Etiquettes of the Masjid

Today’s reminder is on the etiquettes of the masjid.

My dear brothers, this place is a sanctuary from the outside world. Besides the odd unwelcomed ringtone during salah, we are able to switch off from all the distractions of the outside world when we are inside of the masjid. There is no Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube inside these four walls to distract us. And as we grow older, we begin to realise just how valuable this place is for serenity and peace of mind for us all.

The Prophet SAWS mentions the love Allah SWT has for the masjid in the following hadith:

He who goes to the mosque at dawn or dusk (for Salat), Allah prepares a hospitable abode for him in Jannah, every time when he walks to it or comes back from it

Dear brothers, we can see that from this hadith there is a great reward for coming to the masjid and therefore we should make the most of this blessing, especially now that we are out of lockdown and are able to come back to the houses of Allah SWT.

The Imam also relayed the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:

“The reward for Salat performed by a person in congregation is more than 20 times greater than that of the Salat performed in one’s house or shop. When one performs Wudu’ perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of performing Salat, then for every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded one degree in reward and one of his sins is eliminated until he enters the mosque, and when he enters the mosque, he is considered as performing Salat as long as it is the Salat which prevents him (from leaving the mosque); and the angels keep on supplicating Allah for him as long as he remains in his place of prayer. They say: ‘O Allah! have mercy on him; O Allah! forgive his sins; O Allah! accept his repentance’. This will carry on as long as he does not pass wind”

And so, dear brothers, what follows are 3 simple ideas that we can all implement that will make our time in the masjid an even more blessed one insh’Allah.

  1. Enter the masjid with your right foot and say Salaam. Even if nobody is making eye contact that doesn’t matter. It starts your visit with the correct intention.
  2. Put your mobile phone on silent my dear brothers. Focus in prayer is such a fragile thing that even a piece of fluff on the carpet can be the most interesting thing when we are trying to offer salat. You can imagine then what a melodic ringtone does to the focus in comparison. The message here is one of consideration for your fellow brother who is trying to connect to Allah in a rare moment of solace in an otherwise busy day.
  3. Avoid passing in front of somebody who is praying. This is difficult sometimes and consideration in this case should be two-way. For example if a brother was to start praying adjacent to the exit door then he is preventing anyone wanting to enter and exit the masjid.
  4. And as you leave try to connect to that feeling of joy at having just visited the house of Allah and having just communicated directly to Allah SWT and having just made a request of Him in your duas. Try to instil into your heart that feeling of loss as you leave as it will create that desire to return back to the masjid as soon as possible.

Dear brothers, the masjid is our fortress from the outside world. Let’s aim to visit it often and in the correct manner insh’Allah.

May Allah SWT enable us to develop the correct etiquette for entering the masjid. May Allah SWT instill into our hearts good manners for the masjid. And may Allah SWT reward us for the manners we develop for the masjid.

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Youth in the Masjid

Allah SWT has blessed this community with a base that is a welcome haven for all. This masjid, like

masjids all throughout the world are the houses of Allah SWT but benefit us all in different ways.

For some, this is a place of worship alone. They visit to carry out their congregational prayers. For

others, it is a place of knowledge, somewhere to learn more on Islam. For some it is a place to meet

like-minded people, to socialise and to build community bonds.

Dear brothers and sisters, we need to understand that this place is a blessing for us all and full of

potential to be great for the whole community – muslim and non-muslim alike.

And with any base such as this, we need the energy and the strength of the youth as well as the

experience and the wisdom of the elders. As with all things in Islam, it is about finding the balance

and this is no exception.

Naturally when it comes to interaction, there is a big difference between the two groups in terms of

their thinking and therefore there is a potential for conflict.

Allah SWT has therefore laid down some rules to avoid this and we should aim to adhere to these

rules so that we can best work together in a productive way.

One such advice is found through the 41st to 49th Ayats of Sura Maryum in the Quran. It is translated

to have said:

Mention too, in the Quran, the story of Abraham. He was a man of truth, a prophet. He said

to his father, ‘Father, why do you worship something that can neither hear nor see nor

benefit you in any way? Father, knowledge that has not reached you has come to me, so

follow me: I will guide you to an even path. Father, do not worship Satan— Satan has

rebelled against the Lord of Mercy. Father, I fear that a punishment from the Lord of Mercy

may afflict you and that you may become Satan’s companion [in Hell].'”

His father answered, ‘Abraham, do you reject my gods? I will stone you if you do not stop

this. Keep out of my way!’ Abraham said, ‘Peace be with you: I will beg my Lord to forgive

you— He is always gracious to me—but for now I will leave you, and the idols you all pray to,

and I will pray to my Lord and trust that my prayer will not be in vain.’

Dear brothers and sisters, if you analyse, you will see the etiquette and manners by which the

Prophet of Abraham addressed his father. Despite him being an idol-worshipper, there was love and

respect shown at all times.

We can dedicate hours just to this passage and still not get the full benefit of the wisdom in this

passage but for the purposes of this khutba, it demonstrates the level of decorum we must show to

our elders. We must in essence glorify them at all times. This is the position the elders hold in Islam.

But to do this we need the youth to attend the masjid. And this is the ultimate challenge.

And so this khutba ends with 5 practical steps we can all do to achieve this.

