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Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Religion - Islam : Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
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mariyah
 
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Quote mariyah Replybullet Topic: Houses of God no more?
    Posted: 25 July 2006 at 11:20am
Houses of Allah...no more?

By Shujaat Wasty - July 20, 2006

http://www.montrealmuslims.ca/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&t
id=7&pid=1729

Masjids (mosques) have traditionally been the Houses where the righteous
go and worship the Almighty. Throughout history, all over the globe,
they have been centers of spiritual growth, learning and glorifying
Allah's praises, symbolizing the individual and the community's
relationship with Him. Oftentimes, they provide a peaceful moment of
reclusion from the trivial matters of everyday life, with the presence
of positive energy.

However, the unfortunate reality is that there has been a veritable
transformation on the whole; Masjids are slowly but surely becoming
hollow shells of ego and pride. The tsunami of Dajjal has swept society
without making exception of Masjids - perhaps as a true reflection of
Muslims overall. With Dajjal's emphasis on materialism and stoking the
fires of greed, Masjids have been affected by spiritual degradation and
entered the despicable fray of politics and competitiveness with houses,
cars and other commodities

This decline in spirituality is in some ways correlated with the serious
lack of attendance for regular prayers. Yet, while the halls remain
empty for prayer, they echo with voices of perversion: backbiting,
gossip and slander that seem to parasitically accompany dinners and
community events.

The superficial corruption is best seen with the fact that despite the
pathetic attendance, many Masjids insist on hosting illogical and
impractical projects, like fundraising for an expansion that is not
necessary - oftentimes done by many Masjids in the same locality all at
the same time. The cartel of gentlemen that run Masjids often disregard
the sentiments of the community, as well as common sense, in their quest
to establish the physical grandeur of "their" Masjid; setting up a
decorative institution is given all of the importance rather than
actually filling the place up. In fulfilling their objective, they will
sometimes stoop to all possible levels, which is perhaps a selfish form
of self-appeasement, essentially.

No doubt, having a large, beautiful Masjid showcasing fine Islamic art
and architecture is something desirable, especially when many places of
single-family residence are more magnificent than our Masjids. However,
these are secondary items of lavishness, particularly when the
realization of spiritual decadence sinks in. Donating to such
institutions, in some ways, enhances this disease.

In terms of priority and contextualization within the existing
circumstances, the Qur'an constantly reminds the Believers about social
welfare and education and refers them to the plight of the poor, the
orphans, the oppressed, the weak, etc. As such, there are countless
better avenues to funnel monetary resources towards, which share the
attributes of being both extremely rewarding for the self and society,
as well as being legitimate necessities. Here are some examples:

1. Sponsoring an orphan in a poverty-stricken or war-torn area through
respectable organizations like Human Concern International (HCI) (
http://www.humanconcern.org/ )

Donating just a few dollars a month can help someone who is already
struck by misfortune get the opportunity to survive, can protect them
from falling prey to missionaries and pedophiles and can give them the
gift of education.

2. Donating to organizations like the AMAL Women Center, who deal with
battered women, poor families, and host food & clothes drives for the
less fortunate within our own communities.

3. Contributing towards legal fees by those unfairly arrested and whose
rights are being violated in the post-9/11 era. The Canadian Islamic
Congress (CIC) ( http://www.canadianislamiccongress.com/ ), Muslim
Council of Montreal (MCM) ( http://www.muslimcouncil.org/en/index.html )
and CAIR-CAN ( http://www.caircan.ca/ ) are all organizations who
arrange and pursue this worthy cause.

4. Giving to organizations doing real Da'wah work, making the general
public understand Islam and defending the basic rights of Muslims and
practicing Islam. Again, the organizations listed in #3 all participate
in this.

5. Presenting money to organizations like the CIC who have established
scholarship programs to promote education within the community,
especially in fields that are in dire need of Muslim voices.
(SEE: http://www.canadianislamiccongress.com/scholarships.php )

These are truly effective ways of serving Allah (swt) by returning what
He has bestowed upon us for His Cause. Providing funds for these types
of activities can help increase the much-needed spirituality in our
lives, if done with the proper intentions and with the love and
compassion that was exemplified by Prophet Muhammad (saw) for his fellow
Muslims and humanity at large. This can, in turn, act as a catalyst in
countering the forces of materialistic corruption that we get bombarded
with regularly, as well as helping us perform our basic rituals of
praying, fasting, etc. better.

At the end of the day, we will be asked of how we spent our money, down
to the very penny - whether it was feeding our own selfish egos with
personal items of luxury, feeding those power-hungry individuals who
suffer from self-esteem issues and hide under the guise of Islam, or
feeding the hungry orphan and giving someone the gift of life. Let us
judge now what is best before death brings the subsequent judgment by
the Judge of Judges.


Edited by Maryah
"Every good deed is charity whether you come to your brother's assistance or just greet him with a smile.
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