentive Heart: Prophet Muhammad (Peace be
upon him) said “Make Du’a to Allah in a state that you are
certain that your dua will be responded to, and know that
Allah does not respond to a dua that originates from a
negligent, inattentive heart” (Tirmidhi).

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(3) Purity of Sustenance: The congregation must

source their means of livelihood from pure channels and
they must eat, drink and wear things from pure sources for
their prayers to be accepted by Allah. Prophet Muhammad
(Peace be upon him) said:
“Oh you who believe! Eat from the pure and good foods
We have given you” Then the Prophet mentioned a
traveller on a long journey, who is dishevelled and dusty,
and he stretches forth his hands to the sky, saying “Oh my
Lord! O my Lord!” – while his food is unlawful, his drink
is unlawful, his clothing his unlawful, and he is nourished
unlawfully; how can he be answered?” (Muslim, Ahmad).
(4) Lack of Hastiness: Muslims call on Allah with
patience and hope unlike non-Muslims who are hasty in
their calls. The Imam owes it a duty to inculcate the spirit of
patience and hope in his congregation citing stories from the
Qur’an and Hadith. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon
him) said “You will BE responded to as long as you are
not hasty, meaning that a person says, ‘I have prayed and
prayed and my prayer has not been answered!’” (Bukhari,

Periods When Prayers Are Accepted

It is the duty of the Imam and his deputies to fortify the
Muslims with clues on periods when prayers are accepted,
so that they exploit the opportunities. In the legacies of
Islam, there are certain times dua (supplication) is more
likely to be accepted by Allah (May He be Exalted). These
periods include:
(1) Last Third of the Night: Imam must enjoin his
congregation to pray Tahajjud at the last third of the night
followed by supplications. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be

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pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Peace

be upon him) said: 'In the last third of every night our
Rabb (Allah) descends to the lowermost heaven and says;
"Who is calling Me, so that I may answer him? Who is
asking Me so that may I grant him? Who is seeking
forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him?."' [Sahih
al-Bukhari, Hadith Qudsi]

In another saying, Amr Bn Absah (May Allah be pleased

with him) narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him)
said: 'The closest any worshipper can be to His Lord is
during the last part of the night, so if you can be amongst
those who remember Allah at that time, then do
so.'[Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Hakim].

(2) Late at night: When people are sleeping and busy

with worldly pleasures, Allah gives the believers an
opportunity, or an answer hour if they can fight sleep and
invoke Allah for whatever they need. The Prophet (Peace be
upon him) said: 'There is at night an hour, no Muslim
happens to be asking Allah any matter of this world or the
Hereafter, except that he will be given it, and this (occurs)
every night.'[Muslim].
(3) Between Adhan and Iqamah: Du’a between these
two periods must be taught and encouraged by the Imam.
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s
Messenger (Peace be upon him) said: 'A supplication made
between the Adhan and Iqama is not rejected.' [Ahmad,
Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasai and Ibn Hibban).
(4) An Hour On Friday: Fervent prayers on Friday
must be empathised and encouraged by sound Imams going
by the narration of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon
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him) on the benefit inherent in this practice. Abu Hurairah

(May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s
Messenger (Peace be upon him) talked about Friday and
said: 'There is an hour on Friday and if a Muslim gets it
while offering Salat (prayer) and asks something from
Allah (SWT), then Allah (SWT) will definitely meet his
demand.' And he (the Prophet (SAW) pointed out the
shortness of that particular time with his hands.[Sahih al-
(5) While Drinking Zamzam Water: It is a practice of
the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his foremost
companions to pray to Allah for their wishes while drinking
from the water of Zamzam. This point needs to be stressed
by the Imam for his congregation going on pilgrimage. Jabir
(May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s
Messenger (Peace be upon him) said: 'Zamzam water is for
what it is drunk for.' [Ahmad and Ibn Majah].
(6) While Prostrating: Muslims must put before Allah
their requests and petitions while on the last prostration.
The method and timing of this must be taught by the Imam
to his congregation. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased
with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon
him), said: 'The nearest a slave can be to his Lord is when
he is prostrating, so invoke (supplicate) Allah much in it.
[Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and others].
(7) Waking Up at Night: When one wakes up at night,
it is meritorious to direct prayer requests to Allah. It was
narrated by Ubada Bn As-Samit that Allah’s Messenger
(Peace be upon him) said: None has the right to be
worshipped but Allah He is the only one who has no
partners. His is the kingdom and all the praises are for
Allah. All the glories are for Allah. And none has the right
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to be worshipped but Allah and Allah is the most Great

