The sorry state is – that we are getting fatwas from non Muslims as well, as to what is integral to Islam and what not.
They say masjid is not integral to Islam and prayers.
Did a bit of small research upon it, putting forward some excerpts as it is.
To the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions, the masjid was not only a place where they prayed, but it was also a place where they learned, recited the Qur’an, made dhikr (remembrance) and du‘a’ (supplication), met with each other, socialized, received the delegations, prepared the expeditions and raised funds for various good causes.
In fact, it was sometimes even a place for tending to the sick, and a shelter for the homeless. In the physical world, it was at the center of their lives. At the same time, it was the cradle of their learning and spiritual growth.
Allah made the masājid a refuge for the hearts of His righteous servants, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “There are seven [types of people] whom Allah will protect with His Shade, on the Day [of Resurrection] when there will be no shade except His Shade.” Of them is, “A person whose heart is attached to the masjid.”
It was not a coincidence that the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) started his mission in Madina by building the masjid, which he (pbuh) made in its center.
Here are few examples to cite how masajid was used for various activities.
“He (peace and blessings be upon him) would not rise from his place where he prayed the dawn prayer until the sun rises, and when it rose, he would then stand up. They used to chat with one another, even about matters that happened to them in jahiliyyah (before Islam), and they would laugh and he (peace and blessings be upon him) would smile.” [Reported by Muslim and Ahmad, and in Ahmad’s report, Jâbir said that he witnessed this more than one hundred times]
‘Abdullâh ibn al-Harith raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said,
“كنا نأكل على عهد رسول الله r في المسجد الخبز واللحم”
“We used to eat bread and meat in the masjid during the time of the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).” [Ibn Mâjah]
“I have seen the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) one day at the door of my house, while the Abyssinians were playing in the masjid, and the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was covering me with his garment to watch their playing.” [Agreed Upon]
Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) told us that before his marriage, he used to sleep in the masjid of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). [Agreed Upon; al-Bukhâri collected it in “The Book of Salat: Chapter on Men Sleeping in the Masjid,” and Muslim collected it in “The Book of the Virtues of the Companions: Chapter on the Virtues of Ibn ‘Umar]
SubhanAllah! Masajid were used to look after the sick ones too.
“Saad [ibn Mu’âdh] was wounded on the day of the [battle of] trench, so the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) set up a tent for him so that he may be close to him to visit him [often].” [Agreed Upon; Collected by al-Bukhâri in “The Book of Salat: Chapter on Setting Up a Tent in the Masjid,” and Muslim collected it in, “The Book of Jihad”]
“لا تَمْنَعُوا إِمَاءَ اللَّهِ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّهِ.”
“Do not prevent Allah’s slave, women from going to Allah’s masājid.” [Muslim]
And sadly, only handful of masajid have this facility for women, even many women are not aware that they can go to masjid and pray there and there is a huge reward in the congregation of Eid prayers for them.
Children are encouraged in masajid, how magnificent was the attitude of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) towards children coming in masajid and compare it with today, even my own son was treated rudely and in harsh tone in masjid when he was below ten years of age, he got so terrified when someone scolded him in standing in the front row and asked him rudely to go to the back rows, the impact was so deep that he never went again to that masjid for congregation and it has happened with others as well.
“The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to lead the people in prayer, and al-Hassan ibn ‘Ali would jump on his back when he prostrated, and he did that more than once.” [Ahmad]
Al-Bukhari and Muslim also reported from Abu Qatâdah raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) prayed at the masjid while carrying Umâmah bint Zaynab, and he would put her down when he made sujood.
As expected, it was not only the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) who brought his children to the masjid. The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would even shorten his prayers at times when he heard the crying of a child, out of mercy for his mother.
The non muslims were allowed in masajid.
It is known that the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to receive the delegations in the masjid. It has also been reported that a delegation of the Christians of Najrân stayed over at his masjid. It was also collected by al-Bukhari in “The Book of Salat: Chapter on Major Ablution,” that Thumâmah ibn Uthâl was kept in the masjid for a few days.
Nodoubt! Without proper knowledge and tarbiyyah we have landed up in troubled waters.
The need of the hour is that we should revive the roles of our masajid properly which was in function at the time of the Prophet pbuh and in Islamic history.
The role of masjid is integral to Islam.
The Friday khutbah was considered as the significant part about the affairs of the ummah in the light of Islam and the plan of actions to be taken into considerations were conveyed there to the masses from minbar.
Sadly, we have reduced masajid in a different space, giving it a different definition.
Now, when the attack is so evident on it, it is time to research, read, learn, unlearn the wrong concepts and myths, learn again and educate the roles of masajid in our lives and educate and raise awareness about it to others as well.
May Allah swt ease our affairs.