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This is related to this question, but I didn't want to ask too many things in one go so I'm making a separate question.

I'm wondering what is involved in building a mosque, aside from the physical construction aspects. To illustrate, lets say that an Islamic community decides to build a new mosque, so they go ahead and hire an architect to design the building and hire a construction company to build the physical structure. Once the structure is completed, is it possible to immediately begin worshipping in the new building? Or is there a further "spiritual" process that has to be completed? Perhaps an Imam has to pray a certain prayer and blessing over the building in order to sanctify it and make it holy first?

I ask because I know that you have to remove your shoes when you enter a mosque in order to acknowledge that you have entered the house of God and are standing on Holy ground. But I'm wondering what actually makes it a house of God and not just a random building? Has an Imam performed some ritual which transforms the mosque from being an average building to being a holy site?

As a point of contrast, in Western Christianity there are two main views: Protestant and Catholic. Protestants believe that "a church is just an ordinary building" and that there is nothing special or holy about the building where they come together to pray, read the bible and worship - instead, the people themselves are seen as the important thing and the place where God resides. Whereas Catholics believe that churches need to be consecrated: I'm not sure exactly what's involved, but presumably a Bishop or Priest has to go through a ritual and bless the church - this is believed to sanctify it, transforming it into a "house of God" and a holy site.

With regards to mosques, do they need to be blessed and sanctified/consecrated like in Catholicism? Or are they just an ordinary building like in Protestantism?

(If mosques do indeed need to be blessed before they can be used, I'd love to know some detail about the blessing. What is said? What is done?)

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    I don't think that there are any necessary rituals to inaugurate a mosque, as one can pray anywhere as long as the piece of earth one is praying on is not impure. (This is so far a comment, once I'll have time to write a well elaborated answer or anybody else answered this question I'll delete it). – Medi1Saif Feb 8 '17 at 7:48
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A mosque can be established anywhere by default

One of the things granted to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ exclusively was that the entire Earth was made as a Masjid, or place of worship, for him and his followers, so the whole world is a "house of God".

Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said (emphasis my own):

أُعْطِيتُ خَمْسًا لَمْ يُعْطَهُنَّ أَحَدٌ قَبْلِي نُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ مَسِيرَةَ شَهْرٍ، وَجُعِلَتْ لِيَ الأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا وَطَهُورًا، فَأَيُّمَا رَجُلٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَدْرَكَتْهُ الصَّلاَةُ فَلْيُصَلِّ، وَأُحِلَّتْ لِيَ الْمَغَانِمُ وَلَمْ تَحِلَّ لأَحَدٍ قَبْلِي، وَأُعْطِيتُ الشَّفَاعَةَ، وَكَانَ النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلَى قَوْمِهِ خَاصَّةً، وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّةً

I have been given five things which were not given to any one else before me.

  1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey.
  2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due.
  3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me.
  4. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection).
  5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind.

Saheeh Bukhari, Book 7, Hadeeth 2


There are no special consecration rites involved in establishing a Masjid

But the mosque should not be at the site of a grave. If there are graves, present they should be relocated as per the example set by the Prophet prior to building his mosque in Madinah:

Narrated by Anas ibn Malik (emphasis my own):

قَدِمَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ فَأَمَرَ بِبِنَاءِ الْمَسْجِدِ فَقَالَ ‏ "‏ يَا بَنِي النَّجَّارِ ثَامِنُونِي ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقَالُوا لاَ نَطْلُبُ ثَمَنَهُ إِلاَّ إِلَى اللَّهِ‏.‏ فَأَمَرَ بِقُبُورِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ، فَنُبِشَتْ، ثُمَّ بِالْخِرَبِ فَسُوِّيَتْ، وَبِالنَّخْلِ فَقُطِعَ، فَصَفُّوا النَّخْلَ قِبْلَةَ الْمَسْجِدِ‏

The Prophet (ﷺ) came to Medina and ordered a mosque to be built and said, "O Bani Najjar! Suggest to me the price (of your land)." They said, "We do not want its price except from Allah" (i.e. they wished for a reward from Allah for giving up their land freely). So, the Prophet (ﷺ) ordered the graves of the pagans to be dug out and the land to be leveled, and the date-palm trees to be cut down. The cut datepalms were fixed in the direction of the Qibla of the mosque.

Saheeh Bukhari, Book 29, Hadeeth 2

  • I know some scholars insist that the land/building needs to be explicitly given as waqf before it's technically considered a "masjid" (as compared to just a musallah), but I don't know how universal that opinion is. – goldPseudo May 4 '17 at 22:37
  • I don't know of anything that says it's necessary to declare the plot of land as an endowment. In my neck of the woods there are plenty of mosques built on private land. – Zaid May 5 '17 at 4:39

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