and there is neither might nor power except with Allah
and then says, Allahumma ighfir li (O Allah! Forgive me)
or invokes Allah, he will be responded to and if he makes
ablution and performs Salat (prayer), his Salat (prayer)
will be accepted. [Sahih al-Bukhari].
(8) End of Every Obligatory Salat: It was similarly
encouraged to pray at the end of every obligatory prayer at
the end of' At-Tashahud and before making Taslim. Abu
Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that
Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) was asked, O
Messenger of Allah, which supplication is heard (by
Allah), he said the end of the night and at the end of the
obligatory Salat [at-Tirmidhi].
(9) The Night of Lailatul Qadr: This night of Lailatul
Qadr is the greatest night of the year. This is the night
which Almighty Allah (May He be Exalted) said, “The
night of Al-Qadar is better than a thousand months."
[Q97: 3]. Similarly, Allah says in Q44:1-2 “Verily we have
revealed it in the night of blessing.”
(10) While it is raining: The Imam owes it as an
obligation to tell his congregation that raining moment is a
period of mercy in Islam. Narrated Sahel Bn Sa'ad (May
Allah be pleased with him): that the Messenger of Allah
(Peace be upon him) said: 'Two will not be rejected,
Supplication when the Adhan (call of prayer) is being
called, and at the time of the rain'. [Al-Hakim, Abu
Dawud, Ibn Majah].
(11) Persons suffering Injustice and Oppression:
Imam should counsel his congregation against oppression
and act of injustice because the prayers of the victims of
these two ills are answered swiftly by Allah. Mu’adh Bn
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Jabal (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that, The

Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: 'Beware of
the supplication of the unjustly treated, because there is
no shelter or veil between it (the supplication of the one
who is suffering injustice) and Allah' [Bukhari and
Muslim].Similarly, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
'Three men whose dua is never rejected (by Allah) are: the
fasting person until he breaks his fast, the just ruler and
the one who is oppressed [Ahmad and Tirmidhi ].
(12) Prayer of the Traveller: Traveller should be
requested to pray for the congregation when spotted in the
Masjid because they are guests of Allah. The acceptance is
premised on the piety of the traveller and the intention
behind the journey. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon
him) said; “Three supplications will not be rejected (by
Allah), the supplication of the parent for his child, the
supplication of the one who is fasting, and the
supplication of the traveller” [Bayhaqi and Tirmidhi].
(13) Parent's Du’a for their Children: Imam should
imbibe in his congregation the culture of parents praying for
their children. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)
said; “Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah),
the supplication of the parent for his child...” [Bayhaqi
and Tirmidhi].
(14) Dua after praising Allah and salutation to the
Prophet: It is a practice of the earlier generation to
precedes their supplication with Allah’s glorification and
invocation of blessing on the Prophet (Peace be upon
him).This practice must be brought back by the Imam. It
was narrated by Faddalah Bn Ubayd (May Allah be pleased
with him): that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)
said: 'When anyone of you makes Du’a, let him start by
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glorifying his Lord and praising Him, then let him send
blessings upon the Prophet (Peace be upon him), then let
him pray for whatever he wants' [Abu Dawud and
In another narration, Umar Bn Khattab (May Allah be
pleased with him) said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him)
said: 'Du'a is detained between the heavens and the earth
and no part of it is taken up until you send blessings upon
your Prophet (SAW)' [Tirmidhi].
(15) Prayers of friends from their hearts: The dua of a
Muslim for his absent Muslim brother or sister stemming
from the heart. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
'There is no believing servant who supplicates for his
brother in his absence where the angels do not say, 'May
the same be for you'' [Muslim].
(16) Dua on the Day of Arafat: Imam must encourage
his congregation to be prayerful on the day of Arafat, that
is, a day preceding ‘Idul Adha (the Festival of sacrifice).
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: 'The
best supplication is the supplication on the day of Arafat'.
[Tirmidhi and Malik].
(17) Dua during the month of Ramadan: Ramadan is
month full of many blessings, thus the Du’a of Ramadan is
a blessed one. This can be inferred from the Prophet (Peace
be upon him) saying: 'When Ramadan comes, the Doors of
Mercy (another narration says Paradise) are opened, and
the doors of Hell are closed, and the Shaitans are locked
up' Thus, it is clear that Du’a during Ramadan has a
greater chance of being accepted, as the Gates of Paradise
and Mercy are opened. [Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim].

