It has always been the practice of all Muslims to brighten Musjids and make special arrangements for lighting and decorating on significant occasions, e.g. Lailatul-Qadr in Ramadaan, 12 Rabiul-Awwal, etc. The Musjids of wahabies, however, remain without luster. They rule this action of decorating the Musjids to be Haraam and even shirk. For this reason, we shall discuss this topic as well.
PROOF OF ADORNING MUSJIDS
To always keep Musjids bright, especially during Ramadaan or when completing the Quran on Lailatul-Qadr, Meeladun-Nabi , etc. is a great act of worship (ibaadat). There are many proofs for this,
1.Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran, Only those who have Imaan on Allah Almighty , and Qiyaamat cause the Musjids to thrive.”34.1 — Surah Tauba, Verse 18
The Commentators of the Holy Quran (Mufassireen) state that having namaaz in jamaats in Musjids, keeping the Musjids clean, spreading mats of high quality, brightening the Musjids with lighting, etc. are all included in causing Musjids to prosper. Hadrat Sulaiman Alaih salaam used to make the Musjid Baitul-Muqaddas bright with Kibreet-e-Ahmar (a flammable substance). There was so much brightness because of this that women miles away were able to spin their threads! . Tafseer Roohul-Bayaan
2. Hadrat Abu Saeed Khudri radi allahu anhu . states, ‘The Sahabi, Tameem Daari radi allahu anhu was the first person to light lamps in the Musjids.”34.2 – Ibn .Majah
This proves that brightening Musjids is the practice of a Sahaabi. Bear in mind that lighting lamps was not the general habit in the Holy Prophet’s Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam time. At the time of jamaat, sticks of the date-tree were burned for light. Hadrat Tameem Daari radi allahu anhu was the first to light lamps there.
3. Ummnul-Mu’mineen. Sayyidah Maimunah radi allahu anha. asked the Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam , “Give us an instruction regarding the Musjid at Baitul-Muqaddas” He said, “Go to it and read namaaz there.” During those times, there was a war taking place in that area. For this reason, Rasoolullah Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam said, “If you cannot reach the Musjid and perform Salaah in it, send oil there so that it can be used to light the Musjid’s lamps.” 34.3— Abu Dawood
Four points arise from this narration,
- Traveling to the Musjid of Baitul-Muqaddas to perfonn Salah in it is Sunnat, Sayviduna Rasoolullah salla allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam led all the prophets in namaaz there on the night of Me’raj. He (as well as all other prophets) traveled there for this very reason.
- Many lamps used to be lit in the Musjid of Baitul-Muqaddas, This is known from the usage of the word ‘Qanadeel’ in the Hadith.
- The thawaab of brightening the Musjid is comparable to thê reward of performing namaaz there. In other words, it is a great ibaadat and a means of attaining reward.
- To send oil from afar to brighten a Musjid is the Sunnah of Sahaaba.
4.Imam Muhaddith Rafee radi allahu anhu states that Hadrat Mu’aaz ibn Jabal radi allahu anhu reports the Holy Prophet salla allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam to have said, “Allah Almighty builds a home in Jannat for th person who builds a Musjid for Him. 70,000 angels will make dua of mercy for the one who lights lamps in the Musijd, and they will continue making this dua for him until the lamps are extinguished.”34.4
we come to know that causmg brightness in the Musjid is a means of attaining dua from 70,000 angels.
5.Hadrat Mu’aaz ibn Jabal radi allahu anhu. also narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah salla allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam once said, “70,000 angels make dua of mercy for the one who hangs a lamp in the Musjid. They continue doing so until the lamp goes out” 34.5
So. just as how lighting lamps (i.e. causing brightness in the Musjid) is thawaab. so too is giving lamps or oil (i.e. supplying provisions for lighting) to the Musjid a means of thawaab.
