All temples whether Churches, Synagogues, Mandirs, Pagodas, Gurdwaras do plenty of social service. Masjids that are supposed to be Community Centers only conduct rituals and the congregation quickly disperses. A Hadith was concocted that talking about worldly matters in the Masjid is Haram. And that did it!
THE ROLE OF MASJIDS - WUDHU - ONE UNIT OF PRAYER - RECITATION - RUKOO' - SAJDAH (by Dr. Ghulam Jeelani Barq)
One thing that instantly facilitated efficient governance in the Islamic State was a wide network of Masjids serving as government centers. From the very first year of Hijrah, Muslims had been building mosques in their localities. The Federal, provincial and township governments oversaw that mosques were built in proper locations in every neighborhood.
One call from the Muazzin (caller of Azaan), "As-Salaatil Jami'ah" used to be sufficient to assemble men and women to the Masjid. Citizens knew that they were being called for important business. There was no clergy or "Imams" to run and manage these Masjids or conduct congregations.
Before the proceedings started, men and women would make Wudhu and pray together only one unit, standing, similar to today’s funeral prayer. The government official of each area was the leader of the area mosque. He led the congregation and recited Surah Fatiha alone. Wudhu and one unit standing prayer were intended to mentally prepare everyone for the noble task ahead.
RUKOO’ (Bowing on the knees) was understood allegorically as bowing before the commands of Allah.
SAJDAH (Prostration) meant complete mental submission to Him.
Physical Rukoo’ and Sajdah were considered immodest, hence not done, especially since men and women congregated together in the Masjid. (Hasan Basari)
Recall that according to the Qur'an all creations know their Salaat and Tasbeeh. How would the heavens and earth, mountains, animals, birds, fish and trees physically bow and prostrate!
There was no concept of praying alone or at homes. The congregation timings were determined by the central or local officials according to the situation, once a day to once a week.
The Masjid was not a temple of worship. It was the School, the Assembly, the Municipality, the Parliament and the Government House. The respective leader would discuss real issues about the community, entertain questions, present bills, announce decisions of the Shura (Counsel) and the Assembly would legislate. People came up with their ideas for betterment of the society and devised plans for social welfare. Every citizen remained informed of the condition of the needy, the orphans, the sick, the disabled, the widows and about the condition of the State affairs. People brought up news of any socio-economic problems facing any families and they were immediately addressed.
Masjid was also the place where the leaders and officials were elected, ambassadors received, and defense matters decided. What a convenient and ready-made infrastructure for the government and public!
Later on, a Hadith was invented that it was Haraam to discuss "wordly matters" in the mosque. Alas! With this single stroke of pen, by the third century Hijrah, the Masjid had been reduced to what we see today, a temple of worship with empty rituals.
- Azwaaj-in-Nabi wal-Ashaab, written by Hammad bin Hakam in 94 AH, 210 years before Tareekh Tabari.
- Kitab-e-Dalail-e-Nabawwut Syedna Muhammad (S) by Abdul Jabbar Fatimi, written in 130 AH, 150 years before Tabari, the first ever 'canonized' historian.
- Haroon Wa Baramikatil Faras by Sheikhul Ifta Salman bin Abu Qasim Baghdadi. Vol 1 pg 31-55.