The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ramadan Message 2008 - Day 21 (The Mosque)

“Never stand thou forth therein. There is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of thy standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loves those who make themselves pure.” (Qur'an 9 Verse 108)

The Mosque

All things being equal, your house is the centre point of your living. It is your home. It is your safety and comfort; the harbinger of your success; the security of your acquisition; the nursery of your prosperity; and the museum of your past.

It is from there that you prepares to face the day’s challenges and it is to it that you return to rest and regain your energy to face yet another day of life’s wears and tears. To perform these functions in the life of an individual, the house must therefore, be conceived, designed, structured and maintained with maximum concern. Little wonder than that the Prophet (peace be upon him) regarded a spacious home as one of the good things in life.

Just as it is with the individual, the community is also bound to conceive and maintain a physical centre-point, a convergence of their history, safety, and pride. Different communities institute different landmark: the village square, the city centre, the town hall or a park, parade, palace, market, shrine, or a statue-filled arena. For the Muslim Community, the centre-point of our life is the Masjid (the Mosque).

The Masjid is the Centre for everyone and everything. It supports the spiritual, the school and studies. Its courtyard and side halls serve a social functions, as well as a business purpose.

The masjid is the place of entertainment, a source of welfare and charity. It is the point of safety from aggression, oppression, racism, injustice and poverty. Allah says, “Remember We made the house a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and …a place of prayer…” (Qur'an 2 Verse 125)

The Mosque is built by individuals for Allah’s sake. Everyone regardless of origin, colour and language is allowed into the masjid. For as long as they abide by the etiquette of the masjid, they are permitted therein. No one should be discriminated against; rather, they should find solution in the masjid. Voices are not to be raised therein; business sales or trade transactions should be discouraged in the main prayer hall.

Each neighbourhood where there are Muslims should have a mosque. It is in the heart of the neighbourhood. It is the centre of worship. It is the centre of guidance. It is the centre of intelligence, knowledge and wisdom. It is the social centre for integration and regeneration, friendship and support, and communal life.

Sadly today, the Masjid has been reduced to just a place for worship. Guidance and supports are clearly lacking not to mention the issue of communal regeneration and social integration. Co-worshippers are still strangers even after years of co-worshipping because we know of each other nothing more than names and direction of residence.

So turn to your brother in Islam sitting next to you the next time you attend your prayers at the mosque. Make the effort to know his name and establish a connection so that the Muslim community grows strong as the networks between Muslims in the community increase.

Now what is the matter with the Unbelievers that they rush madly before thee-

From the right and from the left, in crowds?

Does every man of them long to enter the Garden of Bliss?

By no means! For We have created them out of the (base matter) they know!

Now I do call to witness the Lord of all points in the East and the West that We can certainly-

Substitute for them better (men) than they; And We are not to be defeated (in Our Plan).

So leave them to plunge in vain talk and play about, until they encounter that Day of theirs which they have been promised!-

The Day whereon they will issue from their sepulchres in sudden haste as if they were rushing to a goal-post (fixed for them),-

Their eyes lowered in dejection,- ignominy covering them (all over)! such is the Day the which they are promised!

(Quran 70:36-44)


Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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