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(18) Dua when the Armies meet: When the Muslim is

facing the enemy in battle, at this critical period, the Du’a of
a worshipper is accepted. Sahl Bn Sa'd (May Allah be
pleased with him) narrated the Prophet (Peace be upon him)
said: 'Two Du’as are never rejected, or rarely rejected: the
Du’a during the call for prayer, and the Du’a during the
calamity when the two armies attack each other' [Abu
Dawud, Bn Majah, al-Hakim].

(19) When Muslims gather for Dhikri: Gathering to

remember Allah by the congregation is encouraged as it is
done by organisations like TMC, Ansar-ud-Deen, Nawair-
ud-Deen, NASFAT, QAREEB et cetera provided the Du’a
is conducted with decorum of Islam. The Prophet (Peace be
upon him) said: If a group of people sit together
remembering Allah, the angels will circle them, mercy will
shroud them, peace will descend onto them and Allah will
remember them among those with Him [Muslim].
(20) First Ten days of Dhul-Hijjah: Imam should
announce the commencement of the month of Dhul-Hijjah
as a month for prayers and fasting especially the first 10
days. The Prophet (SAW) said: 'There are no days during
which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than during
these ten days' [Bukhari).
(21) Prayers at the dead of the night: Abu Umamah
(RA) said, the Prophet (SAW) was questioned; 'Which Du’a
is answered (by Allah)?' He answered, 'At midnight and at
the end of every obligatory prayer.' [At-Tirmidhi - Hasan].
(22) Dua after the death of a person: At funeral or in
the home of a dead Muslim, the Imam should educate the
people on the need to say the needful statements and
supplications because the angels are around. Umm Salamah
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(May Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet

(Peace be upon him) advise her, when Abu Salamah had
just passed away, and had closed his eyes, that: 'Do not ask
for yourselves anything but good, for the angels will say
'Ameen' to all that you ask for. O Allah, forgive Abu
Salamah, and raise his ranks among those who are
guided.' [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ahmad].
(23) Dua of the fasting persons: It should be a culture
among the Muslims to prayer while in fasting and at the
time of breaking the fast. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be
upon him) said; Three supplications will not be rejected (by
Allah, the supplication of the parent for his child, the
supplication of the one who is fasting, and the
supplication of the traveller [Bayhaqi and Tirmidhi].
(24) Du’a of a just Ruler: Imam should enjoin justice
from those in authority because it is a tool for nearness to
Allah. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) declared, 'Three
men whose dua is never rejected (by Allah) are: the
fasting person until he breaks his fast, the just ruler and
the one who is oppressed.'[Ahmad and Tirmidhi].
(25) Dua of obedient child to the parents: Children
must be enjoined to be kind to their parents, as act of
obedient enhances acceptance of prayers. It is well known
in the story narrated in hadith of three men who were
trapped by a cave. Their prayer for release from the cave
was accepted when one of them supplicated on the basis of
goodness to his parents; Allah removed the stone, and his
Du’a was answered [Bukhari].
(26) Du’a after Ablution (Wudhu): The culture of
saying recommended prayers of Islam after ablution should
be brought back. Muslims rarely say them. Umar Bn Al-

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Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the

Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: 'There is not one of you
that makes Wudhu, and does it perfectly, then says: I
testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except
Allah. He is Alone, having no partners. And I bear witness
that Muhammad is His slave and messenger', except that
the eight gates of Paradise are opened for him, and he can
enter into it through whichever one he pleases' [Muslim,
Abu Dawud, Ahmad, an-Nasa'i].
(27) Dua after stoning the Jamarat at Hajj: The Imam
as well as Hajj operators should teach Muslims the prayers
to make when stoning of the small pillar (Jamarat sughra),
the middle pillar (Jamarat wusta) and the large pillar
(Jamarat kubra or ‘aqaba) during Hajj. It is narrated that the
Prophet (Peace be upon him) would stone the small Jamarat,
then face the Qibla, raise his hands, and make Du’a for a
long time. He would then stone the middle Jamarat and do
the same. When he stoned the large pillar he would depart
without making any Du’a. [Sahih al-Bukhari].
(28) Du’a when the Cock Crows: The crowing of the
cock symbolises presence of the angels hence Muslims
should pray at this period. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be
pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon
him) said: 'When you hear a rooster crowing, then ask
Allah for His bounties, for it has seen an angel, and when
you hear a donkey braying, then seek refuge in Allah from
Shaitan, for it has seen a Shaitan' [Sahih al-Bukhari,
Muslim, Ahmad, Sahih al-Jami].
(29) Du'a inside the Ka’bah: The Ka'bah is called the
House of Allah (Baitullah), hence has no rival in the entire
world. The Du’amade inside Ka'bah or at al-Hijr (a
semicircle to the right of the Ka'bah, opposite to the Yemeni
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corner and the Black stone wall] is accepted by Allah.

Usamah Bn Zayd narrated, 'When the Prophet (Peace be
upon him) entered the Ka'bah, he made Du’a in all of its
corners [Muslim].

(30) Du'a during Safa and Marwah: Pilgrims are to be

counselled on the significance of prayer at Safa and
Marwah. It is narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him)
would make long Du’a at Safa and Marwah. [Muslim and
(31) Making Du’a reciting Surah al-Fatihah: Imam
should re-orientate Muslims on the potency and efficacy of
Surah al-Fatihah. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Allah the Exalted had said: ' I have divided the prayer
into two halves between Me and My servant, and My
servant will receive what he asks for. When the servant
says: Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe, Allah
the Most High says: My servant has praised Me. And
when he (the servant) says: The Most Compassionate, the
Merciful, Allah the Most High says: My servant has
lauded Me. When he (the servant) says: Master of the Day
of Judgment, He remarks: My servant has glorified Me,
and sometimes He will say: My servant entrusted (his
affairs) to Me. When he (the worshipper) says: Thee do we
worship and of Thee do we ask help, He (Allah) says: This
is between Me and My servant, and My servant will
receive what he asks for. Then, when he (the worshipper)
says: Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to
whom Thou hast been Gracious -- not of those who have
incurred Thy displeasure, nor of those who have gone
astray, He (Allah) says: This is for My servant, and My
servant will receive what he asks for. [Muslim].

Mosque: Basics and Management

(32) Saying 'Ameen' during prayer: After finishing the

recitation of al-Fatihah, the Muslims should make it a
culture to say 'Ameen' in congregation. The Prophet (Peace
be upon him) said: 'When the Imam says 'Ameen', then
recite it behind him (as well), because whoever's Ameen
coincides with the Ameen of the angels will have all of his
sins forgiven.' [Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim].
(33) Du’a while visiting the sick: It is recommended
that Muslims visit the sick and offer prayers. The sick
should also reciprocate praying for the visitors. Umm
Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the
Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: 'When you visit the sick,
or the dead then say good, because the angels say 'Ameen'
to whatever you say [Muslim].
In a similar narration, Ali (May Allah be pleased with him)
reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: 'When
a Muslim visits his sick Muslim brother in the morning,
seventy thousand angels make dua for his forgiveness till
the evening. And when he visits him in the evening,
seventy thousand angels make dua for his forgiveness till
the morning, and he will be granted a garden for it in
Jannah' [At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud].

