وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ وَأَخِيهِ أَن تَبَوَّآ لِقَوْمِكُمَا بِمِصْرَ بُيُوتًا وَاجْعَلُوا بُيُوتَكُمْ قِبْلَةً وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
We revealed to Moses and his brother: “Appoint houses for your people in Egypt (as places of refuge and coming together in God’s cause), and (as a whole community) make your homes places to turn to God, and establish the Prescribed Prayer in conformity with its conditions. And, (O Moses,) give glad tidings to the believers!” (Yūnus 10:87)
The command, “Make your homes places to turn to God!” in this verse has various meanings, as follows:
First of all, houses should be built to face the direction of qiblah—the south-east in Egypt, where Moses and his nation lived when this command was revealed to them—so that they can get enough sunlight.
Second, houses should have the characteristics of functioning as places of worship as well. The following verse also confirms this idea and points to the similar houses that fulfill the same function:
(This light can best be obtained and those guided to it are found) in some houses (that are usually concealed from people’s eyes and) for which God has provided a way for them to be built and appreciated, and for His Name to be mentioned and invoked therein; in them glorify Him in the morning and evening. (An-Nūr 24:36)
Third, God commands that each and every house should function as a place of worship as well. The people of each house should worship and perform their Prayer in their house and prevent it from becoming like a lifeless grave. Although the command is addressed to Prophets Moses and Aaron, upon them be peace, it is directed to every believer, especially when it is impossible to worship God in the open. Therefore, it has the following meanings:
- When it is impossible for you to worship God in the open, adopt your houses as places of worship and perform your worship in them.
- When your places of worship are banned from fulfilling their functions, convert your houses into places of worship to perform your duty of worship.
- Regardless of all the impediments, do your best in order to be able to build places of worship where you will worship your Lord without negligence.