6.Hadrat Abu Ishaaq Hamdaani radi allahu anhu states, “On the first night of Ramadaan. Hadrat Ali radi allahu anhu came to Musjidun Nabawee while lamps were shining and. recitation of the Holy Quran was being made, He said, “0 Umar ibn Khattab radi allahu anhu ! May Allah almighty brighten your grave just as how you have brightened His Musjids at the time of the Quran’s recitation,”34.6 — Ibn Shaheen
7.Some Muhadditheen report Hadrat Ali radi allahu anhu to have said, “Allah almighty brighten the grave of Umar radi allahu anhu just as how he has brightened our Musjids.” 34.7 . Sahihul-Bihaari
From the last two narrations, it is proven that brightening the Musjids in Ramadaan has been practiced from the time of Hadrat Umar radi allahu anhu, It should also be noticed that the other Sahaaba didn’t object to this. Rather, Hadrat Ali radi allahu anhu made dua for him. we also learn that by brightening the Musjids, Insha-Allah, our graves will also be brightened. Thus, whoever now stops this practice is not only making his grave darker, but is objecting to the Sunnat of the Sahaaba. The Holy Quran speaks about such people, “Who is a bigger tyrant than he who stops Allah’s almighty remembrance (Zikr) in Allah’s almighty Musjids and tries to ravage them?”34.8 . Surah Baqarah. Verse 114
In this ayat, those who prohibit Salaah,. the Zikr of Allah almighty , recitation of the Holy Quran or Naat Sharif to be read in the Musjids, as well as those who stop the decoration of Musjids with lamps, lightings, carpets, etc, have been censored and rebuked because their stopping and prohibiting adds to the ruining of the houses of Allah .
In this day and age, to adorn Musjids, continuously keep them bright and make special provisions for lighting on important occasions is good even according to common sense, because we frequently decorate our homes and go out of our way to have special lighting installed on special occasions, e.g. weddings. etc. when our homes are worthy of being decorated and made bright, surely Allah’s almighty house, which is the most excellent of homes, should be decorated more than any other so that the greatness of Musjids is inculcated in the hearts of people. This practice is a means of propagating the deen of Islam and instilling a sense of awe into the Muslims for tlhe Musjids.
OBJECTIONS & ANSWERS TO LIGHTING THE MUSJIDS, ETC.
OBJECTION 1 – To decorate Musjids with lights is waste. The Holy Quran has prohibited wasting, “Eat and drink and don’t be wasteful. Verily Allah almighty dislikes those who waste.”34.9 – Surah Aaraaf, Verse 31
Answer – Saying “brightening Musjids is wastage” is incorrect Wasteful spending is the spending which has no worldly or religious benefit. Brightening Musjids is decoration for the house of Allah almighty . It is an act of worship and a means of thawaab.
Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu anhu came to Musjidun—Nabawee while lamps were shining and recitation of the Holy Quran was being made. He said, “O Umar ibn
OBJECTION 2 When light is attained by one lamp or light, all the others are useless and are now cosidered wastage.
Answer – When the Satr (area of the body necessary to be covered) is covered with one vest and pants, then wearing a shirt, waistcoat, etc. on top of these things should also be considered wastage and Haraam. What about buying different materials when simply cotton will do? Or spending thousands on electrical fittings when a Rs 5 lamp is enough to light the home? Is traveling in first- or business-class also Haraam because third-class is sufficient for a person to reach his destination? Friends, is light definitely attained by one lamp or fitting, but many lights are a decoration. for Musjids Both lighting and decorating is ibaadat.
OBJECTION 3 ? If brightening the Musjid with lamps and light was a good act, why didn’t the Holy Prophet salla allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam himself do it in Musjidun-Nabawee? Are you more excellent than Rasoolullah salla allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam or more sympathetic to the deen then him? What right do you have of doing that which the Messenger salla allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam didn’t?
Answer – If wearing waistcoats, clothes of high-quality, velvet. etc. was a good act, why didn’t the Holy Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam use them? Wahabies, why do you do that which Rasoolullah Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam hasn’t done? why do you have electrical fittings in your homes?
In the Prophet’s Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam time, homes were simple in construction because it was the time of many Jihads and thus, the Sahaaba had more important matters at hand. In the time of the Sahaaba however, when people increased the standards of their homes, the Jurists amongst them thought. “The deen is far more excellent than the world, and Allah’s Almighty house (i.e. Musjidun-Nabawee) is far more excellent than our homes. For this, our houses shouldn’t be more brilliant than Allah’s Almighty House.” With this in mind, Hadrat Uthman radi allahu anhu refurbished and renovated Musjidun-Nabawee magnificently. He also adorned and decorated it imposingly. The Holy Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam states,, “Be steadfast on my Sahaaba and that of my Khulafaa-e-Raashideen.”34.10
Just as how the Sunnat of Rasoolullah Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam is worthy of practice, so is the Sunnat of Rasoolullah’s Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam Sahaaba commendable in following (and we know that the Holy Prophet’s Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam companions decorated Musjidun.Nabawee). In fact, the Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam himself ordered oil to be sent to Baitul.Muqaddas to be used in its lamps.