Mosque: Basics and Management

Imam: Rescuer of a lost Pillar
Zakat is an institution that is fast disappearing among the
Muslims due to poor understanding of Zakat and emerging
issues in the Muslim communities that call for urgent return
to the Zakat fundamentals. The Imam has three fundamental
obligations with respect to Zakat institution in Masajid in
Nigeria. The first obligation is for the Imam to provide
sound education to the congregation on the need to
appreciate Zakat and its provisions. The second obligation
is for the Imams to make Zakat pragmatic in their Masajid
by setting up a Zakat Collection and Disbursement
Committees (ZCDCs) to collect Zakat from the wealthy
among the Muslim communities. The membership of a
typical ZCDC should include Islamic Jurists with
specialisation in Zakat, Accountants, Economists, Estate
Management Professionals, Quantity Surveyors, Valuers,
Facility Managers et cetera. The setting up of the
Committee could be done autonomously in every Masjid or
an alliance could be forged with competent Zakat
Foundation like Zakat & Zakat Foundation, MUWELF,
NASFAT Zakat Committee et cetera. The third obligation
of the Imam is to ensure that the proceeds from Zakat are
judiciously utilised for economic empowerment and poverty
alleviation in poverty-ridden Muslim society.

Importance of Zakat
According to Lisanul Arab, a lexicon on Arabic words,
Zakat means "cleanliness, gradual increase, excess,
praise". From the technical sense, Zakat means that part of
the wealth of Muslims whose payment has been made
Mosque: Basics and Management

obligatory by Allah and His Prophet (Peace be upon him).

In other words, Zakat is a compulsory charity payable by
Muslim annually at the rate of 2.5% from a Nisab (taxable
amount), which has been benchmarked by Islamic law at 20
Dinar (gold) or 200 Dirham (silver). Allah mentioned Zakat
along with five daily prayers in eighty-two (82) verses in
the Glorious Qur’an (Adebayo, 2008). Allah instructs:
‫علَ ْي ِه ْم ِإ هن‬ َ ‫ط ِه ُر ُه ْم َوتُزَ ِكي ِه ْم ِب َها َو‬
َ ‫ص ِل‬ َ ‫ُخ ْذ ِم ْن أ َ ْم َو ِل ِه ْم‬
َ ُ ‫صدَقَةً ت‬
‫ع ِلي ٌم‬
َ ‫س ِمي ٌع‬ ‫س َك ٌن له ُه ْم َو ه‬
َ ُ‫اَّلل‬ َ ‫صلَ َوت َ َك‬ َ
Take Sadaqah from their wealth in order to purify them
and sanctify them with it, and supplicate for them. Verily,
your Salat are a Sakan (mercy) for them; and Allah is All-
Hearer, All-Knower. Q9:103
According to Abdullahi Ibn ‘Abbaas (May Allah be pleased
with him), when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) sent
Mu‘aadh (May Allah be pleased with him) to Yemen he
said: “Tell them that Allah has enjoined Zakat from their
wealth.” (Al-Bukhari)

Benefits of Zakat
The Imam should stress the benefits of Zakat for his
congregation. According to Sayyid Sabiq, Yusuf Qardawi
and Shaykh Uthaymeen, Zakat has a number of religious,
behavioral and communal benefits in human society. It is
the obligation of Imam to re-echo these tripartite benefits in
the Masjid especially in the Month of Ramadan.
Religious benefits
1. It is abiding by one of the pillars of Islam, upon which
rests an individual’s prosperity in this worldly life and the

Mosque: Basics and Management

2. It brings a servant close to his Lord and increases his

Faith. This is the case with all of the acts of worship.
3. It earns the payers great spiritual reward.
4. Allah wipes away the (minor) sins by paying Zakat.
Prophet (Peace upon be upon him) said: “Giving charity
wipes away sins just as water extinguishes fire.”
Behavioural benefits
1. It makes a Muslim generous, kind and magnanimous.
2. Giving the Zakat imbued in payers the attributes of mercy
and sympathy towards brothers and sister who are poor.
Allah shows mercy to those who have mercy on others.
3. Giving financial and physical support to Muslims causes
the hearts to become open and the soul to be pleased..
4. Giving Zakat cleanses one’s character from stinginess
and miserliness, as Allah says: “Take the charity (Zakat)
from their wealth in order to purify and cleanse them by
way of it.”[Q9: 103].
Communal Benefits
1. Zakat provides for the needs of the poor who are the
majority in most countries.
2. Zakat strengthens the Muslims and raises their status.
This is why Zakat is appropriated to various areas including
Jihad in the Cause of Allah.
3. It removes the grudges and ill feelings found in the hearts
of the poor against the rich in the community.
4. Giving Zakat boosts one’s wealth and increases its
5. Zakat is a means for spreading and distributing wealth
(throughout the community).
Mosque: Basics and Management

