Tarnslated by: Vahid Pourtajrishi
Mosque is the first and most pervasive base for appearance of values, beliefs and the holy principles of Islam which handles social, political, economic and cultural servicing of people in society as the delegate of Islam in environmental level. The Islamic revolution of Iran as the best model for revival of the pure values of Islam could adapt the social and political system of society according to these values while the rules have been updated. It has defined some patterns characteristics for the mosques as an element of Islamic utopias. Recognition and implementation of these characteristics and distribution of these principal roles of mosque is the most important strategy to achieve the concept of prominent mosque in the Islamic republic of Iran regime. This article attempts to consider the dignity of mosque in Islamic thought and description of the characteristics of prominent mosque in Islamic system.
The Islamic Prominent Mosque is a wise and accurate interpretation which was said by the supreme Leader of Iran for the first time in his message to the 19th state Sala’at seminar. We describe the words of this phrase in below:
1) Mosque: it is a place name for " سَجَدَ، یَسجُدُ " verb and the place of worshiping in Persian language. Raqib Isfahani says:
‘’( " المَسجِدُ موضِعُ الصّلاةِ اعتباراً بالسّجود" (مفردات الفاظ القرآن الکریم؛١٣٩٢ ه.ق)
it means: ‘’ mosque is the place of worshiping. That’s why it is nominated as mosque. In Islamic rules, mosque is a place which is donated to pray. Descent Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Najafi has written:
‘’ ( و المُرادُ بالمَسجد شرعاً المکانُ المَوقوفُ علی کافة المُسلمین للصّلاة" (جواهرالکلام؛١٣٩٢ ه.ق ) ’’
2) Taraaz (Prominent): Taraaz is a Persian name in fact which means excellent and prominent. It means suitable and nice also in this language. Ibn Manzour writes its meaning in Arabic language:
" و الطِّرزُ: ما یُنسَجُ مِن الثّیابِ للسّلطان، فارسیٌ أیضاً و الطِّرزُ و الطّرازُ: جَیِّدُ کُلِّ شیءٍ و قیل: هو مُعَرّبٌ و اصلُه التقدیرُ المُستوی بالفارسیة (ابن منظور؛١٤١٣ ه .ق، ج٨،ص١٤٣).
3) Islamic Regime:
It is such a regime which all of the Islamic rules are implemented by it in society. Leadership role of this society is resigned to an Islamic qualified priest, who is able to Ijtihad, divine legitimacy and popular acceptability and by this given authority mean, he can interferes in social affairs directly or by appointing of competent persons ( Rahim Nobahar-2001)
It means the efficiency or role of any element in its related phenomenon chain.
The characteristics of the prominent Islamic mosque:
We can describe three descriptions for the concept of Prominent Islamic Mosque:
Some of interpretation of this concept, could be referred to the mosques of the early years of Islam which were existed in medina (masjed monthly magazine, no.162, p.no.13, 2012)
Although, these method and interpretations of prominent mosque concept are very respectful and nice, but it is not comprehensive. Even Imam Khomeini said:
‘’ I hope you will be successful in implementation of this affair and will be able to modify our mosques according to their conditions and characteristics in early years of Islam as sample’’
But this view is not dynamic and comprehensive yet. In fact, Imam Khomeini had emphasis on the inappropriate conditions of the mosques in the first years of Islamic revolution and he expected to improve these conditions by attempts of the senior managers of the Islamic Regime. Imam Khomeini expected to revival the mosques and theirs characteristics according to their origins and virtue which is accorded with the concept of Islamic Regime.
Some of thinkers and researchers believe that the characteristics of the mosque in the era of the great prophet of Islam could be categorized in two dimensions:
1) Some of functions which are belonged to the nature of mosque, regardless of the nature of governing political regime in society which is Islamic or non-Islamic or managed by the authority of Imam or jurist guardian or not!
2) Some functions which are only appropriated to immaculate ruler including the great prophet of Islam and the fourteen innocent ones (the family of prophet)
The members of this group usually follow the concepts of Islamic which are non-dynamic and the lack of the importance of place and time conditions are obvious in their words. They conclude that the functions of mosques are limited to hold Salaat, spiritual and religious ceremonies such as prayer and preaching meetings and maximum, coordination of the Muslim people in social affairs such as welfare works and charity gathering for poor and weak families.
But this view, consciously or non-consciously, is a part of secularism as an enemy made theory which propagates the separation of religion and material world. These words some times are published by the religious enlightened or traditional religious people awfully.
Dynamic Fiqh View (Maximum):
We believe that the functions of mosques in Islamic Regime era, are extended to a higher level than the firstly mosques in great prophet’s era. It means some more functions have to be added top mosques except the essential functions and fundamental values of Islamic thought which were determined in the era of great prophet of Islam. These claims are considered according the two cardinal beliefs of Shiite:
1) Predication and generality of the defined dignities and functions for the Islamic Guardian jurist as the Islamic governor:
There is no doubt that the great prophet of Islam had the carte blanche, absolute and public in measure and management of the Muslims affairs. On the other hand, any prescription from God is according to wisdom and cause. So, the cause of absolute guardianship of the great prophet of Islam had been resolving and destroying of the obstacles on the way of development and improvement of Muslims and extension of the pure values of Islam.
At the present time that we live in only the divine government which is managed under authority of righteous and calculus jurist, what is the scope of his authority right and how much of great prophet of Islam’s power is resigned to him as the Islamic jurist guardian?
Suppose, all or just some parts of prophet’s authority rights are conferred to the jurist guardian and his interfere in the current issues is forbidden. In the other hand, we expect him to handle all of the Muslims community affairs and spread of Islamic values like great prophet’s era. So, we want him to do something without required instrument! So, this issue is rejected rationally. There is no way to accept all of the authority rights of great prophet of Islam to guardian jurist also. طابَق النّعلِ بالنَّعل!
Imam Khomeini as the revivalist of Islamic jurist guardianship:
Great Imam Khomeini as the revivalist of guardianship of Islamic jurist theory, exalted:
‘’ the government which is a branch of the great prophet of Islam’s absolute guardianship, is one of the compulsory and primary rules of Islam which are prior to all the minutiae and even Salaat, fasting and hajj. Ruler can destruct a house or mosque which is obstacle on the road and pays compensation to its owner. The ruler can close the mosques or destruct a mosques which is harmful to people. Government can void or decline an agreement which is signed himself with people if the agreement is recognized by ruler, harmful to Islam and national interests unilaterally. He can also prevent any affair including religious or non religious which is against the rules or interests of Islam. The government even can prevent the people to do important divine affairs such as hajj temporarily when it is recognized against the national interests.
(Imam Khomeini’s scriptures – volume-20, p- 451-452)
The impact of place and time conditions in development and narrowness of religious juridical rules:
Conformity of any religion with human needs is a complicated and vast discussion. One of the important debates of any generation is the possibility of conformation of any religion with needs and requirements in circumstances of time and place.
There have been created three views to resolve and answer to this debate:
1) Extremist view:
It basically declines the importance of time and place and recognizes the subjects of religious rules permanent in nature and prescribed for all places and times.
2) Waste reductive view:
It assumes place and time elements as principles in spite of extremist view. Naturally, religion and religious rules are reserved as subsidiary subjects in human life. The thinkers of this school usually separate religion from daily issues such as economic, political and international affairs. They just believe to the personal dimension of religion and decline the important role of religion in social life of any man.
3) Jewel religious jurisprudence view:
Reason and logic recommends us to empower the relationship between the practice of religious jurisprudence and the demands of place and time while the Islamic rules and values are reserved beside of the importance of place and time elements. So, the Islamic jurisprudence is faithful to the principles and values of Islam while it tries to adopt itself with issues of time and date. That’s why we believe that this kind of religious jurisprudence is dynamic. Most of our religious jurisprudents have emphasised on the importance of this conformity. Tobacco consumption was announced forbidden to people by Ayatollah Mirza Shirazi or going to hajj was banned by Ayatollah Imam Khomeini temporarily. These are the manifestations of interference of Islamic jurisprudents in current issues of their era.
Imam Khomeini has stated about importance of place and time elements in determination of religious judicial issue:
‘’ I believe to traditional religious jurisprudence and jewel practice of divine science in research methodology and education in seminaries. But it doesn’t imply that the Islamic rules are not dynamic, but place and time are two determinant elements in religious jurisprudence. The verdict of an issue maybe changed in present time regarding new ruling political and social conditions in society.
(Imam Khomeini’s scripture, volume-21, p-289)
So, tobacco consumption is allowed till it is only tobacco. But when it was changed to a colonial instrument in hands of Britain, it was not just tobacco, but an instrument for growth of Britain domination in the lands of Muslims.
