Recently in our masjid, a few sisters created havoc when they started to raise their voices in a loud tone. They insulted other Muslims, and disrupted the entire Juma Khutba and Salaah. What are the guidelines of the shariah regarding them and their behaviour?
The Masjid is the house of Allah which He Has made Sacred and Holy, and a place where believers visit in order to worship Allah with full devotion and dedication. It is therefore, compulsory upon all Muslims to uphold its sanctity and holiness, and conduct themselves in a manner that conforms to the sacredness of this Holy place. Form among those etiquettes which are required for Muslims, is that they do not raise their voices in quarrels, disputes and arguments in the house of Allah. All of these are totally Haram(unlawful) in Islam.
Violence, condemning one another, laying false allegations and attacking others with words and threats are all Haram (unlawful) in the precincts of the Masjid. No one is allowed to behave in this manner, whether male or female, young or old. Those who conduct themselves in this manner, are in reality creating mischief and confusion in the masjid and are guilty of committing acts of grave disrespect to the house of Allah. They are thus, violating the law and command of Allah which He Has given regarding the respect and esteem that is due to a masjid. Muslims who behave in this manner must be spoken to, and strongly advised to refrain from such behaviour in the future. If they do not abide by this good counsel, then it is permissible for the authorities of the masjid to ban them from attending the masjid until such time that they can conduct themselves in a peaceful manner. This ban is only given to protect the house of Allah from being disrespected, and to restore the peace, tranquility and respect that the Masjid deserves.
Banning Muslims from the Masjid for this reason is not opposing to the teachings of Islam. In fact, it is in total conformity to the actions of the Prophet (SAS) himself, since we see (in the narrations) that he had prohibited Muslims from attending the masjid for matters that were lighter than the issue that you have mentioned.
In the traditions recorded by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, we find that the Prophet (SAS) prohibited those who ate raw onions and garlic from attending the masjid. In fact, on one occasion he expelled a person from the masjid for the same reason (Muslim). He also strongly prohibited women who perfumed themselves from attending the masjid (Muslim). On one occasion, he dismissed an Imam from his position for having spat in the direction of the Qiblah. He banned him from becoming the Imam and /leader the people in Salaah, and considered him as one who has caused harm to Allah and His Rasool.( Abu Dawood)
Based on the above, it is evident that the Prophet (SAS) would sometimes ban certain Muslims from attending the masjid when harms emanated from them.
Scholars have used these actions of the Prophet (SAS) as evidence to ban people from the masjid who cause harms to others through their tongues and behavior. Abdullah bin Umar (RA) also gave fatawa (Islamic Verdict) upon this, and this is the main reason a ban/prohibition would come upon those who cause harm to others. Based upon this explaination, the authorities of the masjid should speak to the sisters (who behaved in the disrespectful manner) to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner in the future. If the sisters do not wish to abide by this advice and they are bent on their behaviour, then the authorities of the masjid should temporarily ban them until they can reform themselves.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan