An old speech but still important lessons to be learned about starting mosques in all of our communities, and not only building it, but maintaining them both physically & spiritually.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday speech delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC on September 11, 1998)
All the praises and thanks be to Allah (S.W.T.) for his blessings that He helped us in this community to start the expansion project of this center. This expansion would add more than 13,300 square feet to the existing building.
This week, as we can see, preparations are under way to start building on the land adjacent to the center. The new land is about 2.4 acres, which was purchased about 2 years ago. It was paid off completely from the donations of local Muslims living in this area. We ask Allah (S.W.T.) to reward them generously.
In reality, the expansion project did not start this week, but it started more than a year ago when the Majlis As-shurah of the I.A.R. made an official decision to expand the center. The Majlis As-shurah then formed the construction committee to conduct and oversee this expansion project.
The construction committee did everything they could to fulfill their task. They spent many hours and made tremendous efforts to get to this point. We ask Allah (S.W.T.) to reward everyone of them generously for what they have accomplished, especially, the chairman of this committee who spent lots of his time and effort to initiate everything the expansion project needs, from various arrangements to removal of difficulties in its implementation.
Yes, it is a hard and long process that needs expertise, wisdom, accuracy, patience, and follow-up. Many meetings were held; every one of which took no less than 2 hours. Moreover, many more meetings were held with many engineers, experts, contractors, and officials.
I had attended a few meetings and realized the great magnitude and accuracy of this task that was taken with seriousness, precision, and craftsmanship.
Now, on your behalf and mine, I would like to thank all the members of the construction committee for what they have accomplished because the prophet (S.A.W.) say, in an authentic hadith reported by Imam At-Tirmithi and Abu-Dawud, “Whosoever does not thank people, he does not thank Allah.” I ask Allah (S.W.T.) to bless us with sincerity in our sayings and actions and to compensate generously for your effort in this life and in the Hereafter for everything that you have done. I also thank everyone who contributed to this project in idea, in word, or in action, especially, those brothers and sisters who donated generously from their money and who are still donating. I remind them of good news from the prophet (S.A.W.) in a hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim, “Whosoever builds for Allah a masjid, Allah will reward him similar to it in paradise.” In another narration reported by Imam Ahmad, “Whosoever shares in building a masjid for Allah, even if it is as small as a birdâ€™s nest, Allah (S.W.T.) will build for him a house in Paradise.”
This is the greatest news for a winning investment that is guaranteed by Allah (S.W.T.), so where are the investors?
Donating money to build a masjid for the sake of Allah is a sadaqah jariah (continues charity), meaning the reward will continue to reach the donor even after death. This which was mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) in an authentic hadith.
I remind myself and you of the necessity to continue your generous donations to finish this project, which should be finished, by the will of Allah, within 7 months. Also, I would like to remind you all of the necessity to target those who like to donate, to contribute to this great task. This is because the one who tells about good deeds he will get the same reward as the one who does it.
The great magnitude of contributing to the construction of the masjid goes well with the great role of the masjid and its importance:
The role of the masjid in the lives of Muslims is great; in reality, it is the beating heart of the Muslim society. From here comes the importance of the contribution to the building, supervising, and managing it.
Allah (S.W.T.) likes to see the brotherhood and love to spread among the believers. So, the masjid is the place where Muslims meet daily for their prayer before Allah (S.W.T.). So their souls get purified and they meet for the love of Allah (S.W.T.).
Allah (S.W.T.) wants care to prevail in the practice amongst Muslims. So the masjid is the place where the zakat and charity money is collected and spent.
Allah (S.W.T.) likes that the spirit of justice and equality to prevail amongst the Muslims. So the masjid is the place where they stand in a prayer row before Allah. No difference is there between rich and poor, or between a prince and a common man, or between a ruler and a ruled; all of them are equal in the masjid. Allah also likes that Muslims learn their Deen and raise themselves to do good so their souls get purified. So the masjid is the school and the university that offers the right and authentic knowledge and also the nursery that raises people on a divine way.
Allah (S.W.T.) would want Islam to be the prevalent deen. So, the masjid is the center and the base of the da’wah to Allah, from which the people take off to convey the message of Islam, giving glad tiding and warning, guiding and conquering.
This is how the masjid of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was, and this is how the masajid should be today.
Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat At-Tawbah, (verse 18), what can be translated as, “The masajid of Allah (mosques) shall tuâ€™mar (maintain, tend and fill with different Islamic activities) only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day; offer prayers perfectly, and give zakat and fear none except Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.”
The masjid may be built by Muslims or non-Muslim, but in reality, the masjid is only be aâ€™mer (maintain, tend and fill with different Islamic activities) with the Muslim that is described with those descriptions in the aforementioned verse. There is a great difference between the physical, concrete building of the masjid and truly building it. There are many masjad today that were built with stones with nice decorations, but stayed exactly like that, with no life in them. This is because the people who run it do not have the qualifications mentioned in the verse:
– Having a complete belief with all its pillars.
– Having a complete Islam with all its pillars.
– Fearing none but Allah.
What is the relationship between fearing none but Allah and making the masjid alive and full of Islamic activities? Who are the ones you are afraid of if you gave the masjid its complete role? What are those fears? All these questions can be easily answered if we know the great role of the masjid in the lives of the Muslims as we mentioned above. Iâ€™mar of the masjid can be briefly explained as making the earth live with Islam, and raising the generations with Islam. This is a great and dangerous mission that the enemies of Allah (S.W.T.) hate and will do their best to stop it and destroy it. So the ummar of the masjid need the courage and need to fear none except Allah (S.W.T.).
Who are the enemies of Islam? It is those who do their best to cancel the role of the masjid. There are many enemies, starting from oneâ€™s evil soul and Satan who reminds us of poverty and scares us with it and orders us to do evil and his followers, his soldiers, and his allies from the humans and jinns from the non-believers, the evil-doers, and the hypocrites. We Muslims should be careful.