OBJECTION 4 Hadrat Ibn Abbas radi allahu anhu quotes Rasoolullah Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam to have said. ‘I have not been commanded to decorate Musjids.” Hadrat lbn Abbas radi allahu anhu also said, “You will decorate like the Jews and christians.”’34.11 -.Abu Dawood
This Hadith proves that there is no command of decorating Musjids, and adorning places or ibaadat is the practice of the Jesws and Christians, not Muslims. It is quite clear that brightening Musjids is decoration. Thus, it is prohibited.
Answer – There are two replies to this,
- If this Hadith’s implication is taken to mean that decorating Musjids and having lighting there is prohibited, why didn’t Hadrat lbn Abbas radi allahu anhu stop Hadrat Umar and Uthman Radi allahu anhum. from decorating them why did he go contrary to his own narration? Why didn’t any of the Sahaaba take this Hadith’s meaning to be what you have accepted? If this is the actual meaning of the Hadith that you have cited, it will go against the Holy Quran, i.e. Surah Tauba, verse 18.
The Quran Sharif has declared decorating and populating the Musjids to be. the sign of Imaan, So, we come to know that you have incorrectly understood the Hadith.
2. Here, the prohibition is not against every decoration, Rather, impermissible flaunter has been censored, e.g. decoraating with pictures,photos and statues. That was why likeness to the Jews and Chriatians was made (their places of worship are strewn with such decorations). It could also refer to the decoration that is not for Allah almighty but for show (riya),.boast and fame as per the deduction or the following Hadith in Objection 5..The decoration and brightening which is solely for Allah’s almighty pleasure and respect of the Musjid is admirable. May Allah almighty grant us the correct understanding of the Holy Quran and Hadith Sharif.
OBJECTION 5 Hadrat Anas radi allahu anhu states that the Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam once said, ‘Truly a sign of Qiyaamat is that people will show-off in Musjids.”34.12 — Abu Dawood, Nasaa’i, Daarimi, Ibn Majah
We come to know from this Hadith that the decoration of Musjids is an indiction of Qiyaama. May Allah almighty save us from this.
Answer – The meaning of this Hadith is what we have spoken about in Objection 4, concerning boastfully building Musjids and decorating them in conceit (such as a suburb which decorates their Musjid in contest to another area’s). Reading namaaz for show and boast is prohibited. This doesn’t mean that even scincere people should stop reading namaaz!
The Hadith may also mean that close to Qiyaamat, people will go to the Musjids and, instead of making the Zikr of Allah almighty, they will indulge themselves in worldly chatter and contest amongst each other in boast and superiority. This is a severe sin.
Even if the Hadith’s meaning is accepted to be what you have understood (that decorating Musjids is a sign of Qiyaamat), still too is prohibition not proven by it because ,not every sign of Qiyaamat is bad. The advent of Hadrat Esa alaih salaam and the appearance of Imaam Mahdi radi allahu anhu are also signs of Qiyaamat. They are not bad but are full of blessings
OBJECTION 6 Decorating Musjids withlights is a Bad Innovation (Bidat) and every Bidat is deviance.
Answer – This is wrong because doing .so is the Sunnat of the Sahaaba as we have explained in the first chapter. Even if this was an Innovation, every Innovation is not Haraam or a deviance. Printing Bukhari Sharif is an Innovation but is not Haraam. In fact, doing so is thawaab’ The Science of Hadith as well as its categorization, is also an Innovation but is no, Haraam. We have already explained Innovations (Bidat) in this book, In that Section. we have proven that today, the Kalima and namaaz (in fact, all acts of worship) have several Innovations within them but thawaab is given nevertheless
- Permissibility Of Celebrating Meelad-Un-Nabi Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam (madinasharif.wordpress.com)
- Loyalty to ALLAH almighy useless without Love for the PROPHET salla allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam (madinasharif.wordpress.com)
- Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (AlaHazrat) radi allahu anhu’s UNIQUE MEMORY (madinasharif.wordpress.com)