Mosque, is more+++

They say if walls could talk, each building would have a story to narrate, a story of belonging-but don’t we all hear places speak, in our mother tongues, telling tales of togetherness and belonging? Yes, we all have, and maybe that’s what we call A Smart Design.

“There is no doubt whatever about the influence of architecture and structure upon human character and action. First, we make our buildings, and afterwards, they make us. They regulate the course of our lives.”

-Winston Churchill, addressing the English Architectural Association, 1924

The practice of architecture is employed to fulfil both practical and expressive requirements, and thus it serves both functional and aesthetic ends. Although these two ends may be distinguished, they cannot be separated. Every society has a spatial relationship to the natural world and other organisations; their structures reveal much about their environment (including climate and weather), history, ceremonies, artistic sensibility, and many aspects of daily life.
A Perfect Space Of Togetherness, A Mosque
A mosque (/mɒsk/; from Arabic: مَسْجِد, romanized: masjid, pronounced [mǝsdʒid]) literally “place of ritual prostration”, also called masjid, is a place of Ibadah. Historically, mosques have served as a community centre, a court of law, a religious school, and a gathering place.

What sort of gatherings?

Through prayer, the Mosque encourages a sense of community and addresses a variety of ongoing challenges. A Muslim has several social obligations in addition to prayers. Muslims do not isolate themselves from the rest of society. While standing to pray at a Mosque, we must remember that we are carrying the torch of social responsibility.
Every Mosque should focus on becoming a hub of the solution rather than structures of awe and beauty.

Mosque, Not Just A Religious Structure

While we know a Mosque is a “religious structure”, we fail to understand the actual purpose of the religious structures.
A place that takes you through history, reminding you of the true essence of the religion, Islam! When the stones mummer tales from their countries, the structure screams to remind one message la ilaha il’lallah (there is no god but Allah.)
Every corner of a Mosque reminds you of Islam; every step in it should remind you of your duties as a Muslim!
A famous aphorism evoked, which acts as a synopsis of the effect of free-market capitalism producing excessive inequality, reads,

“To him, that hath more shall be given; and from him, that hath not, the little that he hath shall be taken away. Therefore, the rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer.”

-Percy Bysshe Shelley. In A Defence of Poetry

Drawing inpsiration from the quote above, we consider the design of a mosque, a place that eliminates discrimination; everyone gathers as a Muslim and is directed to fulfil his responsilites.
A Mosque was never intended just for Salah;
there is much more!
“You are the best Ummah ever raised for mankind. You bid the Fair and forbid the Unfair, and you believe in Allah. If the people of the Book had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them, there are believers, while most of them are sinners.”

– Surah Al Imran

So we were born to reverse the narrative of the rich getting richer?

Yes, through a place of solace called Mosque, which keeps you away from the distractions and reminds you of your PURPOSE.

Purpose of Creation → Ibadah
Purpose of Living → Prayer and Service to humanity
But have we confined this space only for Salaah/Attendance and not learning/involvement?

-a disappointing but factual answer, Yes we have!

Muezzin, in Islam, is the official who proclaims the call to prayer. At the same time, he calls everyone towards prayer and success -he also calls out to everyone in distress, with assuring words, that their relief is near because people who gather to worship would be the bearers of their comfort through Allah.

“Righteousness is not in turning your faces towards the east or the west. Rather, the righteous are those who believe in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Books, and the prophets; who give charity out of their cherished wealth to relatives, orphans, the poor, ˹needy˺ travellers, beggars, and for freeing captives; who establish prayer, pay alms-tax, and keep the pledges they make; and who are patient in times of suffering, adversity, and in ˹the heat of˺ battle. It is they who are true ˹in faith˺, and it is they who are mindful ˹of Allah˺”
– Surah Baqarah
Minimal Muslim

Minimal Muslim