Sleeping in the mosque

Q605 :Is it appropriate to stay in a mosque for a long time when one is not offering prayer or waiting for one? What confuses many of us is that people sometimes sleep in the mosque.

A605 : If you go to a mosque you may stay as long as you wish. You are only required not to say or do what is forbidden. Suppose you go to a mosque and spend a few hours, you may offer your prayers when they are due and you may offer voluntary prayers and recite a short or a long passage of the Qur'an. After a while you may wish to just sit down and think or relax. You may also talk to another person in the mosque. Your conversation may be on any subject in this world, provided that it does not involve anything forbidden. As you know people indulge in backbiting. If they do that in the mosque, this is a doubly grave offense. If they exchange points of view over something that concerns either one of them or both of them, or their community or country, they are welcome to do so. Sleeping in the mosque is not forbidden. Indeed, it is permissible, and it is recommended in certain cases. The Prophet has encouraged us to do the Sunnah of I'tikaf, which means staying in the mosque for an extended period, which may last for several days, particularly in the last ten days of Ramadan. This means that a person may stay in the mosque for several days. When he does, he may go to his home to attend to his family's needs and come back. He will be rewarded for that. Obviously, if he is a young man, he may have a wet dream on one or more of these nights, as you point out. If so, he needs to remove the state of ceremonial impurity as soon as possible. He leaves the mosque and either goes home to have a shower, or has it in the washing place in the mosque, if the facility is there. There is no harm in that. Allah does not hold us accountable for anything which we do when we are unconscious. There is no doubt that when we are asleep, we are not conscious of what we may do. Therefore, we are not accountable for what dream we may see when we are asleep or indeed what may happen to us while asleep. Allah is certainly aware of our situation and he does not hold us responsible for something beyond our control. To illustrate this I may give the example of the Hadith which requires a Muslim to wash his hands before he eats, if he had just woken up. The Prophet tells: "You do not known where your hand has been." Having said that, I would like to say that using the mosque as sleeping place is not a good practice. Indeed, it is discouraged, because the mosque is not meant for sleeping.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )