MASJID IS THE PLATFORM FOR UNITY! Print

MASJID IS THE PLATFORM FOR UNITY!

First Jumuah lecture in the Grand Masjid Ahlul Bait (a.s)
by Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider on Friday 8 December 2017 (19 Rabiul Awwal 1439)
at the Ahlul Bait (a.s) Mosque Complex, Ottery, Cape Town

 

Once again, we thank Almighty Allah (SWT), our Creator, our Lord for His great mercy and great blessings on us as a community. Alhamdu Lillah, today, with His Qudrah, Lutf, Inayat and blessings we are holding our very first Jumuah in this Masjid Ahlul Bait (a.s).

 

We can never thank Him enough, nor show our gratitude to our Creator Almighty Allah (SWT) for what he has granted us.

 

Alhamdu Lillah, this mosque as a place of worship of Almighty Allah (SWT) has been established. I will take this opportunity to remind myself and all of you about the role of the Masjid and its significance in Islam. Also, what are our obligations and responsibilities to this Masjid and mosques in general.

 

First of all, the institution of mosques in Islam is very important. It is so crucial that Almighty Allah (SWT) mentions the word Masjid more than 28 times in the Holy Quran. Sometimes, the Holy Quran speaks about the Masjid as any place of worship of Almighty Allah (SWT). Sometimes, the Holy Quran speaks about the Masjid as a particular place dedicated for the worship of Almighty Allah (SWT). Then, sometimes the Holy Quran speaks about specific mosques in the Islamic world, like Masjidul Haraam or Masjidul Aqsa amongst others.

WHO ARE THE TRUE MAINTAINERS OF ALLAH’S MASAAJID?

 

In principle, the Holy Quran encourages people to establish mosques and says that those who establish mosques are the ones with Imaan in Allah (SWT). Almighty Allah (SWT) explains very beautifully in the Holy Quran, in Surah Tawba (chapter 9) verse 18:

 

“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.”

 

In this verse, Almighty Allah (SWT) explains the qualities, attributes and character of those responsible for establishing mosques. They are:

1. Imaan in Allah (SWT)

2. Imaan in Akhirah - faith in this reality that we are not going to live in this world forever. Belief in this fact, that one day we will be accountable for our actions.

3. Establish Salaah – Allah (SWT) is not referring to those who pray. He is referring to those who ESTABLISH prayer.

4. Fear none except Allah (SWT)

There is a difference between simply performing Salaah versus establishing Salaah. There is an individual action of making Salaah, and then there is the establishment of Salaah, the principles of Salaah and the message of Salaah on the social level as well. Salaah is a symbol of a person being connected to Allah (SWT) through Ibadah (worship). In addition, this verse says that they are also connected to Allah (SWT) by paying Zakat and being in the service of the creation of Allah (SWT).

These are 2 angles – worship of Almighty Allah (SWT) through sharing, serving and caring for the people in addition to ritual acts of Ibadah (worship).

THE MASJID IS FREE FROM THE WHIMS OF THE PEOPLE

Then, the very important characteristic of those who build mosques is that they do not fear, except Allah (SWT). What is the connection between being fearless and building mosques? Mosques are not only the expression of beautiful architecture and artwork (which is indeed admirable). However, more than this, the podium of the Masjid should be fearless and not be under the influence of anybody except Allah (SWT). If you cannot speak from the Masjid about what pleases Almighty Allah (SWT) and you speak considering what influential people and other groups will say, then such people are not suitable and deserving for building or establishing mosques.

A Masjid should be established by people who have no fear other than the fear of Allah (SWT), and who are not influenced by anything other than the commands of Almighty Allah (SWT). This is really a very important aspect!

The Masjid is indeed the place of worship (Ibadah) i.e. the place of spiritual upliftment. You enter the Masjid and you experience amazing tranquility. You feel amazing peace in the Masjid. And when you perform salaah and recite the Holy Quran and recite salawaat on our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and his purified Ahlul Bait (a.s), you really feel elevated. You feel satisfied and at peace with yourself. This is the very primary role of the masjid and is an extremely important characteristic of a masjid. Verse 28 of Surah Ra’ad (chapter 13 of the Holy Quran) refers:

 

Now surely by Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest.

The role of the masjid is for you to connect to your creator, Almighty Allah (SWT). With this connection to Almighty Allah (SWT) through the Masjid, you feel tranquility in your soul. This is one primary role. However, this role may have nothing to do with being fearless.

MASJID AS THE SOURCE OF SOCIAL UPLIFTMENT

The second important role is that the masjid is the place of assembly of the Ummah (Muslim nation). It is not a place confined for spiritual development only. It is also a place for education i.e. a place of intellectual enrichment. We see from the very early history of Islam that the masjid was used from the very first day to teach people. The very first masjid in Islam, Masjidul Quba, was this type of masjid. It was the place of assembly for the very early Muslims even before they entered Madina.

The second Mosque was Masjid-un-Nabi, which was not only a structure, but rather a manifestation of a community. How was this Masjid built, that every person and companion of Rasulullah (SAWA) was sharing in the construction? What slogans were raised when this beautiful mosque was built? How did this masjid become the manifestation of a united community who wanted to do something for themselves?

