# WHY do we build mosques? The spiritual center

# Umma: the concept of Muslim collective group :

Let us ask ourselves : why do we need a mosque to begin with? After all, a Muslim can pray anywhere that is spiritually clean and The (whole) earth has been made a mosque (Hadith from Prophet Muhammed SAWS, Sahih Bukhari).

The point is, NEVER IN THE QURAN DOES ALLAH ADDRESS MUSLIMS AS BELIEVER BUT, ALWAYS AS BELIEVERS. Role of mosque in Islam is of vital importance because it gathers the Muslims five times a day irrespective of their race, color and financial status. It gives them a message to stay united and worship the Unik as a unit. Mosques represent unity among the Muslims and every Muslim have to stand shoulder by shoulder to the other Muslim to offer prayer to Allah almighty.
To understand the role of mosque in Islam, just consider the reward God gives you for donating even a few cents in the construction of a mosque. You, then, get rewards everytime someone offers a prayer in this mosque or do good (charities, education…) :

“Whoever builds a mosque for Allah, Allah will build for him likewise in Paradise.”
[Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim

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# The Mosque in God’s words : God encourages Togetherness in worshipping Him:

The Friday prayer or sermon, khutba, is considered to be compulsory for all male Muslims. And God made it more beneficial for everybody to gather in Mosques.

9:18The 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.
Surat At-Tawbah (The Repentance) – سورة التوبة
Verse 18 – Sahih international
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Indeed the Masajids are the houses of Allah (swt), where His (swt) name deserves mention, be Glorified and Praised as Allah says. And they are the places where his name is mentioned through the day and through the night as Allah says:

24:36[Such niches are] in mosques which Allah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings
Surat An-Nūr (The Light) – سورة النور
Verse 36  –  Sahih International

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# The Mosque in the Prophet’s words:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said:

Salat in congregation is twenty-seven times more meritorious than a Salat performed individually.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

A mosque therefore becomes a meeting place for Muslims 5 times a day. All Islamic Services, the five daily prayers, the Friday noon service, the festivals and the pilgrimage to the house of Allah are so organised as to ensure the co-operation of all sections of the Muslim society.

Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said :

“The reward of the prayer offered by a person in congregation is multiplied 25 times as much as that of the salat offered in one’s house or in the market alone. And this is because if he performs wudu and does it perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque , with the sole intention of praying , then for every step he takes towards the mosque he is upgraded one degree in reward and one of his sins is taken off from his accounts.

When he offers his salat , the angels keep on asking Allah’s blessings and Allah’s forgiveness for him as long as he he is at his Musalla (place of prayer) .They say ‘O Allah ! Bestow your blessings upon him, be merciful and kind to him. And one is regarded in salat as long as one is waiting for the Salat.”
[Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 11 “Call to Prayers : Adhan”, Number 620]

# The Mosque in a non-muslim words:

Sir William Muir writes in his book “The Life of Muhammad” (p 177):

“Though crude in material, and insignificant in dimensions, the Mosque of Muhammad is glorious in the history of Islam.
Here, the Prophet and his Companions spent most of their time; here, the daily service, with its oft-recurring prayers was first publicly established; and here, the great congregation assembled every Friday, listening with reverence and awe to messages from Heaven. Here, the Prophet planned his victories; here he received embassies from vanquished and contrite tribes; and from hence issued edicts, which struck terror amongst the rebellious to the very outskirts of the peninsula. Here by, in the apartment of Aisha (one of the wives of the Prophet), he breathed his last, and there, side by side with his first two successors he lies buried.”

AMOSQUEAfriDAY #3: Bilal Mosque, Mianwali-Kala Bagh Road, Daud Khel town, Punjab, Pakistan

# HISTORY:

Masjid Bilal, has an interesting formation history. Construction of masjid Bilal was initiated in 1986 by a local volley-ball club team, as there was no place for the team-members to offer prayer, in a rather remote and open-space area where team-members would assemble to play volley-ball. With the financial support of the volley-ball team-members, and road transport members and passengers using this route to travel to different cities of Pakistan, the masjid’s construction was completed in 1990, and it was inaugurated by Peer Muhammad Baqir Shah (from Kot-Galla Shareef).

The outside architecture of masjid Bilal resembles the architecture of the tomb of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (rehmatuAllah aliye), regarded as a Mujadid (revival of religion) by the Muslims of Hind (current day Pakistan, India and Bangladesh).  While the inside of the masjid uses concept of Mughal architecture, using hand cut glass and marbles, embodied using hand.

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# Why Bilal’s Mosque ?

On a picnic trip from Mianwali to Kala Bagh, one of my friend, a native of Daud Khel, suggested that we make a stop-over at Masjid Bilal, located on the Mianwali-Kala Bagh Road, on the outskirt of Daud Khel town.

While, I rejoiced on the thought of stretching my legs and breathing mint air after a long ride on the car, in an area surrounded by miles and miles of farm-land, and sheep-herd munching grasses. The spectacle at the masjid, and its surrounding vicinity was no short of another excitement.

