Friday, August 12, 2022 - 14 Muharram 1444

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Using modern devices in mosques for educational purposes

We are Muslims living in the USA. The mosque's administration has recently fixed screens in the main prayer hall to play videos on charity, mosque expansions, da'wah tutorials along and hymns. The videos are played right before or after obligatory prayers so everyone can benefit from them. Is this permissible?

Answer

In Islam, the mosque is one of the basic institutions that plays a major role in promoting truth, justice, knowledge, and righteousness within the community. As places of congregation, mosques provide Muslims with regular opportunities for acquiring knowledge and engaging in a unique social platform. It is upon these foundations that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) established the first mosque when he arrived in Medinah.
In the early days of Islam, the mosque served numerous important functions that included, but were not limited to, social gatherings, educational classes, court sessions, hospital, treasury etc. The mosque was part and parcel of the Muslim community's fabric.

Examples of non-devotional function of mosques
Attesting to the mosque’s function as a social institution, ‘Aishah (may God be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Publicize these marriages, conduct them in mosques, and beat the duff (tambourines) to announce them.”
To promote Islam and serve da'wah purposes, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to receive delegations of different faiths in his mosque. For instance, he received Najran's Christian delegation and others in his mosque for mutual discussions and interactions. The Prophet's biography is replete with examples that attest to the role the mosque plays in the society.
At present, mosques are restricted to the performance of regular rites such as prayers, Quran recitation, and i’tikaf (spiritual retreat). This, in turn, has led to confusion with respect to the things that mosques could offer Muslims other than the established rituals.
Consequently, there is no harm in using modern devices inside the mosque with the purpose of educating or raising people's awareness on certain values or matters. It is established that whatever is in the best interest of Muslims is deemed permissible, provided it is used within the etiquettes prescribed by Islamic law. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) started a small school in his mosque where he, along with the Companions, conducted lectures on the Quran and the ethical values of Islam.

The ruling
Based on the above and in reference to the question, there is no objection to installing screens inside a mosque to play videos comprising beneficial content provided they are screened outside the time of the obligatory prayers.
And God Almighty knows best.