Allah SWT said in sura Al-Tawbah, ayat 18:
The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give zakah and do not fear except Allah, for it is expected that those will be of the [rightly] guided.
Dear brothers and sisters, when you reflect back on the Ayat, it is illustrating that the masjid is built for the purpose of reinforcing faith or imaan. This is evident as we come to the masjid to pray our congregational prayers and to read the Quran in a moment of solace away from the busy life we all lead outdoors.
Incidentally, this point leads nicely onto some advice I heard recently. I’m saying this for myself and for you too, in regards to the feeling of disconnection one feels from time to time.
It is perfectly normal to have dips in Imaan. Nobody can realistically hold on to the expectation that they will maintain the highest level of imaan throughout the year. After all, that is what Ramadan is for – an annual MOT to get the heart cleaned and reset.
But sometimes, one needs a boost throughout the year and for that the advice was quite simple in theory but overwhelmingly powerful in practice. What is that advice? Well, if one feels disconnection in prayer then pray Fajr in the masjid.
And for those like me who think look outside the window in the morning and get a shiver run down their spine: Start with once a month. Yep, you heard correctly. Once a month.
The reason why one should start at once a month is because firstly Allah SWT loves consistency in worship. Little and often as the saying goes. And secondly, because you are more likely to do it if it’s only once a month.
Make an intention to begin. Get up, get ready with pride, put on some smart clothes – no attending the prayer in PJ’s brothers! And get to the masjid with time to spare before the prayer begins. Once here, pick up the Quran and read a page. Make that a part of this monthly experience. Read half a page, only an ayat if you can manage just that.
And then attend the Fajr congregation. Listen as the silence of the dawn is broken by the sound of the words of Allah SWT. The feeling that you will get afterwards will be that connection, that warm glow, that filling of that hollowness that you can feel.
And once you do so after a few occasions, you will want to come more often. Your heart will yearn for it and you’ll want to come more without needing to map deadlines for it today.
Back to the ayat, it also reminds us that the masjid is a community centre. It is not owned by any one person, it is not for the benefit of any one person and equally so, it is not the responsibility of any one person.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, this khutba ends with a call for help. The ayat states the type of people who will help in the maintenance of the masjid. And other than Eid prayer, now is the only time I have to be able to address that group for this masjid.
This masjid is in need of financial maintenance. From repairs to ongoing bills, like all establishments of this kind, it is in need of regular money to keep it going.
The main source of our capital comes from donations but it is fair to say that we are reaching a point where an SOS call needs to be sent out to the community. The reward of such actions is referenced in a hadith. The Prophet SAWS said:
“I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say: ‘Whoever builds a masjid (mosque) in which the Name of Allah is mentioned, Allah will build a house for him in Paradise.’”
Now, I am going to ask of 1 of 3 things from every single person in this room. You have no choice my brothers and sisters. You must do one of the three! And what are those 3 things?
- We need donations. Just like with the advice earlier. Consistency is key so please set up a standing order. It doesn’t have to be a lot but don’t think it’s too little so I won’t bother because that is for Allah to reward and his reward is multiple times more than what you give.
- We need fund-raising ideas. If you can’t give money, give us advice on how we can raise funds. Nobody here is an Alan Sugar. We don’t have millionaire investors on tap. There is no such thing as a bad idea, within reason, so let us know.
- Make dua. This one is not the default by the way. If nothing else can be offered then end today’s jumma prayer with a sincere dua that this masjid has the means to continue providing for the community.
This is no small issue brothers and sisters as the following hadith states that the Prophet SAWS said:
Allah would call out where are my neighbours? Where are my neighbours? The Angels would say is it possible for anyone to be your neighbour! And Allah would say where are the establishers of Masajids?
This tells us how important today’s issue is for us all.
May Allah SWT connect our hearts to the masjid. May Allah SWT make it easy for us to attend the masjid and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts with the masjid. Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.