Also hajj is compulsory for every qualified Muslim to do, but by changing to an instrument to cheapen Shiite and holy Islamic regime of Iran, it will be forbidden.
Realization of guardianship of the Islamic jurists
The Islamic revolution of Iran could create some vast changes in all of social and religious aspects including Fiqh and understanding of divine rules. It could describe, strong and publish the pure Islamic principles. One of these issues was the role of place and time elements in understanding of the religious rules subjects for jurists. Imam Khomeini believes that regular Ijtihad which is usual in seminaries is not enough to manage the Muslims community affairs and had pointed to some the other factors:
‘’ right cognition of govt and society is the most important issue which enables the Islamic regime to plan and schedule according to interests of Muslims. Unity in theory and practice is very important in this process and because of this issue; regular ijtihad which is usual in seminaries is not enough. If a jurist (even very knowledgeable in Islamic science) is not able to analyze and recognize the social and political expediency, competent or unuttered persons and being disqualified in governmental affair, he is not jurist in social and political affairs and is not able to be guardian jurist’’
(Imam Khomeini’s scripture, volume 21, p.177)
The elements of Guardianship in Imam Khomeini’s thought
According to Imam Khomeini, guardianship has some levels and elements which one of them is perception and the second one is subject cognition. The verdict of general subjects is realized from reasons and then, it will be adapted according to objective evidences. Imam Khomeini’s approaches are traditional for the first level and dynamic for the second one. The third level which is more important rather the previous ones is subject making and creation of new events in development way of Islam and appropriate context for growth of monotheism concept in order to train a faithful man which is in fact the main goal of divine guardian.
The most important factor of Islamic leader is his ability to recognize responsibility and duty in guardianship of great events and creation of subjects and context of spiritual-objective growth in order to develop the concept of monotheism and empowerment of Islam. Objective development of Islam will be come off by creation of such social context and guardianship of human wills and interests in social aspect. According to Imam Khomeini, the government determines the pragmatic philosophy of fighting against atheism and domestic or foreign struggles.
(Imam Khomeini’s scriptures, volume 21, p.17(
Definition of mujtahid according to Imam Khomeini:
According to above words, the definition of mujtahid is vaster and completer than its primary and traditional meaning in Imam Khomeini’s thought. He believes that ‘’mujtahed has to be aware of his current issues. It is not acceptable for people, youth to hear from their Mujahid that he doesn’t opine in political issues. He has to recognize the dominant policies and seductions, their politicians, dictated policies to them, their weakness and power points of the two dominant theories of world politics, means communism and capitalism which draw the pattern of domination in world. These are some characteristics of a completely qualified mujtahid. He has to be enough aware and clever to manage a great Islamic society and even not Islamic and he has to be a real manager while he is so faithful as a mujtahid’’
Governments and Mosque:
Suppose worshiping is limited to pray and praying is limited to just some prayers and physical motions. So, there is no need to appropriate a special place and building in the name of mosque for gathering and worshiping.
Mosque, a place for combination of politics and religion
Sheikh Taha’a Al-vali asserts:
‘’ the primary goals of constructing the mosques, was not only devotional affairs in Islam but some of political and social affairs were prior to all and these buildings (mosques) were built for gathering of Muslims after appearance of Islam. There is no place for separation of religion and politics from each other like the special dignity which is defined for the interpretation and hadith scholars. Mosques were appropriated for primarily for announcement and propagation and education was the second goal which was defined for construction of the mosques’’
(Al-Vali, Sheikh Taha’a – Beirut)
Quran has emphasised and discussed about mosque in twenty eight cases. All of the historians believe that the headstone for creation of Medina as the first Islamic government was belonged to mosque in Yathrib (the previous name of medina).
