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.
As a Muslim, Imaan or Faith can be broken down into two constituent parts.
Firstly, having Imaan is to be thankful and grateful to Allah SWT for the blessings you have been bestowed with in life.
Secondly, to have Imaan is to be patient with the hardships and tests that Allah SWT sends you during the course of your life.
Upon reflection, one can get an idea on the level of Imaan they possess by observing how patiently they handled a previous hardship from Allah SWT.
One can also get an idea on their level of Imaan by reflecting on how much gratitude they showed Allah SWT the last time they felt blessed by Him.
Allah SWT says in Sura Ibrahim, ayat 7:
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase my favour unto you; but if you deny, Indeed, my punishement is severe.’”
When was the last time you thanked Allah for all the blessings in your life? The ability to come to this mosque to pray? The ability to listen to the Khutba today? The biggest blessing of all that you are a Muslim when so many around you are not?
We live in an age where the supplications made to Allah SWT are for materialistic things. Property, Cars, Money, etc.
It’s not wrong to ask for the above as Allah SWT can give without measure but patience comes from feeling blessed with what you have already and not feeling an urge to have your wishes realized.
Upon reflection as Muslims, it is hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what Allah SWT has already blessed each and every one of us with.
Alhamdullilah! Look at the world around us today. You can only watch the news for a short while until your heart becomes heavy with the pain you feel for your brothers and sisters across the world. We are truly blessed that we are not experiencing some of the tests our brothers and sisters are having to take.
In a Sahih Muslim hadith, Aisha (May Allah SWT be pleased with her) said:
The Prophet, peace be upon him, would stand in prayer so long that the skin on his feet would crack. I asked him “Why do you do this while your past and future sins have been forgiven?” He replied “Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?”
Gratitude and patience was abundance with our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, even to the point where it was overwhelming for his beloved companions:
In a Sahih Bukhari hadith, Umar Ibn Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
I entered the house of the Prophet, peace be upon him, to find him lying on a simple mattress which had left marks on his body. There was very little else to be found in the room in terms of possessions. Seeing this stark austerity, Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) began to cry.
“Why are you crying, O Umar” asked the Prophet, peace be upon him
“It is because I thought of Caesar and Chosroes sitting on thrones of gold wearing silk. And you are the messenger of Allah, yet here you are sitting on this simple mattress”
“O Umar” replied the Prophet, peace be upon him, “Are you not satisfied that they have this world and we have the next?”
We need to remember that this life is designed as a test for our Imaan. Our Imaan can be measured and therefore our progress in this life through our patience and our gratitude.
We need to remain steadfast in our prayers, our deeds and our rememberance of Allah SWT through all of the good times and though all the hardships that may come our way.
No better thanks can come from perfecting our worship to Allah SWT. This is the true gratitude we can show Allah SWT.
We ask Allah SWT to give us patience at all times. We ask Allah SWT to turn to Him in thanks for all the blessings He has given us. And we ask Allah SWT for forgiveness in our impatience and our ingratitude to Him.
Ameen. Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.