He is usually referred to as Prophet Muhammad or just The Prophet by Muslims, and regarded as the greatest of all the prophets, and his established religion as the only accepted religion to God (Quran 3:19). He is seen by Muslims as a possessor of all virtues. As an act of respect Muslims follow the name of Muhammad by the Arabic benediction “sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam” (Peace be upon him, sometimes abbreviated S.A.W.), a practice instructed by Quran and Hadith. The deeds and sayings in the life of Muhammad – known asSunnah – are considered a model of the life-style that Muslims are obliged to follow. Recognizing Muhammad as God’s true messenger is one of the central requirements in Islam which is clearly laid down in the second part of Shahadah, the Islamic proclamation of faith: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”. The Quran chiefly refers to Muhammad as “Messenger” and “Messenger of Allah” (Quran 48:29), and asks people to follow him so as to become successful in the afterlife (Quran 3:132).
There are strict and detailed requirements in Sunnifiqh for a place of worship to be considered a mosque, with places that do not meet these requirements regarded as musallas. There are stringent restrictions on the uses of the area formally demarcated as the mosque (which is often a small portion of the larger complex), and, in the Islamic Sharia law, after an area is formally designated as a mosque, it remains so until the Last Day.
Many mosques have elaborate domes, minarets, and prayer halls, in varying styles of architecture. Mosques originated on the Arabian Peninsula, but are now found in all inhabited continents. The mosque serves as a place where Muslims can come together for salat (صلاةṣalāt, meaning “prayer”) as well as a center for information, education, and dispute settlement. The imamleads the congregation in prayer.
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