Mosques: As touring sites

Q392 :In some Muslim countries, historical mosques are visited by tourists as part of their sight-seeing tours. I wonder whether this is permissible?

A392 : You are right to question this and I understand your concern. However, the only two mosques which non-Muslims are not allowed to enter are the Haram at Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque at Madinah. There is a clearly marked restricted area around each of the two cities of Makkah and Madinah where non-Muslims are not allowed. Otherwise, non-Muslims may enter mosques under certain conditions. These are : 1. Entry must be allowed by Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot force their way into a mosque without permission by the Muslim authorities. 2. Non-Muslims must observe Islamic standards of propriety. This means that a Western woman cannot go into a mosque wearing, for example, shorts. She has to be dressed properly, as the local Muslim traditions dictate. 3. They must not disturb worshippers in the mosque. This means, in practical terms, that no group of tourists may go to a mosque at a time of congregational prayer and have their guide explaining to them the historic importance of that mosque.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )