Discuss the role of the mosque as serving as the “umbilical cord” of Islamic civilization and the different social, political, religious and social purposes that it served
The origin of Islam can be traced to Arabia and some of the practices adopted by Muslims can be traced to the culture of Arabs who used to live mainly in the desert. During this era, the traditions and ways of life and worship were passed from one generation through the use of drawings, poetry and narratives from teachers and elders. Mosques played a crucial role in the preservation of Islamic culture and passing of teaching to future generations. The mosques served as a common ground where Muslims could meet to listen to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) who stressed a lot on the value of education. The mosques thus served as schools and a common place for worship and dissemination of information concerning various issues.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) equated the regular visit to the mosque to learn to pilgrimage which is a major pillar in Islam. The mosque where the prophet worshiped had some unique features that have shaped modern society. The mosque was open to all people both Arabs and non Arabs and anyone who wanted to enquire about Islam was welcome. Also, there was a common room for all to worship rather than the practice being used currently where women pray differently and are not allowed in the men’s area. According to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) the mosque was a place to socialize, to celebrate and a hospital for soldiers wounded in wars. CITATION Say15 l 1033 (Sayre, 2015) The major contribution of the prophet’s mosque to Islamic civilization was the fact that it was a place whereby the illiterate would learn to read and write. The mosque was a major educational institution and this has led to the preservation of the hadiths which were used by the prophet. The mosque would also function as a war room where battle strategies were discussed and established.
The success of Islam during the early days has continued to baffle and amaze researchers in equal measures. Prophet Muhammad was also a political leader and conducted the successful invasion of Mecca and other parts of Middle East. The army of believers who followed and practiced the Prophet’s teachings can be traced all over the Middle East. It was in Mecca that the first mosque was built formally and the design was largely motivated by the Prophet’s courtyard. It was during this era that Islam spread out wide and far because people viewed it as a freer and welcoming religion. This is because of the fact that whenever the army of believers conquered a territory, they allowed the local to continue to practice their religion without fear. The conquering of Byzantine and Persian armies was a great relief to many especially the citizens who had been heavily taxed by their governments. However, the conquering of regions by Prophet Muhammad was aimed to spread Muslim rule and Arab culture rather than Islamic faith and this has continued to affect world peace. CITATION Say15 l 1033 (Sayre, 2015) A good example of this is the conflict being witnessed in Nigeria between the North which is occupied mainly by Muslims and the Christian’s south.