# WHAT is a Mosque ? Masjid ? Jaami’ ?

earth-08.jpg# The Earth as a Mosque:

The Prophet Muhammad once remarked, “The (whole) earth has been made a mosque (or a place of prayer) and a means of purification for me, so wherever a man of my ummah may be when the time for prayer comes, let him pray.”
(Sahih Bukhari, 335)

# What does Masjid mean?

The word Masjid literally means any place in which one performs the act of Sujud (prostration) and acts of worship or devotion.

The Arabic word Masjid is derived from the word Sajada, meaning “he became humble or submissive or he bent himself down on the ground before God”. It is prostrating oneself in prayer by dropping gently upon the knees, placing the palms of the hands on the ground, a little before the place of the knees, and then putting the nose and the forehead on the ground, the former first, between the two hands.

In other words, Masjid or mosque is the place of the public religious service. The word Masjid is used in the Quran, especially in connection with the Meccan sanctuary, Masjid Al-Haram, or the Sacred Mosque of Mecca.

In the Quran, the same word, Masjid, has been used for the places of worship belonging to the Christians and Jewish people as well. The Quran declares:


“And similarly, We caused them to be found that they [who found them] would know that the promise of Allah is truth and that of the Hour there is no doubt. [That was] when they disputed among themselves about their affair and [then] said, “Construct over them a structure. Their Lord is most knowing about them.” Said those who prevailed in the matter, “We will surely take [for ourselves] over them a masjid.”

 Surat Al-Kahf (The Cave) – سورة الكهف – Ayah 21
Sahih international

The famous historian Ibn Khaldun has also used the word Masjid generally meaning a place of worship of any religion in Muqaddimah.
Today the Arabic ‘Masjid’, and the English ‘mosque’ are used exclusively for religious houses in Islam.

# What is a Jaami’ ?

Another word is used sometimes for Mosque : Jaami’. Similarly, Jami is a congregational mosque or the mosque in which a congregation assembles to perform the Friday prayer. A Mosque is, properly speaking, a place of meeting in the general sense of the word. This is the reason why it is also called Jami, a place of gathering.

AMOSQUEAfriDAY #4: Al Haram Mosque, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

# History:

Known as the holiest place for muslims, Al Haram mosque contains the Kaaba wich is the first house built for humanity to worship Allah.

The Kaaba was built by angels before the creation of humanity, as the equivalent of “Bayt Al Ma’mur”, the House around which those in the heavens circumambulate. First reconstructed by Adam (ASS = Upon him prayer & peace), Prophet Abaraham (ASS) and others reconstructed it after. The Kaaba represents the place where ALL muslims from all over the world gather and circumambulate together as one men, worshipping One God.

The first construction of  Al Haram Mosque, which surrounds Al Kaaba (the black cube), started under the authority of the Caliph Umar Ibn al Khattab in 638 and has continued through centuries to face the growing number of pilgrims visiting the mosque. Mecca’s Mosque, the first Holy place for muslims, reached an area of 400 800 m² and a capacity of 900 000 believers.


# Why Al Haram Mosque ?

Every muslim dreams to visit Masjid Al Haram. So after having tried to travel to mecca last year, Allah Gave me the opportunity to make the Umrah and pray in this wonderfull place a few weeks ago. Otherwise, Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala Said us in the Holly Quran :

When you arrive in Mecca the first thing you can see from far is the Royal Mecca Clock Tower wich indicates the place of Al Haram, the Holy Mosque. When we eventually entered the Haram, and as soon as I saw the Kaaba, my heart was full of a feeling words cannot describe. Ind I couldn’t control my tears. It looked so magnificent.

The most impressive thing was to see people from so different backgrounds, cultures, social status, speaking every languages and yet gathered in one place in remembrance of one God. All together, they choosed to leave this fast paced life for a while to ask for forgiveness, to pray for a loved one, to support a sick person, to reflect and meditate and worship and love.. All together, on one ground, for one faith, for The One.. Allah


# My jumuha in Masjid Al Haram

Jumuha in mecca  was special, it was the first time in my life I felt that Friday is a day of celebration. From 10 :00 am the Mosque was filled by people from all over the world  coming to hear the khutba and to pray the Lord.

Under a blazing sun, the Imam Saud al Shuraim started his lecture on fraternity in Islam and the importance of preserving brotherhood. I was really impressed by the humility of the imam, a mountain of knowledge and yet he ended his speech with : « If my speech is good, it’s from Allah, and if my speech is wrong it’s from me and sheitan »


Masjid : Mosque
Kaaba : cubic construction in the centre of Haram Mosque.
Bayt al Ma’mur : Kaaba of Angels
Khutba : Friday sermon





About me:

I am a french engineer in technology of information for mecanics. Currently, I am studying strategy in a business school in Paris.
My experience in Mecca made me change, and I think  I was not the same before and after the Umrah. So I sincerely recommend it to all my brothers and sisters in Islam to make this trip as soon as possible, you wil not regret it !

I hope you liked this article,
Peace be upon you.