The purpose of a masjid/mosque: Lockdown 2.0

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As we are in the middle of another lockdown by the government, we have an opportunity this month to still visit the mosques and perform our duties. While unlike other religions of Abrahamic faith, we worship and pray in a congregation (jam’a), we should always take this to our advantage and visit the house of Allah.  

Amongst the community, the mindset is that we as Muslims pray in a congregation; therefore, there is no benefit from attending the mosque. If we are going to worship and pray individually, rather than going to the mosque, we should pray at home. However, in the current situation, we are forced to remind ourselves about the importance of the mosque. Some questions for you to ponder and think about: 

  1. What are the benefits of going to the mosque? 
  2. Do I miss going to the mosque? 
  3. How can I implement a lifestyle whereby I can attend the mosque for at least 1 prayer a day? 

The above questions are something for all of us to reflect upon. The reality is quite upsetting. When our mosques/institutions were closed in March 2020 during the first UK COVID-19 Lockdown, there was a lot of uproar and upset from community members to leadership teams and management. However, since the reopening of the mosques in July 2020, how many times have we visited the mosque? Did we make up for the time lost during the lockdown period? If we did visit, did we reflect upon our actions and intentions? Many questions come to our minds that we can reflect upon to better ourselves. Ultimately, the mosque is a place of: 

  1. Worship 
  2. Community 
  3. Socialising  
  4. Increasing our knowledge 
  5. Reflecting our real purpose in this life  
  6. Gaining reward  

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي خُبَيْبُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ حَفْصِ بْنِ عَاصِمٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لاَ ظِلَّ إِلاَّ ظِلُّهُ الإِمَامُ الْعَادِلُ، وَشَابٌّ نَشَأَ فِي عِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ، وَرَجُلٌ قَلْبُهُ مُعَلَّقٌ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ، وَرَجُلاَنِ تَحَابَّا فِي اللَّهِ اجْتَمَعَا عَلَيْهِ وَتَفَرَّقَا عَلَيْهِ، وَرَجُلٌ طَلَبَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ فَقَالَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ‏.‏ وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ أَخْفَى حَتَّى لاَ تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُهُ، وَرَجُلٌ ذَكَرَ اللَّهَ خَالِيًا فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاهُ ‏”‏‏.‏ 

Sahih al-Bukhari 6479

The Prophet (SAW) said “Allah will give shade, to seven on the Day where there will be no shade but His. (These seven persons are)

  • a just ruler, a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worships Allah sincerely from childhood),
  • a man whose heart is attached to the mosques (i.e. to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation),
  • two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only,
  • a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit relations with her and says: I am afraid of Allah,
  • a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left-hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity),
  • and a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears.” (Sahih Bukhari) 

The highlighted section in the hadith above is what I would like to end this article on. While we know the guidelines are that there is no congregational worship and only individual worship. I would like to strongly recommend every one of the following: 

  1. Attend the mosque for private personal worship 
  2. Do not abandon our mosques during these times  
  3. Build a relationship with Allah (SWT) 

The Prophet (SAW) was asked:  

“Which deeds are the best to Allah?”

He (SAW) said: “The Salah [Prayer] on its time 

The most beloved of deeds to Allah almighty is the Salah [Prayer] at the beginning of its time 

Sahih al-Bukhari 527

May Allah (SWT) keep us safe and make our mosques a place of gathering, learning and a place where we can truly reflect our purpose in this life, Ameen. 

Let us take this opportunity to thank staff, caretakers, and all of our volunteers for their hard work and patience with us. May Allah reward them all, Ameen. 

About the Author

Haseeb ul Haq is Principal of the Saturday School and Hifdh Class Coordinator. He is graduate in BA Islamic studies from SOAS University of London and a MA in Islamic Law. During the week he also works in the Education Sector

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