1. Understand their world. For example, most youth now have a smart phone. Are we telling

them that this masjid has its own app? An app with times of prayer, both start and

congregational, an app that allows it to send questions and request for advice straight to the

masjid? One that shows not only this masjid but all participating masjids in the country?

For those who aren’t aware it’s called My Mosque and it is on the Play and App store. We

also have Facebook and Twitter account. And even a website. We will put details up soon

insh’Allah on the notice boards and walls but it is already there to connect with the youth.

2. Tell them of our classes. This isn’t just a place to pray. We can learn here too. There are

classes run throughout the week and we welcome ideas for more classes. Again, use the

forums mentioned earlier to get the ideas across.

3. Youth have an overwhelming desire to change the world for the better. The energy is there.

Why not connect that with the more senior brothers who are already making this happen?

We have links now with projects that involve feeding the needy, such as the food collection

box at the back. We also are involved in projects feeding the homeless, donating blood,

visiting the sick, visiting the elderly, spreading the word of Islam and many more. All with

local people making a difference. Again, connect with the masjid and you can get all that

information and make that impact in the community.

4. Have a say in how your masjid is run. Whether it is an idea for a future khutba or whether

it’s an idea for some way this masjid can help you and the community, come to the masjid

with it and make it happen. It all starts with the idea and the energy to do it. We even have

social events here where everyone is invited, so attend those to connect with the masjid.

5. Involve the Muslim women. This is particularly important and can’t be overstated. We need

to establish a position for our sisters to have a say in how our masjids are run. Again, it all

starts with participation and involvement so contact us to get started.

Dear brothers and sisters, let’s make this masjid a community hub that attracts experience and

youth alike. We can only do that if we all make an effort to make it happen.

May Allah SWT bring the youth to the masjid. May Allah SWT make this masjid a central base for our

community and may Allah SWT rewards us all for our efforts in making this happen.

Ameen wa Alhamdullilahi Rabil-alameen.

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Efforts in establishing a Masjid

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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How we deal with Masjids (Mosques)

Islam has made the masjid the heartbeat of the Muslim society. It is the hangout of Muslims where they meet one another daily, not only to perform the obligatory prayers but also for other acts of worship and activities that are beneficial for the Muslim community.

The following Hadith talks of the masjid in which the Prophet SAWS said:

Whoever ate garlic or onion should avoid us, to avoid the masjid and stay at home as the angel get affected by whatever the son of Adam gets affected by.

Dear brothers, most of us can interpret this hadith to talk of not smelling a foul smell when coming to the masjid but we can expand upon this further by saying that this is about consideration for others.

And so similarly we have, especially at Jumma, brothers trying to weave in and out of rows in their attempt to leave the hall. Show consideration and come to the front of the hall if you plan to pray so that people don’t get trapped in front of you.

But that is not the main point that this khutba is attempting to make. The title of this about dealing with Masjids.

Dear brothers, what do you see when you look at this masjid? For most of us, we use this as a place of worship. Somewhere to read our Jumma prayers, our daily congregational prayers, our Taraweeh prayers in Ramadhan.

However, this building is a house of Allah and it has the potential to offer much more. But before this point is expressed further, there is an ayat of the Quran in Sura Al-Noor:

Shining out in houses of worship, God has ordained that they be raised high and that His name should be remembered in them, with men in them celebrating his Glory morning and evening.

Dear brothers, this is the function of the masjid. This is what Allah SWT has told us a masjid needs to do. This is how we need to deal with the masjids such as the one in which we are sat.

Are we delivering on this responsibility placed upon us by Allah SWT?

We are blessed in Manchester in that we have over 50 masjids in this city. We are seldom more than a 10 minute drive to the nearest masjid. And yet besides Friday, Eid or Taraweeh prayers, the masjid is less than a third full.

We need to bring it into our hearts. To make it feel like a second home. Our nearest masjid to our home should be so well frequented that we notice little changes like new paint work or something out of place. It should take the place of cafes, cinemas and other social venues.

Allah SWT talks of coming to the masjid in Sura Al-Araf when He says:

O children of Adam, dress well when you are at worship, and eat and drink as we have permitted but do not be extravagant; God does not like extravagant people.

Dear brothers, putting effort in our attire in the masjid is part of the complete picture we need to build in order to make this house of Allah fulfil it’s potential.

We live in a time where the Muslim Ummah is attacked in the media almost daily. We feel embarrassed, lost and lonely when events before us are unfolding in the so-called name of Islam.

Its at times like this, the masjid has the potential to become our solace in protecting us from that. But in order to do that we need to make it a place we want to visit beyond worship and prayer.

Specifically this masjid, our website is just the start. But from that we need to get together as a community and offer services in this house of Allah for our local community.

So-called “Coffee mornings” for locals, for the elderly, for those interested in Islam. Presentations, lectures and classes for all ages, and on all different types of skills from vocational to religious.

The following hadith applies to this khutba in which the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:

Whoever went to the Masjid, and does not want except learning good or teaching good, he would get the reward of doing and completing Hajj.

Dear brothers, we have a base from which to do just that. We just need community participation and community involvement. This place is a community centre that is awaiting its community.

Let’s begin today by suggesting ideas via our website, email or telephone on how we can make our masjid an example of how should deal with a masjid.

May Allah SWT enable us to fulfil the responsibility of the masjid. May Allah SWT enable us to fulfil the potential of this masjid and may Allah SWT reward us for the efforts in fulfilling the responsibility of the Masjid.

Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.

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