Therefore, the masjid becomes the identity and manifestation of a community, more than simply being the place Ibadah. As a result, the masjid serves the community and educates people but beyond this, the masjid serves as a place of consultation. Rasulullah (SAWA) used the masjid to make all his political and even military decisions and announcements. Today, we see that it is very much frowned upon if we discuss politics in the masjid! It is Important to note that the masjid started with politics!!

Now we understand why the Holy Quran says in verse 18 of Surah Tawba (chapter 9) that only the fearless can establish a masjid. Those who are afraid of the authorities and committees etc. do not have courage to build a masjid in its real sense, because decisions and announcements need to be made.

 

Again, important to note that Rasulullah (SAWA) always proceeded to the battlefields from the masjid. In fact, Rasulullah (SAWA) recruited people from the masjid and trained these people in the masjid. He commanded them to defend Islam from the masjid.

 

The masjid is also the central hub for the resolution of social issues. Anybody who has a problem should seek sanctuary in the masjid, and Rasulullah (SAWA) was always there to resolve issues on various fronts.

 

The very important point that comes from this is that the masjid is the platform for the unity of the Ummah (Muslim nation). The masjid is the symbol of unity. It is here where we resolve our conflicts. It is here where we come together and the leadership decides the direction.

 

The masjid also plays a pivotal role in the development and evolution of a civilization. This is a very detailed discussion. How does a room of worship eventually develop into a civilisation? Many people may not agree with this, but it is a reality.

 

Rasulullah (SAWA) built a very humble masjid. However, he expanded when this became insufficient. He also made it a very pivotal point. At that time, many people’s front doors of their houses opened into the masjid. He requested they be closed down, except one door which he left. This now means that everybody should enter from the main entrance.

 

The masjid became a very distinguish institution, with extraordinary rules of cleanliness and respect for its dignity which ladies and men need to fully uphold. With the masjid playing a central role in the lives of the Muslims, individuals began to show their love and reverence towards Almighty Allah (SWT) through special skills, such as artwork. Although this may seem trivial to some, the underlying philosophy for these practices was the expression of dedication and fervour towards Allah (SWT). In this manner, mosques throughout history had become architectural spectacles. Due to the Grace of Allah (SWT), we can thankfully say that the artwork present in this new mosque complex is a manifestation of that divine love as well.

SECOND KHUTBAH

PALESTINE CAN ONLY BE FREED THROUGH A UNITED RESISTANCE

Alhamdu Lillah, we are once again thankful to Almighty Allah (SWT) while we are celebrating our first Jumuah in this new mosque – Masjid Ahlul Bait (a.s). We were speaking about the Masjid in this Khutbah – its role, its significance and who is capable of establishing mosques.

The same issue and discussion topic of mosques takes us to one of the greatest mosques in Islam. I said that the Holy Quran refers to the mosque as a place of worship and also refers to some particular mosques. In this regard, the Holy Quran speaks about one particular masjid very profoundly, referred to in verse 1 of Surah Israa (chapter 17):

 

Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts”

This is a masjid above others. It is one of the holiest sites in Islam. Today, this masjid and this city where it is located (Jerusalem) is under the direct threat from the enemies of Islam. This announcement by the President of the USA, making Jerusalem the capital of the country which does not exist legitimately (Israel), is a very sensitive point in our history.

Today, if our Masajid do not raise their voice in support of this city of Masjidul Aqsa, then when? if the leadership of the Muslim Ummah does not raise their protest and call of action for this holiest city and one of the holiest mosques in Islam, then when?

What we heard from the leadership of the Palestinian Resistance and similarly the resistance in Lebanon, and from others in the occupied territories is that they are calling for a new Intifada (uprising). I hope and pray that this resistance of the people of Palestine and Lebanon will not be a lonely stand by us abandoning them.

Today, Palestine and Al-Quds requires a united front from the Ummah of Islam from every corner of the world, to raise their voice of support against these worst enemies of humanity, Islam and the oppressed.

Alhamdu Lillah, we heard what our leader Ayatollah Khamenei said together with the statements issued by other Ulama and Maraji’, including Ayatollah Sistani. There have also been very strong statements of support for the Palestinians from the leading Sunni Ulama too. Hopefully, this will bring us all together!!!

Unfortunately, for the past whole month, our community was targeted by a bunch of sectarians who sought to promote hate and divide the people. They threatened and blackmailed on the issues which are completely irrelevant to the Muslim Ummah. We want to see how they take a firm stance now to support this cause which crosses the borders of any particular school of thought or sect.

Today, we should feel ashamed that the Christians of Palestine and different parts of the world are raising their very strong concern with the making of Al-Quds/Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They are saying that this is not an attack on Islam, nor is it an attack on Muslim Palestinians only. Rather, it is an act of aggression and the worst attack on Palestine, including Christians and other divine faiths living in Palestine.

This is the time to raise our voice and this is the time to recognize those who make back-door deals with the Israelis. Now, the Saudi Kingdom has issued a very tame message, stating that “we condemn this irresponsible statement” without promising to stop dealing and co-operating with them on multiple fronts, involving billions of dollars to sustain their economies! They certainly will not cut their ties…they will continue to enjoy protection from them.

This is the crunch time to see who stands fearlessly for the Palestinian liberation struggle on this turning point in its history, where it is clear that the enemies want to completely obliterate the identity and history of Palestine.

Each and every one of us has a great responsibility in this regard. Hadith has recorded that this responsibility is compulsory on each of us to come to the rescue of the oppressed.