many divergent jurisprudential opinions on whether non-Muslims should be
allowed to enter mosques, or not.
absolute prohibition is advocated by the Maliki Madhhab, or school of law or
fiqh (jurisprudence). Conditional permission is supported by the Shafi’i and
Hanbali Madhhabs. And finally, almost absolute permission is endorsed by the
rate, the most correct view is that non-Muslims should be allowed to enter and
visit mosques, but under certain conditions.
conditions revolve around the following matters: that they are given permission
beforehand; that their entering is justifiable; that they are acquainted with
the dos and don’ts inside mosques, lest the mosque’s purity and sanctity should
become dishonoured; and that their whole stay and their activities inside
mosques are overseen by Muslims.
exceptions, of course, are the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah with
especially al-Masjid al-Haram in the former and the Prophet’s Mosque in the
latter. By divine decrees, access to the two holy cities is restricted to
there are many pros and cons in relation to non-Muslims and their entering
mosques. However, if properly perceived and effectively made use of,
non-Muslims’ entering and visiting mosques could be turned into an excellent
avenue and means of Da’wah Islamiyyah (propagation of and calling people to
especially so today when a majority of Muslim countries and their cities are
flocked with non-Muslim visitors and tourists (guests), so much so that there
are mosques that are visited more by non-Muslims than Muslims.
furthermore, is relevant above all today when misconceptions and
misinterpretations about Islam and Muslims abound, and when Muslims find it
very hard to clarify and dispel those errors and misunderstandings.
than not, a number of both historical and modern mosques are the target of
those people’s touristic visits and attention. Visiting those mosques is a must
on many non-Muslim visitors’ list of things to do.
come to a Muslim country, most of them do so keen to witness, pay attention to
and try to understand only authentic things and issues. After all, they pay
handsomely for what they are up to.
not have to go to non-Muslims to tell them what Islam actually is, and what and
who they actually are. Rather, non-Muslims keep thronging to Muslims’ midst.
Hence, Muslims must make the most of the opportunity at hand and promote
Islam’s and their cause. A healthy balance between demand and supply is to be
created and sustained.
institutions, travel agencies and various governmental bodies in the Muslim world,
should coordinate their sincere and well-devised plans and efforts, and should
employ only highly qualified and trained personnel for the purpose of guiding
those people — who are not only visitors, but also guests — and for explaining
thoroughly a great deal to them about Islam, Muslims, Islamic history, culture
and civilization, all of which the mosque institution as a community centre
each and every “significant and attractive” mosque ought to have a few highly
educated and trained guides — in addition to the tourist guides of a same
calibre employed by both tourist and government agencies, who will be with the
visitors (guests) most of the time from the moment they arrive till they depart
— who should speak fluently a couple of leading world languages.
group of non-Muslim visitors come to a mosque, a guide will warmly, politely
and intelligently welcome them, preferably – if possible – in their own
language. He will then accurately and scientifically explain to them about the
mosque and what it stands for, along with anything else associated with Islam
and Muslims as may be relevant to a particular group of people, or which may
arise during a visit and during the ensuing interactions and conversations between
a guide and the mosque visitors.
free pamphlets and other reading materials in various languages should be made
available and distributed to the visitors as per their needs and interests.
management of a mosque should strive to spur the curiosity and interest of the
visitors, leaving then no query, or need, of theirs unfulfilled, or unattended
to. The visitors should be admitted inside mosques up to designated points,
having been duly informed of, and complied with, a code of ethics for doing so.
properly explaining a code of ethics for visiting mosques, which is always
bound to trigger a host of other questions, will furnish visiting non-Muslims
with lots of accurate information and truths about Islam and Muslims.
comprehensively the concept of the mosque as the House of God and a place of
individual as well as collective worship, its history, architecture, decoration
and various religious, educational, social and cultural roles and functions,
will furnish the visitors with an invaluable treasure of facts and realities.
deal of the knowledge they are set to acquire in the course of their visits is
likely to stay with them for the simple reason that they came to a Muslim
country on their own accord. They did so in order to discover, hear and learn
new things, paying considerably for the purpose.
that being exposed to, and acquainted with, the real things and issues would
mean to most visitors money and time well spent.
doing a great service to Islam, a great service to the country and the
government will thus be rendered as well, as many job opportunities will open
up, resulting in the tourism industry to become yet more meaningful,
interesting, thrilling and, of course, more profitable for all parties
industry thus should not be spoken of only as a great revenue source, but also
as a great source and means of enhancing the reputation of Islam and Muslims in
the eyes of non-Muslims. The tourism industry is to be turned into a great
source, strategy and means of Da’wah Islamiyyah, with the mosque institution at
its heart, which, if properly optimized, has the potential to yield arguably
more benefits than a great many conventional, but more challenging and more costly,
Da’wah Islamiyyah sources, strategies and means.
destinations as are most targeted by international tourist arrivals, such as
Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Tunis, Malaysia, etc., should start thinking of
offering advanced and Islamised university programs specializing in tourism
management and guidance. The programs should successfully integrate the sectors
of Islamic studies, foreign languages, social sciences, humanities and art. Due
to their intrinsic holistic, interdisciplinary and integrative character, the
programmes will be far more challenging and demanding than most of their
Benefits Of Non-Muslims Visiting Mosques
Source: The Nigerian Tribune