Here is the ROLE OF THE MASJID:
One thing that instantly facilitated efficient governance in the early 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 especially since men and women congregated together in the Masjid and so, not ordained.
Recall that all creation knows their Salaat and Tasbeeh. How would the heavens and earth, mountains, animals, birds, fish and trees physically bow and prostrate! Therefore Salaat cannot mean Namaaz or ritual prayers.
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 "worldly 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.
Please study TSQ & QXP in the library www.ourbeacon.com.
TSQ: THUS SPEAKS THE QUR'AN