Ibn-Al- Moskouyeh says: ‘’ perhaps, the cause of this much emphasis for presence of the Muslims in mosque to pray, is extension of communal worshiping which causes to increase of natural kindness between Muslims and the main cause of social movements’’
The methods of rulers of the Islamic countries
There are varieties in relationship between the rulers of Islamic lands and mosques from the great prophet of Islam’s government era till present time. The kind of interactions between these governments and mosques was influenced by beliefs and ideology of the rulers. In the other hand, the rulers who were more faithful to the pure principles of Islam in theory and practice, had better and creative interactions with the mosques unlike the rulers who were far from the Islamic values and tried to change the mosques as a base for propagation of their demagogy and unmanly domination on people (such as Bani Abbas and Bani Umayyad regimes) or recognized mosques as the most important base for growth of their opposition group and used of their maximum capacity to decrease the influence and weight of them(such as Pahlavi regime)
We can categorize the history of Islam regarding the relationship between the governments and mosques according to above words:
1) The political behaviour of the great prophet of Islam in relation with the mosques
According to the historical and narratives, mosque had been the most important element of coherence between an Islamic nation and their leader and centre of decision making about those social affairs which need to coordination of people. Some affairs such as: training of militarily forces, news transmission, general mobilization for fighting against the conspiracies of double crossers, education, resolving the economic and living problems of Muslims and etc. Great prophet of Islam managed and systematized all of his governmental affairs as Islamic ruler emphasizing on the pivotal role of mosques. The courts of his governments were located in the mosques. These mosques had been a place for consultative meetings for great prophet of Islam and audience. He conducted his political and diplomatic meetings in mosques also.
According to the mentioned words, we can divide the governmental functions of the mosques in below:
A) Informing and notifying the public opinion
B) Consultation and decision making for Islamic ruler
D) Organizing and supporting the military forces
E) Social aspect and Hasbeh affairs
F) Political capital of the government and the management centre of society
After death of the great prophet of Islam, the nature of relationship between governments and mosques and also functions of mosques were changed according to wills and determined policies of the rulers. These changes were very vast which some of them are listed in continue.
2) Methodology of the triplicate caliphs:
The Grand Prophet of Islam’s manner was continued in the triplicate Caliphs era, eben not completely.
3) Mosque, in the time of Imam Ali’s government
By rising of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib whose most goals were reformation of some wrong previous methods in management of government, he tried to improve the conditions of mosques and their dignity. Still some signs of his valuable works are findable in Kufah Mosque in the name of Dakkah which were defined for giving public services to people. Revival and improvement of educational and spiritual lectures in mosque was the first important work of him in mosques.
4) Mosques in the era of Bani Umayyad and Bani Abbas dynasties
Authority on the mosques affairs had been one of the unavoidable duties of the government after the great prophet of Islam and all of them needed to flourish and nobility of mosques and praying. This glory could help to improve the legitimacy and acceptability of government.
Ibn Khaldoun says:
‘’ the rulers of the early years of Islam never assigned the management duty of mosques to another person and appointment right of Imam of the great mosques was only in the hands of caliph and he was responsible for the religious policy making, judgment, jihad and etc. Imam of Jama’ah had been in the highest level in dignity. Even he was more powerful rather the ruler in some areas’’
Maverdi has divided the mosques in two categories:
Sultani and public mosques
A) Characteristics of Sulatni Mosques:
- Those are fully governmental. It means the Imams of these mosques are appointed by Sultan
- Imam gets wage from governmental treasury (Beitul maal)
- Imam is appointed by government (caliph) as guardian but he has to be qualified to be guardian of Salaat.
- Government interferes in all aspects of mosque directly or by its appointed Imam
B) Public Mosques:
Government can’t interfere in mosques affairs and its Imam is appointed by people
The historical roots of the mosques weakness
Weakness in dignity of mosques in Islamic society has root in a historical long process. After martyrdom of Imam Ali (greetings to him) and rise of Umayyad dynasty, aberration of mosques was started in order to demagogy and misuse of the geographical situation because of gathering of Muslims while the relation between ruler and proletariat was under authority of caliph. He introduced himself as the rightful caliph, vice of great prophet and finally the most qualified Imam of Salaat. They misused of the dignity of Imam to seduce people by sophistry and untruth words to convince their oppression of their government.
In the other hand, rulers slowly got accustomed with the non Islamic states ruling methods (Specially Persia and Roman empires ruling methods) and it caused to creation of tendency to aristocracy establishment of royal palaces for theirs which were exotic to Islam. Then, mosques changed to royal palaces instead of a place for Islamic simple ruling and deterioration of mosques and theirs pivotal roles started from this historical point though the education system was still in hands of mosques.
