Ahaadeeth emphasizing that the mosque is a place of learning
Fatwa No: 301402

Question

Please confirm whether the hadith mentioned below is authentic or not! The masjids as a place of learning is emphasized: Al-Bukhaari and Muslim related a story of three people who entered the mosque; the Companions were sitting in a circle around the Prophet. One of the three found a place and sat in it, the second sat at the back, and the third went away. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said, “The first person came forward, so Allaah came forward to him. The second was shy, so Allaah did not wish to embarrass him. The third turned away, so Allaah turned away from him.” May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The hadeeth that you mentioned, dear brother, is one of the most authentic ahaadeeth as it was reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, and it was also reported by Maalik in Al-Muwatta and by At-Tirmithi and An-Nasaa’i in As-Sunan Al-Kubra and others.

Ibn Hajar said when explaining the hadeeth, “It is evidence about having good conduct in circles of knowledge.” 

There is no doubt that the mosque is a place for seeking knowledge, and at the time of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) it was the main place for acquiring knowledge as there were no universities or schools at that time; rather, the people used to learn knowledge in the mosque, and they resorted to the mosque to learn knowledge. Al-Bukhari entitled a chapter “The Chapter of mentioning knowledge and Fataawa in the mosque”, and he mentioned the hadeeth in it by Abdullaah ibn Umar, that a man stood in the mosque and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, where do you order us to asume the ihraam from?” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied, “The residents of Madeenah should asume ihraam from Thul-Hulayfah, the people of the Levant from Al-Juhfah and the people of Najd from Qarn.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Ibn Hajar said, “His (Al-Bukhari's) saying, The Chapter of mentioning knowledge, which means teaching knowledge, and Fataawa in the mosque, and by this interpretation, he pointed out to objecting to those who kept silent about it, because when investigating knowledge, the voices could be raised, so he pointed out that it is permissible...

Also, At-Tabaraani reported from Safwaan ibn ‘Assaal al-Muraadi, who said, “I came to the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) while he was leaning in the mosque on a burdah (outer garment), and I said to him, 'O Messenger of Allaah, I have come to seek knowledge.' He said, 'Welcome O seeker of knowledge; indeed, the angels cover and shade the student of knowledge with their wings, then one of them ascends on top of the other until they reach the heaven of this worldly life because of their love of what he seeks, so what are you seeking (asking about)?'” Safwaan said, “O Prophet of Allaah, we are continuously traveling between Makkah and Madeenah, so give us a fatwa about wiping over the socks." The Messenger of Allaah said to him, “Three days for the traveler, and one day and one night for the resident.

The ahaadeeth that mention that the companions were learning knowledge in the mosque are so many, and the mosque at the time of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was a center of knowledge and fataawa, in addition to it being a center for the military, war and political leadership.

Allaah knows best.

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