Shaykh Yusuf Badat is the main Imam and ‘Director of Religious Affairs’ at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and the former Vice Chair of the Canadian Council of Imams.
Here is an excerpt from Yusuf Badat’s Friday sermon delivered at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto on May 25,2012:
I was mentioning about ‘doors open Toronto’ and every year I get this question where people say: why are non-Muslims in the Masjid [mosque]? You know they’re filthy. Why are they here? They are not even dressed properly. Why are they coming in the masjid [mosque]? They might be in their menstrual cycles.
You get all kinds of questions like this, you know, ignorance, it is important that we ask when we don’t know. So it’s a good sign. You want to learn. So I felt it is important to clarify certain matters here. There are two issues. Number one is are disbelievers allowed to enter the masjid [mosque]? and number two if they are allowed then what are the conditions?
So in terms of entering the masjid [mosque] the Olama [علماء], the scholars of Islam, they agree that it is permissible for disbelievers to enter the masjid [mosque], but with three conditions.
Number one is that there should be a purposeful benefit for them entering the masjid [mosque]. To enter the masjid [mosque] there should be a purposeful benefit, that why are they entering? to see, to learn, we can give dawah [propagation to Islam]. You have many times something that goes wrong, maintenance, and there is no Muslim that can take care of that. So who do we call? A non-Muslim to repair something. Someone recently sent me photos of the haram [Great Mosque of Mecca] and the expansion in Mecca, and how it’s going to be extended etc. and they’ve contracted some of some parts of the construction and the expansion of the haram [Great Mosque of Mecca] in Mecca to non-Muslims from different countries, and they enter there for a purposeful benefit. So if a non-Muslim is entering with a purposeful benefit then it’s permitted. Condition number one.
Condition number two is that they should be externally clean. Their clothes should be externally clean. So they’re wearing nice clean clothes that’s fine. We don’t, we don’t bother about what is internal. We’re not concern, and this is what the Olama [scholars of Islam] say in [the book] “Ila Al-Sunan” [إعلاء السنن] in the books of “fiqh” [فقه jurisprudence], it’s mentioned that the verse where Allah, Exalted and Glorified be He, says that the “mushrikun” [مشركون polytheists] are impure it doesn’t refer to the external impurity. It’s referring to the “aqidah” [عقيدة faith] and the belief that they have, that may be corrupt. So people generally quote the verse of Surah [chapter of the Quran] Al-Tawbah [Repentence] where Allah, Exalted and Glorified be He, says لا يدخلون المسجد الحرم [إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ فَلا يَقْرَبُوا الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ ] they should not enter the masjid [mosque]. So this is referring to their internal filth not their external filth, their internal impurity, not their external impurity. So this is condition number two.
And condition number three is that they should respect the sacredness of the masjid [mosque]. They should respect the sacredness of the masjid [mosque].