Ibn Betuteh says:
‘’ before construction of modern schools by Nezamul Molk, the mosques were the only place for education. That’s why learning and teaching were a kind of worshiping’’
5) Mosques, from Safavi to Pahlavi eras
Rise of Safavi dynasty of Iran was because of their faith on Shiite school of Islam. That’s why they started to build many big and huge mosques in various states of this country. But when they could settle their authority, this process failed to miss its values by passing the time. So isolation of Shiite mosques started since the second half of Safavi era while it was a continuously and increasing process. Finally, the Shiite mosques of Iran were damned to be the centre of conspiracy and petrifaction by these mentioned governments and fighting against the mosques was one f the most important goals and strategies of these governments Although the clergy caste of Iran opposed to expropriation of government to the mosques when they attempted to use these God’s houses as their mean of power. Even some of great jurists prohibited any kind of coordination with government in this field. Even Ayatollah imam Khomeini mentioned this issue in Elmieh Rasaleh book and emphasised on prohibition of coordination between people and cruel and unjust government.
6) Mosques in Islamic Republic of Iran
We can divide the conditions and dignity of mosques since establishment of Islamic republic of Iran to three eras:
A) The era of florescence:
Ayatollah Imam Khomeini and his loyal followers assumed mosques as the main base for rise of Islamic Republic holy regime to achieve the origins and values of Islam. That’s why we observe florescence of mosque till some years after victory of the revolution. Most of decisions were taken in mosques and important affairs of revolution also were done in these God’s houses. People recognized mosques as the network of implementation of the supreme leader’s commands. Also mosques had the pivotal role in absorption and gathering of the revolutionary youth to fight against Iraqi forces during the holy defence (Iran-Iraq war)
Role of Iranian mosques was highlighted in 1960 till 1980 decades and we can most similarity of our mosques with the mosques of great prophet of Islam era during these years.
B) The relative stagnancy era:
The importance and dignity of culture and cultural affairs were decreased by end of the war between Iran and Iraq and changes in the policies and approaches of the Islamic Republic of Iran into economic and constructive development and beginning of cultural aggression of west against our young society. All of the government capacities were collected in construction of industrial construction of the state. Just some of economic corporations which were profitable for government could attract the government’s attention. This process was continued in the next government’s planning in the name of political development and democracy also.
c) Revival and empowerment of the mosques era:
By rise of the 9th government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, again we can observe the increasing growth of the mosques and theirs influence in social affairs slowly because of the adopted approach of the mentioned government which could prepare the required conditions for participation of the mosques and religious people in social and political affairs. Also increase of cultural aggression caused to creation of coherence and coordination between the politicians for prevention of this important issue. Obviously, mosques were the best and first option which could help government and people to pass this crisis especially for youth.
The characteristics of the Prominent Islamic Mosque:
Firstly we have to define some characteristics for the prominent Islamic Mosques in order to determine a suitable way to achieve pragmatic concept of this kind of mosques. Any mosque has some foundation and any foundation has some characteristics to could be recognized it as the prominent Islamic Mosque.
The foundations of mosque:
1) According to the supreme leader of Iran, the natural manager of any mosque is its Imam of Jama’ah.
2) The worshipers or followers who their regular presence in mosque is the best symbol for construction of mosque.
3) The trustee boards who are appointed by people and under authority of Imam of Jama’ah to manage mosque and its related affairs
4) Activist groups such as Basij, cultural centre and etc who are responsible for cultural, social and political affairs of mosque and are appointed by Imam’s certification and support of Basij in order to protect and publish the Islamic values.
5) Servant who attempts to keep mosque clean and its environment ready for worshiping and the other related affairs of mosque
The characteristics of a Prominent Mosque:
A) Worshiping characteristics:
Mosque is the place of highest respects of prayer to god and Sajdeh is the highest level of human worship in front of God. «السُّجودُ مُنتَهَی العِبَادَة مِن بَنی آدَمَ»
Mosque is the place of pure worship of God «وَ اَنَّ الْمَساجِدَ لِلّهِ فَلا تَدْعُو مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَداً»
How lucky is a worshiper who washes his hands and face to before prayer and then comes to visit me. «اَلا طُوبَی لِعَبْدٍ تَوَضَّأ فِی بِیْتِهِ ثُمَّ زارَنی فِی بَیْتی»
Mosque is the God’s house in earth. «اِنَّ بُیُوتی فی الأرْضِ المَساجِدُ تُضِیءُ لِأهْلِ السَّماء کَمَا تُضِیءُ النُّجُومُ لِاَهْلِ الاَرْضِ.»
