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www.ismaili.net :: View topic - mosque vs. masjid
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mosque vs. masjid

 
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nargisk3



Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Posts: 49
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 10:29 am    Post subject: mosque vs. masjid Reply with quote

Hi. I was wondering, often times when talking to non-Ismailies, do you refer to Jamatkhane, as Mosque or Masjid, or do you say you're going to Jamatkhane? I know it doesn't really seem like a very critical issue, but I think it is something that should be clarified.

I was reading this interview by Hazir Imam, and he said:
"If you go to a Moslem country keep an eye on the Imam of the Mosque: he is married, has his business a hundred metres away from the Mosque, and gathers revenue in the form of offerings from the believers. He is the impartial manager of these funds."

However, just today I received an email stating this:
"Anyway this book ("THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING ISLAM") pointed out that the term 'mosque' is derived from the Spanish word for "mosquito." It was termed as such because during the Crusades, King Ferdinand said they were going to go and swat the Muslims like mosquitoes". (Where else can they find Muslims in large number to be swatted if not in a Masjid?). So, they cheekily termed "Masjid" as "Mosque". "
Do ya'll have any input on this?
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 13075

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 11:24 am    Post subject: Jamatkhana vs Masjid Reply with quote

You should say that you are going to Jamatkhana and not Masjid.

Masjid technically is derived from the word SAJADA, ie., to prostrate, hence Masjid means a place were prostrations are offered to Allah. As per MHI’s speech below made at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Ismaili Centre in Dubai, Jamatkhana is NOT a masjid and it is reserved for the practices of Shia Ismaili Tariqah.



At this juncture, perhaps, it would be appropriate to situate one of the functions of the Ismaili Centre in the tradition of Muslim piety. For many centuries, a prominent feature of the Muslim religious landscape has been the variety of spaces of gathering co-existing harmoniously with the masjid, which in itself has accommodated a range of diverse institutional spaces for educational, social and reflective purposes. Historically serving communities of different interpretations and spiritual affiliations, these spaces have retained their cultural nomenclatures and characteristics, from ribat and zawiyya to khanaqa and jamatkhana. The congregational space incorporated within the Ismaili Centre belongs to the historic category of jamatkhana, an institutional category that also serves a number of sister Sunni and Shia communities, in their respective contexts, in many parts of the world. Here, it will be space reserved for traditions and practices specific to the Shia Ismaili tariqah of Islam.

In the tradition of Muslim spaces of gathering, the Ismaili Centre will be a symbol of the confluence between the spiritual and the secular in Islam. Architect El Dahan has drawn inspiration from the Fatimid mosques in Cairo. Like its functions, the Centre's architecture will reflect our perception of daily life whose rhythm weaves the body and the soul, man and nature into a seamless unity. Guided by the ethic of whatever we do, see and hear, and the quality of our social interactions, resonate on our faith and bear on our spiritual lives, the Centre will seek to create, Insh'allah, a sense of equilibrium, stability and tranquillity. This sense of balance and serenity will find its continuum in the wealth of colours and scents in the adjacent Islamic garden which the Aga Khan Trust for Culture will help to develop as a public park.
I spoke earlier of the Emirate's policies
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 13075

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 2:41 am    Post subject: Re: mosque vs. masjid Reply with quote

nargisk3 wrote:
However, just today I received an email stating this:
"Anyway this book ("THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING ISLAM") pointed out that the term 'mosque' is derived from the Spanish word for "mosquito." It was termed as such because during the Crusades, King Ferdinand said they were going to go and swat the Muslims like mosquitoes". (Where else can they find Muslims in large number to be swatted if not in a Masjid?). So, they cheekily termed "Masjid" as "Mosque". "
Do ya'll have any input on this?


Mosquito in Spanish is el-mosquito! I think we should not even dignify this kind of hate literature by posting it here. It does not serve the broader interests of pluralism.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 13075

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 7:11 am    Post subject: JamatKhana and our Identity Reply with quote

"A secure pluralistic society requires communities that are educated and confident both in the identity and depth of their own traditions and in those of their neighbours. " (Ottawa, May 2004)

The above statement of MHI made in Ottawa recently, clearly refers to the need to understand and reinforce our own traditions which will give us confidence in articulating our identity as Shia Imami Ismailis as a distinct sect within the Muslim Umma. Jamatkhana in this regard is a statement of our identity, i.e. who we are , what are our aspirations, traditions and beliefs. Understanding our rites and ceremonies and practising them regularly should reinforce and deepen that identity. For example, by performing the Dua Karaavi ceremony, one should be made aware of his/her Bayat to the Imam.

We are not living in a time where we need to practice Taqiyah, i.e., to hide or conceal one's beliefs and therefore we should not confuse Jamatkhana and Masjid. They are separate institutions representing different beliefs, identities and purposes. It is also significant in this regard to note that MHI made the statement about Masjid and Jamatkhana in a predominantly Sunni environment (in Dubai) and very close to Wahabbism in Saudi Arabia.
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nargisk3



Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Posts: 49
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very enlightening! Thanks a lot kmaherali =) you're totally right about what you said.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 13075

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nargisk3 wrote:
Very enlightening! Thanks a lot kmaherali =) you're totally right about what you said.


You are welcome! You have raised an important issue. There is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion about this.
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karimqazi



Joined: 18 Dec 2003
Posts: 70
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 11:03 am    Post subject: Mosque and Masjid Reply with quote

Ya Ali Madad to Everyone

For your knowledge sufis call their house of prayer Khanka and they also call it jamatkhana.

May Mowla Bless you all
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 13075

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Early spaces of worship did not have specific forms

The word masjid, from which “mosque” is derived, appears frequently in the Qur’an. Technically it means “place of prostration,” that is, the place where believers gather to bow their heads to God. However, the Qur’an does not mention a specific type of building – something which did not exist at the time of the Prophet – but rather a space where the community could gather for prayers and for communal affairs.

When Prophet Muhammad gathered the community in his house in Medina for collective prayers and community affairs, the only requirement was a space large enough to contain the whole population of a given settlement. This space was oriented to qibla, the direction for prayer toward Mecca.

As time went on, other requirements were introduced: a mihrab or niche in the qibla wall to commemorate the presence of the Prophet; a minbar or pulpit from which the sermon was given; sometimes, a maqsura, a space reserved for the ruler and his entourage; various platforms for readers of the Qur’an and other pious works; a minaret, which originally was a visual beacon indicating the presence of a Muslim community in the region, but eventually was used to call the faithful to prayer. The word minaret is from the Arabic manara meaning place or thing that gives light.
Mihrab panel, 1574, Syria. Aga Khan Museum
In the centre of this mihrab panel, the Prophet’s sandals occupy a place of importance. The image of the Prophet’s sandals, “which sometimes seems to be confused with the representation of his footprints, became widespread in the sixteenth century and is also present in Safavid Iran and in India. The sandal is a sign of distinction specific to the Prophet; its protective shape (mithal) “leads to life in both homes” (earthly then eternal). The sandals, believed to have touched the throne of God, made the Prophet the quintessential intercessor par excellence and an example to be followed.”1

Sources:
1Aga Khan Museum
Oleg Grabar, “Art & Architecture in the Islamic World,” Islam: Art and Architecture, Edited by Markus Hattstein and Peter Delius, Cologne: Konenmann, 2000

Compiled by Nimira Dewji
https://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/early-spaces-of-worship-did-not-have-specific-forms/
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 13075

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many institutions of learning developed from mosques

The earliest revelation to Prophet Muhammad was about learning and knowledge. The value placed on knowledge in the Qur’an became the foundation for the development of education among Muslims. The incentive to read and learn the Qur’an provided the early Muslim community with its initial educational settings, in which instruction of the Qur’an, the life of the Prophet, and knowledge of the Arabic language, its grammar structures and forms took place.

The Prophet’s first wife, Khadija, was a well-established business woman. His subsequent wife, Aisha, became well known for her role as a transmitter of tradition. His daughter, Fatima, and several other women associated with his household were acknowledged for their love of learning. In the foundational period, there existed several reference points to encourage the participation and pursuit of women in learning.

The mosque and the early Qur’an schools were the first Muslim educational institutions. Informal schools of learning on theological questions came to be developed in mosques and other public places, as well as in private homes. As a result, a variety of other institutional settings developed. These institutions were the maktab or kuttab, the masjid and majlis (literally means ‘a place to sit’ and refers to any formal gathering or assembly of peoples), jami‘ (Friday mosque), and libraries. The maktab or kuttab were places where children received instruction in the Qur’an and in other religious subjects. The masjid and majlis were meeting places associated with mosques where adults gathered in groups to discuss the Prophet’s life and sayings, issues pertaining to legal matters, devotional practice, and poetry. Many jami‘ eventually became seats of higher learning, such as the al-Azhar mosque in Cairo.

Many institutions of learning developed from mosques
Jami al-Azhar (Photo: Gary Otte/Archnet)

Founded initially as the main mosque of a new capital city, Cairo, in 970, al-Azhar became a fully integrated mosque-university during the early period of Shi‘i Fatimid Ismaili rule. The Fatimid Caliphs, through a series of gifts and endowments, developed it into a major centre of learning. At its height, the curriculum taught at al-Azhar and related institutions in Cairo included the study and interpretation of the Qur’an, law, metaphysics, philosophy, the natural sciences, and poetry and literature.

The pesantren, developed in Southeast Asia, were based in rural areas and supported by parents and members of the local community. The subjects taught in the pesantren included Qur’anic studies, law, ethics, logic, history and Sufism.

The well-endowed vast network of institutions, learned scholars, and the students made medieval and pre-modern Muslim societies among the most literate of the time and greatly facilitated the transmission across geographical boundaries and cultural differences.

Sources:
Azim A. Nanji, Learning and Education, The Institute of Ismaili Studies
Hugh Kennedy, “Intellectual Life in the First Four Centuries of Islam,” Intellectual Traditions in Islam, edited by Farhad Daftary, I.B. Tauris, London, 2000

Compiled by Nimira Dewji

https://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/many-institutions-of-learning-developed-from-mosques/
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