Dear brothers and sisters, every week we have the blessing of coming to the mosque or masjid to pray our Friday prayers. For some of us, this is a daily trip and for those who are truly blessed, the masjid is a place they visit five times every day.
However, the role of the masjid is more than the prayers alone. It serves as a central point, a community centre, for our local Muslim community. In fact, it offers its services to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, such is the importance and diverse nature of the masjid.
The masjid is the house of Allah SWT and each one, all over the world, shares this important status. This is the place you come to for escape from the outside world; and this is the place you visit to avoid the distractions and worries that the world presents.
In fact, the house of Allah SWT should be free of the distractions of the outside world and instead, the masjid should be the focal point for worship, remembrance of Allah SWT and doing things for the sake of Allah SWT such as guiding and helping one another.
The imam reminded us of this through references of the Quran. The first of these was from Sura Al-Jinn, ayat 18 which is translated to say:
The places of worship are ˹only˺ for Allah, so do not invoke anyone besides Him.
And sura at-tawba, ayat 18 which is translated to say:
The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity, and fear none (at all) except Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.
Dear brothers and sisters, each and every one of us should feel a sense of ownership and pride to our mosques. We should want to be part of the mosques, their activities and services, step forward when volunteers are required and encourage one another to attend the prayers within.
As the imam reminded us, the masjid is a reminder from Allah SWT to come and remember Him, to seek the reward and mercy of Allah SWT in His house whilst in this world, as there will be a day when we will not get this opportunity again.
Dear brothers and sisters, we were also taught by the best of all creation SAWS, that the masjid plays a pivotal role in society and in our communities. The imam used todays reminder to reference the following hadith which are translated to say:
“Whoever builds a mosque for the sake of Allah, like a sparrow’s nest for Allah or even smaller, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.”
“The parts of the land dearest to God are its mosques, and the parts most hateful to God are its markets.”
Dear brothers and sisters, it is not easy to incorporate the masjid to your daily routine. Most of us have so many commitments that are already rendering us tired and rushed that the prospect of adding daily visits to the masjid seems daunting and overwhelming.
However, it is worth mentioning at this point that this view may be flawed for two reasons. Firstly, it could be that the reason why we feel this way is that we don’t feel the blessing of time. Often in our weekly reminders we are asked to think and contemplate about the blessings that are bestowed upon us by Allah SWT. We think of things at this point like our wealth, our youth, our looks, our status etc. But how many of us think of time as one of these blessings?
Ask those whose time in this world has run out and they will tell you that time is the biggest blessing of them all. This is the blessing that we cannot spend any slower, it is the blessing we cannot purchase any more of and it’s the blessing we know may run out at any time – and we cannot control when that will be.
Ask yourself, is the reason of time being the obstacle to come and pray a valid one? Or could it be that shaitaan is presenting that obstacle to you as a form of distraction from worship as he said he would to each and every one of us?
And if the thought of not coming to the masjid is due to worldly yet valid reasons, then the second point is worth mentioning because who is it that gives you the world? If you are busy because of work or kids or your spouse or your family or your education then who gave you those blessings in the first place? Could it not be that those could no longer exist in your life and thus freeing up your time?
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to be careful that we do not become complacent and use the gifts and blessings Allah SWT has bestowed upon us as the exact reason to be ungrateful and neglect the masjid. And if the worldly reasons are a source of worry then it’s even more of a reason to come here and ask Him for help and for guidance.
And so, this reminder concludes with 3 practical tips we can take to help us establish the habit of coming to the masjid:
- Begin with small changes. First of all, ask Allah SWT for help in making this change and begin by choosing the easiest prayer to attend in congregation. For most of us it’s the evening prayer when work is over and we are winding down so let’s make this a habit and keep it going for a couple of months before adding another to it.
- If the masjid is a distraction because of friends who also come then go to another one where you aren’t known. You are coming to the house of Allah SWT for worship and so don’t let the world follow you in and distract you from the primary task.
- Make the masjid a second home by getting involved in it. Ask the imam if you can help or support it in your time, money or effort. Only by everyone getting involved can we make this a true centre for our communities.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to be of those mentioned by the Prophet SAWS as receiving shade on the day of judgement. One of those groups of people are described as being a man whose heart is attached to the mosque.