“Our Shaikh, Imaam al-Wadiee (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Tufah Mujeeb (pg. 329) in the Second Volume:
Look at the masjid in Dammaj, and I don’t say, ‘Mahad Dammaj’ or ‘Darul Hadeeth Dammaj’, rather it is a masjid. The Prophet ﷺ said “No people get together in a house of the houses of Allah (i.e. a masjid), reciting the Book of Allah…” [Abi Dawud: 1455]
If one says, “Imaam al-Wadiee (may Allah have mercy on him) use to attach the name ‘Mahad’, ‘Markaz’ and ‘Darul Hadeeth’ to the masjids that accommodated students?”
Then we say, “It is true that he said that but this was what was common with the people and what was known to them. And with this, he still referred to the legislated name, which is masjid.
But the use of the legislative names takes precedence over modern day terminology. Until (now) the term “Markaz” is greater in the eyes of the people than the name “Masjid”. And Allah’s aid is sought.
The masjid of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ (this virtuous place) was the residence of Ahlul Suf’fah and that which produced the greatest of scholars, the best of those that understood the religion, the best reciters, the most skilled of poets and the most eloquent and those that delivered the most beautiful sermons and the most righteous in his time ﷺ and those that followed that goodness after that.
And until now, it is still called a Masjid like that of Masjid al-Haraam.
So it’s more appropriate that the masjids remain upon their legislative names, than to change them to these present day terms.
As the legislative names are the furthest from doubts and exploitation of those (that harbor) malice.
And it is far from resembling these (worldly) centers (the likes) of police, and centers of medicine and centers of business.
And by preserving their legislative names it maintains the wording as was revealed about the superiority of building masjids and the houses of Allah, contrary to these new names and terms and Allah knows best.
Benefited from: Shaikh Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ba Jamaal (May Allah preserve him)
Translated by: Abu Yusuf Bilal ibn Howard Robinson