Building Mosques for Certain Ethnicities

Question :

Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum.

Living in the US as a Muslim, I see a lot of Muslim communities from different countries who congregate in their own "borders." There is a masjid for every nationality (Indonesian, Egyptian, Sudanese, etc.). Shouldn't we just have masjids for all, not further dividing ourselves along these nationalistic or ethnic lines? What positive steps can we take toward this?

Jazakum Allahu khayran.

Answer (Sheikh Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti) :

Wa `alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we commend your interest in getting yourself acquainted with the teachings of Islam. May Allah save us all from the traps of Satan and enlighten our hearts with the light of Islam.

No Muslim should ever be prevented from praying at any mosque, for all Muslims are equal and the Muslim is the brother of a Muslim, regardless of race, ethnicity, color, language, culture, or nationality. However, some mosques are built with special architectural styles pertaining to certain ethnicities or cultures. But, definitely, this should not mean that Prayer in these mosques should be restricted to Muslims from the same ethnicity or country of origin.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, director of the Islamic Center of South Plains, Texas, the US, stated,

Some mosques are organized this way for the convenience of worshipers, such as their need to use a specific language. Sometimes the dominant majority of Muslims in a certain area belong to a specific ethnicity or nationality, yet other Muslims are not excluded. If this is the case, then one should take it easy.

During the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), some mosques were built by tribes and named after the tribes that lived at the specific areas where the mosques were built. For example, one of these mosques was called Juhainah Mosque and another was called the Mosque of Bani Sa`idah after the names of two tribes of Madinah.

Having said that, I believe that Muslims in North America who are composed of diverse ethnicities and cultures need to build their unity and their new culture based on Islamic principles and values.

Source : Islamonline