B) Educational characteristics of the Prominent Mosques:
Mosque is the best place for worship and worship is the best cause of spiritual growth and replying the natural needs. Educations, is the right and on time answer to human needs. Though worship is beneficial for men everywhere and any time but obviously its benefits will be increased if we pray in mosque because human virtue is social and will be released from his ego by communal praying. Mosque is a shelter for faithful man to face the behavioural problems. The Imams of Shiite talk about mosque as the safe shelter for faithful people and they could be settled in these God’s shelters and far from any kind of stress and depression. Imam Sadeq (greetings to him) recommends Muslims to get shelter in mosque confronting mundane sufferings.
Mosque is a holy place which is far from any kind of sin and mundane pollution. Any sin will cause to be punished but this much of punishment will be double if it was done in mosque. That’s why a faithful man has to attempt to make distant him from sin when he is in mosque. He shouldn’t transfer the words of oppressors and cruel people. He shouldn’t put to shame of others; he mustn’t talk behind one’s back and keep him far from broadcasting transmission and double cross words.
Prevention of sin is a kind of benefaction and avoid of devils. The reflected effects of presence in mosque will penetrate in all aspects of human life slowly and this is the best indirect method for education. Mosque is a place of religious adornment. That’s why the holy Quran advices people to carry their ornaments with themselves when they go to mosques. This advice includes all kinds of adornments:
Adornment in appearance which means property and children as the material God’s gifts to man المالُ و البَنون زینة الحیوة الدّنیا ... " and spiritual adornments including fame behaviour and good characteristics such as truth, purity, kindness and etc.
Mosque is a centre for consolidation of competent. Educators emphasis on the efficiency of good friends in human education. Islam also is the publisher and supporter of this educational principle. We can find many cases about emphasising on importance of having good friends, test ways for testing him, friendship rites, friends’ rights, continue of friendship with good friends and etc in the worthy words of Imams and the great prophet of Islam. Mosque could connect the faithful people with elites of society by creation of suitable conditions for education. Mosque also is a good place for coordination of people in social activities. Isolationism is a known psychological disease in spite of doing mass activities which demonstrate the healthy conditions of man. Mosque can empower the spirit of being among people and flexibility in society to prevent isolation. Mosque can increase coordination and responsibility measure in the time of facing problems. Losing this feeling and responsibility could be very dangerous for people of a society and especially in youth.
Cultural characteristics of the Prominent Mosque:
Cultural role of mosque is prior to its other aspects after the worshiping characteristics. Basically, establishment of mosque in Islam was establishment of the biggest Islamic school. Muslims knew nothing about modern school till some centuries back and before establishment of modern schools, mosques were the main and only place for education(less than one century back).
The cardinal characteristics of the Prominent Islamic Mosque:
1) Enlightenment and creation of insight among Muslims and their movement
2) Revival of mosques original characteristics and recognition of them
3) Spiritual and material service provider
4) Getting people closed to religious beliefs
5) Verbal and aural media for people especially youth
6) The centre of education for youth
7) Centre of advisement and moral refinement for people
8) A centre for resolving people’s hurdles
9) The place of talents education and maximum use of them in required various field
10) The safe place and cause to bliss for people
11) Having good and dynamic management
12) Paying attention to the quality of programs
13) The centre for propagation and media of the Islam world
14) A shelter in difficulties
The characteristics of the Imam of Jama’ah of Prominent Islamic Mosque:
In ‘’vision of the mosques of the Islamic republic of Iran in 2025’’ these characteristic are defined:
‘’ having a scholar, thinker, pious, familiar with the current issues- the techniques of consultation- Management and powerful in public relations’’