Implications of not paying: Threat to Defaulters

The power of Zakat as a potent fiscal instrument for poverty
reduction in welfarist society cannot be over emphasized.
Its neglect creates evils in the society. Hence Allah
threatens defaulters thus:
“And let not those who hold back miserly from giving
that which Allah has bestowed on them from His Bounty
think that it is good for them. Nay, it will be worse for
them. The things that they held back from giving will be
tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of
Recompense. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the
heavens and the earth, and Allah is well-Aware of all
that you do.”[Q3:180]
“And those who hoard up gold and silver and do not
spend on them in the Way of Allah, give them the tidings
of a painful punishment. This will be on the Day when
those treasures will be heated in the Fire of Hell and
with it their foreheads, bodies and backs will be
branded. (And it will be said to them): ‘This is the
treasure that you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what
you used to hoard.”[Q9: 34]
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him)
reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him)
said: “Whoever Allah has given money to and does not
give his Zakat for it, it will take the form of a shiny-
headed male serpent with two black spots over its eyes,
which will encircle him on the Day of Judgment and bite
his cheeks saying: ‘I am your money, I am your
wealth.’” (Al-Bukhari)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him)
reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“There is no one that possesses gold and silver and
Mosque: Basics and Management

doesn’t give his due (Zakat) on it except that on the Day

of Judgement, it will be made into plates of fire, then
dipped into the Fire of Hell and with it his body,
forehead and back will be branded. Each time the plates
grow cool, they will be reheated and brand him again.
This will occur on a Day the length of fifty thousand
years, until Allah judges His servants (Muslim).

Zakat Beneficiaries
To tackle successfully the problems of poverty in the
society, Allah instituted Zakat and defined the categories of
people who have a right over the Zakat proceeds. Allah
‫ع َل ْي َها َو ْال ُم َؤلهفَ ِة قُلُوبُ ُه ْم‬
َ َ‫ين َو ْال َع ِـملِين‬ َ ‫آء َو ْال َم‬
ِ ‫سـ ِك‬ ِ ‫صدَقَـتُ ِل ْلفُقَ َر‬ ‫ِإنه َما ال ه‬
‫ضةً ِمنَ ه‬
ِ‫اَّلل‬ َ ‫س ِبي ِل فَ ِري‬ َ ‫ب َو ْالغ َِـر ِمينَ َوفِى‬
‫س ِبي ِل ه‬
‫اَّللِ َواب ِْن ال ه‬ ِ ‫الرقَا‬
ِ ‫َوفِى‬
‫ع ِلي ٌم َح ِكي ٌم‬ ‫َو ه‬
َ ُ‫اَّلل‬
“The Zakah are only for the Fuqaraa´ (poor), and the
Masaakeen (the needy) and those employed to collect (the
funds); and for to attract the hearts of those who have
been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives;
and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause, and for the
wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a
duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-
Wise.” Q9:60
1. Poor People (Fuqaraa): They are those who are not able
to support themselves with sufficient means, except for very
little, which is less than half (a year).
2. The Needy (Masaakeen): They are those who are able to
support themselves with sufficient means for half of the
year or more, but not enough for the entire year. So they
should receive support that will complete the year for them.

