Closing mosques is a great sin and a form of striving toward their destruction
Fatwa No: 34074

  • Fatwa Date:12-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 11, 1435
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In my country, there was a decision made regarding closing mosques and that they should not be opened, except at the time of prayer. What is the ruling on this?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

Mosques have a great status In Islam. This was quite clear when the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, arrived at Al-Madeenah. Building his honorable mosque was the first thing that he did. Also, Allaah The Almighty Added another great honor to it when He, The Exalted, Said (what means): {And [He revealed] that the Masjids (i.e. mosques) are for Allaah, so do not invoke with Allaah anyone.}[Quran 72: 18]

Moreover, Allaah The Almighty Commanded mosques to be raised and built and Explained that they are places for mentioning Him The Exalted. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {[Such niches are] in mosques which Allaah has ordered to be raised and that His Name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings.}[Quran 24: 36] 

Islam even encouraged building mosques. Imaam Muslim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reported in his Saheeh that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever builds a mosque for the Sake of Allaah, Allaah Will Build for him something like it in Paradise.” 

The mosque is a place for all which is beneficial for Islam and the Muslims. From it, the affairs of the Islamic state were administered, and armies, Saraaya (i.e. army units) and delegations for inviting people to Allaah The Almighty were prepared. It may also be a home for some Muslims who have no shelter as was the condition of Ahl As-Suffah. It is authentically narrated that ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them used to sleep in the mosque (of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when he was young and unmarried. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is also a place for observing I‘tikaaf (i.e. retiring to a mosque for the Remembrance of Allaah The Almighty). Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques.}[Quran 2: 187]   

Accordingly, it is not permissible for anyone to close mosques to the believers who want to maintain them by mentioning Allaah The Almighty (in them) because this is a great sin and a form of striving toward their destruction. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And who are more unjust than those who prevent the name of Allaah from being mentioned in His mosques and strive toward their destruction.}[Quran 2: 114]

Allaah The Almighty Mentioned the characteristics of those who want to maintain the mosques in His Saying (what means): {The mosques of Allaah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allaah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give Zakah and do not fear except Allaah, for it is expected that those will be of the [rightly] guided.}[Quran 9: 18]

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, after mentioning this verse: “Therefore, if those believers who follow the virtues mentioned in the verse were prevented from attending the mosque, then what cause for destruction is worse than this? Maintaining mosques not only means beautifying them, but it involves Remembering Allaah The Almighty, establishing His Religion in them and purifying them from the filth of Shirk (polytheism).

Allaah Knows best.

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