Ruling on visiting old mosques
Fatwa No: 65432

Question

There is a mosque in a neighboring village which is said to have been built by ‘Amr ibn Al-‘As, may Allaah be pleased with him. I wish to see this mosque; is it permissible or not?

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, is His slave and Messenger.

It is not forbidden in the Sharee'ah to see a mosque that was built by the Companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them or anyone else, or to see any heritage and historical sites, if this is done for drawing lessons and acquiring knowledge. This is so if there is no reason for prohibition in the Sharee'ah to do so, like visiting such places for the sake of offering worship therein. For your knowledge, the mosques of the Muslims are all equal in virtue and honor, excluding the three favored mosques: Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, Al-Masjid An-Nabawi in Medina and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa in Al-Quds Al-Shareef (Jerusalem). These are the mosques about which the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was reported to have said: "No journey for religious worship should be made, except for three mosques: The Sacred Mosque (of Mecca), the Mosque of the Messenger of Allaah (of Median) and Al-Aqsa Mosque." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Hence, if you want to visit this mosque with the intention of praying therein, vowing to walk to it, observing I‘tikaaf (seclusion) or setting out to it for worship; then know that travelling or making a journey to mosques for the purpose of worship is impermissible, except in the case of the three mentioned mosques.

Moreover, if someone made a vow, he can fulfill his vow, pray and observe I‘tikaaf in the nearest and most accessible mosque. It is not necessary to travel to observe such acts of worship, with the exception of the three mentioned mosques.

Allaah Knows best.

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