When I was a kid, the only thing I saw in a Masjid was a house you would pray in or read Quran, and then leave until the next visit. It didn’t seem like a place where you could actually do much else. Additionally, I would also attend the Sunday school … which didn’t really spark much besides another version of school, which at that time meant prison. My Masjid seemed so simple and basic that I really could not see the light and glory that it held… I was wrong.
Masjids (Mosques) are the center of the Muslim community. They act as a shelter or safe house for Muslims from the outside world. They should serve as a center which the Muslim community resolves around. It should act as way in which when a Muslim brother or sister, young or old, are in need of help or solutions, can freely attend and receive help through the remembrance of Allah (swt) and from their local Imam or Sheikh. Of course our main purpose of going to the Masjid should be to remember and worship Allah (swt), but at the same time, one can use that opportunity to become closer with Muslim peers and build strong and lasting bonds.
That’s exactly why the community should work towards in inviting more and more Muslims to the Masjid, especially the youth. Like I said in my previous post, “Oh What’s My Name? – How I found my identity” there is a dire need of Youth Groups in a Masjid. Because of my Youth Group back in Selden (and now, in Frisco), we all would meet up in the Masjid every week, talk about Islam, remember Allah (swt) and at the same time we would do fun activities such as Basketball or go out to eat afterwards. A wise friend once told me, the key in bringing more of the youth to the Masjid is “Fun”. The FUNny thing (see what I did there) about fun is that it actually works. An example could be basketball. Even a teen who’s completely fallen into the traps of Shaitan, wouldn’t decline an offer to play ball if thats his thing to do. Masjid’s should have some kind of sports facilities such as basketball hoops around the Masjid, it works all the time! Free food is another given. Seriously…who would decline an offer of free hummus…right…right? Youth Groups are almost like the soul and heart of the Masjid, if active and productive. Since the youth will be the future of the Muslim ummah and gradually replace the older generation, its necessary that more of the youth reach out to the Masjid so they become leaders for our communities in the future which will in turn build a strong Muslim Ummah insh’Allah.
Another no brainier is to increase Masjid infrastructure (big word, right?). An example is the big Masjid further down from where I live in Texas, the Islamic Association of Collin County or Plano Masjid. Not only do they have an indoor gym (for basketball), they have a nicely structured library and medical clinic….now that’s when I say swag. Think about it, in the summers of Texas, its mad hot but even then people just wanna play ball. Instead of paying a lot money to a local gym without any peers, where else would a Muslim child go to play ball? The Masjid. Its a clear alternative and it really did prove to increase youth activity in the Masjid. While playing ball in the Masjid, it’ll be time for prayer, but man, you still wanna play ball afterwards. Hence, the Muslim child would go to pray first and resume his game. Because of this pattern, it could serve as a way to increase the faith in a Muslim youth. Alongside for the older generation is the public library in the Masjid, old people love books.
At the same time, its the duty of the Muslim community and Imams who already attend the Masjid regularly to keep Muslims in coming to the Masjid. If a drunk man comes to the Masjid, what’ll be a common reaction for many? “Ustaghfirullah, whatcho doin in here bruh, get the heck out of here, you drunk as hell.” Okay maybe not to that extreme but most people would get mad or scold him, even kick him out of the Masjid. Chill…we all know getting drunk is a big sin, but this individual CAME to the Masjid, even after he was drunk! Instead of going to another bar or whatever a drunk person does, he still came to the Masjid after all! Don’t kick him out, acknowledge him for coming to the Masjid and then educate him, talk to him and make dua he continues coming to the Masjid. There is a hadith that goes:
Anas Bin Maalik said:
While we were in the masjid with the Messenger of Allaah, a Bedouin came; he then urinated in the masjid.
The Companions of the Messenger of Allaah said, “Mah Mah (An expression used to severly scold someone, to indicate the graveness of a matter).”
The Messenger of Allaah said, “Do not put a halt to his urinating, but instead leave him.”
They left him alone until he finished urinating.
The Messenger of Allaah called him over and said to him, “Any kind of urine or filth is not suitable for these masjids. Instead they are only [appropriate] for the remembrance of Allaah, the Prayer, and the recitation of the Qur’aan,” or this is near to what the Messenger of Allaah said.
He (saw) then issued an order to a man from the people, who then came with a bucket of water, which he poured over the [effected] area [of the masjid].
[Related by Muslim in his Saheeh, 285]
SubhannAllah^. Urinating in the Masjid is something so big that most of us would be disgusted and some might have even beaten the fellow. But in the end, the Prophet (PBUH) was calm and spoke to him in a kind manner. This is the type of character we should all have against any person in the Masjid, whether it be a child running in the Masjid or an old man who starts arguing in the Masjid.
As the years went by, my Masjid become almost like my second house (it’s Allah (swt)’s house of course). I shared so many memories in my Masjid back in Selden, NY that it was so hard to leave it behind when moving to Texas, in fact it was one of the hardest things to leave behind. From meeting some of my greatest friends to learning about the deen and finding inspirations and role models, I’m in love and always will be with my Masjid. It was a place I could go to after a long stressful day to just relax, find peace, make friends and most of all, remember Allah (swt) to the fullest extent, subhannAllah. Throughout the whole week going to the Masjid was one thing I could always look forward to. Even after coming to Texas, I made many friends and met many great people because of the Masjid. Moving to Texas meant leaving all of my good and childhood friends behind, I was alone at first. After meeting with the Muslim communities here, I was able to settle down quickly and find peace within my heart, alhumdollilah. I Think I’m In Love With My Masjid.
“One of the 7 types of people who will be under the shade of Allah’s Throne on the Day of Judgment is a person whose heart is always attached to the masjid.”