Also the supreme leader of Iran had described these characteristics in the National Conference of Sala’at:
‘’ the pious, expert and sympathetic Imam in mosque is like a nurse and physician in hospital. He is cause to inspire life to mosque’’
So the most important step to explain the characteristics of prominent mosque, after consideration the role of mosque in improvement of the culture of religious society, the goals of the Islamic Revolution and Islamic system, is description of its Imam’s characteristics. Because choosing a competent Imam is as fulfilment of its required material for it’s constructing. The supreme leader of Iran has stated:
‘’ the first important issue is construction of mosque and presence of a competent Imam in mosque’’
Rasoul Abbasi has described the characteristics of the Prominent Islamic Mosque in four divisions:
1) Having goal
2) Moral virtues
3) Knowledge and skills
Then, he explains each one of these components by clear characteristics:
1) Having motivation for guiding people
2) Having self purification
1) Good tempered and sociable
2) Charity and coexistence
3) Bailment and responsibility
4) Truth and promise kept
7) Regularity and punctuality
8) Righteous and paying attention to all people
9) Simple life and prevention of aristocracy
10) Poise and stable personality
11) Braveness and independence
12) Primacy of the top spiritual leader
13) Self reliance and decisive
Knowledge and skills
1) Pioneer in communication
2) Expert in evaluating people
3) Efficient communication
4) Efficient listening
5) Expert lecturer
6) Emotional intelligence
7) Macro vision and strategic thought
8) Analyzing thought, realizing ability and description of the goals and values of mosque
10) Knowledge, insight and political thought
11) Religious knowledge (Fiqh, Osoul, kalaam, interpretation and etc)
12) Relative with various subcultures
13) Right reading of Quran and Sala’at
1) Attempt to resolve the difficulties of people
2) Effort and perseverance in mosque
Some other characteristics and traits are expected from the Imam of the Prominent Islamic Mosques, such as:
1) Social acceptability:
The great rectors of Islam had emphasised on acceptability of Imam of jama’ah. The great prophet of Islam had stated:
‘’ there are eight categories whose praying is not acceptable: disobedient woman whose husband is not satisfied to her, someone who doesn’t pay alms, an Imam of Jama’ah who prays while people are not satisfied to him and etc’’
«ثَمَانِیَةٌ لَا یَقْبَلُ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ صَلَاةً الْعَبْدُ الْآبِقُ حَتَّی یَرْجِعَ إِلَی مَوْلَاهُ وَ النَّاشِزُ عَنْ زَوْجِهَا وَ هُوَ عَلَیْهَا سَاخِطٌ وَ مَانِعُ الزَّکَاةِ وَ إِمَامُ قَوْمٍ یُصَلِّی بِهِمْ وَ هُمْ لَهُ کَارِهُونَ ...
Imam of jama’ah has to mind some points also:
1) Observance of worshipers in time factor and conditions of weak:
Imam Sadeq (greetings to him) has stated:
‘’ when you are Imam, say Allah Akbar just one time. Because those people who are in hurry, old and weak agree with you’’
«إِذَا کُنْتَ إِمَاماً أَجْزَاَتْکَ تَکْبِیرَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ لِأَنَّ مَعَکَ ذَا الْحَاجَةِ وَ الضَّعِیفَ وَ الْکَبِیر
Imam Ali (greetings to him) has stated also:
‘’ the last words that I heard from my love (Hazrat Fatemah-his wife and daughter of the great prophet of Islam) when she was leaving me were: Ali, pay attention to the conditions of weakest followers who follows you in Jama’ah Sala’t’’
آخِرُ مَا فَارَقْتُ عَلَیْهِ حَبِیبَ قَلْبِی اَنْ قَالَ: یَا عَلِیُّ إِذَا صَلَّیْتَ فَصَلِّ صَلَاةَ أَضْعَفِ مَنْ خَلْفَکَ ...
The great prophet of Islam has stated also:
‘’ who accepts to be the Imam of Jama’ah and doesn’t pay attention to his followers when he prays, his worshiping will not acceptable for God and he is like a cruel ruler who hasn’t tried to reform his servant and hasn’t respect to God’s commands between them’’
«مَنْ أَمَّ قَوْماً فَلَمْ یَقْتَصِدْ بِهِمْ فِی حُضُورِهِ وَ قِرَاءَتِهِ وَ رُکُوعِهِ وَ سُجُودِهِ وَ قُعُودِهِ وَ قِیَامِهِ رُدَّتْ عَلَیْهِ صَلَاتُهُ وَ لَمْ تُجَاوِزْ تَرَاقِیَهُ وَ کَانَتْ مَنْزِلَتُهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَنْزِلَةَ أَمِیرٍ جَائِرٍ مُتَعَدٍّ لَمْ یَصْلُحْ لِرَعِیَّتِهِ وَ لَمْ یَقُمْ فِیهِمْ بِأَمْرِ اللَّهِ
Appropriation of a specified time to resolve the problems and difficulties of people:
It is not a compulsory program but it is good for Imam to specify a part of his daily time to listen to people’s familial or personal problems to resolve them. He can refer to seminaries and relative experts if it is required also.