Mosque: Basics and Management

If a person does not have any cash on him, but yet has some
other source of income, such as a profession, a salary or
investment profits that will support him financially, he
should not be given Zakat.
3. People working for Zakat (Amileen ‘alayha): They are
the ones put in charge by the ruler of a country to collect the
Zakat from those who owe it, distribute it to those who are
entitled to it, guard the funds and all other types of duties
involved with the supervision of Zakat. So they should be
given a portion of the Zakat in accordance with the work
they put in, even if they may already be wealthy.
4. People whose hearts are to be attracted (Mualafat
Qulubuhum): This refers to tribal and clan leaders, who do
not have strong Faith. They should be given Zakat so as to
strengthen their Faith, which will make them callers to
Islam and good role models
5. The Slaves (Ar-Riqaab): What falls under this is buying
slaves using Zakat funds in order to free them, as well as
assisting in the liberation of Muslim war captives.
6. The debtors (Al-Garimeen): They are the ones who owe
debts. This is on the condition that they do not possess that
which will enable them to remove their debts. So these
people should be given enough (Zakat) that will relieve
them of their debt, whether it is a small or large amount,
even if they may be wealthy due to their livelihood.
7. In the Cause of Allah (FisabiliLLahi): This refers to
Jihad in the Cause of Allah. So those who fight in Jihad
should be given a portion of the Zakat that will suffice them
for their Jihad and enable them to buy the necessary tools
for Jihad in the Cause of Allah. What also falls under “the
Cause of Allah” is religious knowledge.

Mosque: Basics and Management

8. The Wayfarer (Ibn Sabil): This refers to a traveler that

has been cut off from his journey. So he should be given
enough Zakat that will enable him to return to his
homeland. These are the people who are entitled to receive
Zakat, the ones whom Allah has mentioned in His Book and
informed us that this is an obligation that He mandated,
which stems from His knowledge and wisdom. And Allah is
All-Knowing, All-Wise.

Lawfulness of Zakat and Calculation

In contemporary Muslim there are many sources of Zakat.
However, it is important to ensure that, the sources are
lawful, of tradable value and are Zakatable in nature, due to
complex economic activities. Payment of Zakat is
importance as the sources; hence payers of Zakat and the
collectors must be cautious in this area. Abu Hurayrah (RA)
reported that Allah's Messenger (SAW) warns:

َ ‫ُل هال‬
‫ط ِيـبًا‬ ِ ُ ‫ال َي ْق َب‬،
َ ‫ب‬ ُ ‫أَيُّ َهاالنها‬
َ ‫سإِنهالل َه‬
ٌ ‫ط ِي‬
O mankind! Verily Allah is pure; He will not accept
nothing but the pure (Imam Ahmad).
Furthermore, to determine whether the goods or properties
used as Zakat fund are tradable and Zakatable, the Imam
should sensitise his congregation on the following three-
fold test:
a) The goods or properties to be Zakatable must be in
the form of additional lawful goods, lawful properties or
lawful profits after deducting basis/expenses, family
maintenance and settlement of debts;
b) The lawful goods or properties should be Zakatable
on annual basis;

Mosque: Basics and Management

c) The lawful goods or properties to be Zakatable must

reach a certain amount determined by Shari’ah (200 Dirham
and 20 Dinar).
The Zakatable goods in the contemporary world include:
Gold, silver and diamond; all sorts of monetary savings,
premiums from legal transactions and other sources;
a) Assets and capitals of any company or business
b) Stocks and shares;
c) Animals;
d) Any business license;
e) Hoarded articles or properties;
f) Agricultural products such as palm oil, cocoa, etc.
g) Wealth obtained from mine such as tin, petrol,
natural gas, etc.

Methods of Zakat Computation

In line with conventional practice in Malaysia, Sudan,
Nigeria and Britain, Zakat on income or monetized wealth
is computed using two methods as shown below:
a) Method 1: Sum of the total income without any
b) Method 2: Sum of the total income and deduction of
allowable expenses
For both methods “The amount that exceeding Nisab will be
multiplied by 2.5% to determine total amount of subjected
to Zakat”.

In conclusion, the issue of Zakat is complex; the attempt

in this section is just to wake the Muslims up from their
physical slumber and spiritual stupor thereby making the
institution of Zakat a living pillar.

Mosque: Basics and Management

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Mosque: Basics and Management

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Mosque: Basics and Management

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