Ameer ul-mumineen Maulaana Ali (AS) was asked about the neighbour of the mosque, He replied, “The one who hears the call of the prayer ( azaan ) is indeed the neighbour of the mosque and he cannot offer prayer except in the mosque itself, unless he has an excuse or disease.”
Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) has said: “The prayer offered in Al-masjid ul-Haraam (the holy mosque of Ka'ba, Makkah) is equivalent to one lakh prayers; and the prayer in a l-masjid un-Nabawi (the holy mosque of Mohammad Rasoolullaah (SAWS), Madina) is equivalent to ten thousand prayers; and the prayer in Al-masjid ul-Aqsa (the holy mosque at Jerusalem) is equivalent to one thousand prayers; and the prayer offered in Jaame' Masjid (the greatest mosque in the region where the Friday congregational prayer is offered) is equivalent to one hundred prayers; and prayer in tribal mosque ( Masjid ul-Qabeelah ) is equivalent to twenty five prayers; and the prayer in the mosque of the market ( Masjid us-Sooq ) is equivalent to twelve prayers; and the prayer of a man by himself in his house is equivalent to one single prayer.”
Rasoolullaah (SAWS) has said: “Sitting in the mosque awaiting the next obligatory prayer constitutes one type of worship ( ‘ibaadat ). For him who builds a mosque in the name of Allaah, even though it resembles the nest of a sand grouse ( qotaat ) in size, then Allaah will build a house in Paradise .”
Maulaana Ali (AS) has said: “Verily the mosque complains to Allaah if it stands in ruins; and likewise, it is happy when one of its frequenters appears after a period of absence in the same manner as one of you is happy when an absentee friend returns back to you.”
Maulaana Ali (AS) has said: “The mosque is the frequenting place of the faithful, and his home, his hermitage.” You should not permit Jews, Christians, children, lunatics to enter your mosques for fear that Allaah surely will transform you into apes and pigs in the state of bowing or prostrating. Undoubtedly idolaters are unclean so let them not come near the mosque. Also sexually impure person is not entitled to enter a mosque.
You should respect the supremacy of the mosque by maintaining the decorum of the mosque (Aadaab ul-Masjid ). The points that constitute the code of conduct when you visit the mosque for the prayer are explained below:
1: You should enter the mosque by advancing your right leg. After entering the mosque you should recite the following du'aa:
“As salaamo ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahe wa barakaatohu.”
“Peace be upon you and may Allaah bestow His blessings and bounty upon you.”
2: Maulaana Ali (AS) has said, “It is the right of the mosque that when you enter the mosque you should offer two raka'at prayer of ‘ Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid', and it is the right of the two raka'at that you should recite in both of them the Mother of the Qur'an i.e. ‘ Surat ul-Faateha', and it is the right of the Qur'an that you should act in accordance with what is contained in it.”
In the first raka'at , you should recite “ Surat ul-Faateha” and “ Surat ul-Falaq”. In the second raka'at , you should recite “ Surat ul-Faateha” and “ Surat un-Naas.” You should not offer this two raka'at prayer before the obligatory prayer of Maghrib (sunset prayer), as there is no prayer between the prayer of ‘Asr (afternoon prayer) and Maghrib. Except the above situation, this two raka'at prayer should be offered every time when you enter the mosque to offer the prayers, i.e. in the morning; in the noon ; and for the midnight prayer. The Niyyat for this prayer is given below:
“I am offering two raka'at prayer of Tahiyyat ul-Masjid for Allaah, in time facing the Holy Ka'bah.”
3: Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) has said: “Prostration is lawful on any kind of cloth that can be used for dress or prayers. Similarly, it is lawful for the one who prostrates to put his palms, feet and knees on such a cloth.” It is also permitted for the prayers being said on woolen cloth.
The cloth (masalla) that is taken for the purpose of prayers should be clean from any dirt and should have a rosary ( tasbeeh ), a handkerchief and a booklet of du'aa in it. You should recite the following du'aa while unfolding the cloth for the prayers facing the Qiblah .
“And say, praise be to Allaah Who has neither taken unto Him a son nor has He a partner in His Kingdom nor does He need a helper. Always remember Him with the words Allaaho Akbar (Allaah is the greatest).”
4: You should always face the Qiblah whenever you sit in the mosque. You should not sit in the mosque with your back facing the Qiblah or with your legs folded like palaathi . You should sit in the way you do while offering the prayers. If you happen to go to the mosque before the time of the prayers, then you should recite Qur'an or du'aa or tasbeeh of the month.
Rasoolullaah (SAWS) has said: “For a man whose conversation is the Qur'an and the mosque his habitation, Allaah has built a house in Paradise and elevated him above the average grade of residents in the Paradise .” Verily, mosque is the place only for those who are steadfast in prayers; who recite Qur'an; who guides people on the right path; and who teaches religious and spiritual knowledge.
5: You should not raise your voices in the mosque. You should not discuss about the worldly affairs. You should not indulge yourself in backbiting. You should not cry about something you have lost in the mosque or search for the same.
6: You should neither spit in the mosque nor expectorate phlegm. You can take the mucus or phlegm in a piece of cloth if the need arises. Maulaana Ali (AS) has said, ‘He who respects the mosque by avoiding expectoration will meet Allaah smiling on the Day of Resurrection.'
7: You should not recite the Qeraat (surah recited audibly by the Imaam during the first two raka'at of the obligatory prayers) along with the Imaam (the one who leads the obligatory prayers). You should not lag behind or go ahead of Imaam in bowing (ruku') and prostration (sajadah) during the obligatory prayers.
8: You should not keep arms or ammunition in the mosque. Rasoolullaah (SAWS) forbade that the hadd (punishment) be applied in the mosques, or that arms, pictures or drawings being hung in the Qiblah .
9: You should not get naked or show off your private parts in the mosque. Rasoolullaah (SAWS) forbade that the sexually impure persons be seated in the mosque.
10: You should not undertake trade or business in the mosque. You should abstain from buying or selling in the mosque.
11: You should make exit from the mosque by advancing your left leg.
12: You should not do any such thing in the mosque which can create inconvenience and disturbance in performing prayers. You should burn incense once a week, preferably on Friday night, in the mosque.