As we jumped off our car, we first marched toward a river adjacent to the masjid, which feeds its water supply from river Indus – Pakistan’s longest river – to enjoy the view. The air was cool, despite the intensity of the sun in the midst of the day. In this part of the world, hand-powered water pump is used to draw drinking water from underground sources, which makes the water naturally purified and high in mineral content.

The water drawn from deep underground makes it cool and refreshing day and night, and ideal for performing ablution. With my soul refreshed, I walked inside the masjid Bilal.

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# My jumu’a in Bilal Mosque:

This small masjid has capacity for close to 100 people at any given time.

The mosque is located in a town known as Daud Khel, which is a town in the province of Punjab. Punjab is the name of a province in Pakistan, and also the name of a province in India. Before the partition of Hind, these two Punjab were like one province under the British colonial rule.

Well, actually, we stopped at the mosque, on our way from Mianwali to Kala-Bagh, for a short rest.

Word Glossary

Masjid – Mosque.
Mianwali, Kala Bagh, Daud Khel – Towns in Punjab, Pakistan.
River Indus – One of the five major rivers of Pakistan.
Kot-Galla Shareef – Name of a local Sufi institution.
rehmatuAllah aliye – May Allah’s mercy fall upon him.
Mujadid – revival of religion (usually during times of moral corruption).
Hind – Geographical region stretching current day Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Mughal – Name of the dynasty of Muslim emperors who ruled Hind.

# Where is Bilal Mosque, Pakistan ?

Jalaluddin Qureshi

About Me :

A soul which re-located to one of the most rural part of Pakistan, surrounded by lake, mountains,  and acres of farm-land, in a partial attempt to live the life of the Salafis far from the chaos of modern day city life. Currently serving as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Namal College, a non-profit private education institute aiming to uplift the standards of higher education sector in improvised and rural parts of Pakistan.

AMOSQUEAFRIDAY #2: University of Houston, Texas, United States

#HISTORY:

The University of Houston, founded in 1927, is deep in the heart of the 4th largest city in the United States: Houston. Along with the economic growth of the city, and as the energy capital of the world, Houston has seen a large number of foreigners settle down and contribute to its prosperity. Houston, with its very diverse population, welcomes each year thousands of international students coming from all around the world.

For about 30 years, passionate and good willing Muslim students have been building a strong organization within the University: The Muslim Student Association (UH MSA). Their mission is to facilitate and provide for the needs of Muslims on campus as well as educating the University of Houston community at large. Thus, all sorts of events, meetings, and activities are organized during the academic year. Also, daily prayers and Jumuah prayer are held on campus. Hence, Muslim students could easily purify, reinforce their faith and worship God.

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Two different locations are offered to the Muslim community:
– A peaceful area within the library: MD Anderson Memorial Library. One would be studying for his exams, perform his prayers on time, and ask God for His knowledge.
– A wider place where each religion represented on campus is provided with infrastructures and amenities: the AD Bruce Religion Center.

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Jumuah prayers are held in the religion center, which isn’t by the way a mosque even though one may consider the following hadith from our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

“The (whole) earth has been made a mosque (or a place of prayer) and a means of purification for me, so wherever a man of my ummah may be when the time for prayer comes, let him pray”

Sahih Bukhari 335

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# WHY UOH’s “Mosque” ?

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Although it isn’t exactly a mosque, I still considered sharing my experience of Jumuah with you on AMOSQUEAFRIDAY. It isn’t its architecture but its people that encouraged me to tell you about my Jumuah at UofH. It is always great to meet fellow Muslims with different backgrounds, from different countries. It’s even better when brothers our age do khutbahs. As a matter of fact, one cannot imagine such a possibility in a French University, where performing the daily prayers all together and on time is still a dream. No one would even think of the University offering those infrastructures and amenities to its students.

And here are an overview of the amazing organisation that leads me to write this article:

And if you want to know more about UHMSA 🙂

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# MY JUMUA AT UOFH:

The MSA leading team is doing a great job in preparing Jumuah prayer. I feel like Khutbahs in the English language are awesome. I don’t know why but I guess it’s because of the American way of giving speeches.

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Todays’ Khutbah was about dealing with adversity. What should be our mindset when facing difficulties and hardships? To cut a long story short, going through difficulties doesn’t mean God is punishing us, but instead, reality is otherwise. God is trialing us so that we become better. The speech was illustrated with various verses of the Quran as well as Hadiths.

# WHERE IS THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON’S RELIGIOUS CENTER?

Ilyes S.

About me:

I am a French Biomedical engineering student pursuing my last year of masters. I just started and I am already learning lots of things. 
I hope getting involved in the majority of the MSA’s activities and make long life friends during my journey in the US. GO COOGS ! 

I hope you really appreciated reading this small article.  And, InshaAllah, if so, I ll find time to share with you my wonderful experience in different mosques.

 
Peace be upon you,

AMOSQUEAfriDAY #0: One concept, Your articles, Our Mosques

# THE CONCEPT:

Dear readers, friends, brothers and sisters… and soon colleagues 😉

Thank you for your feedback (which were quite positive) and suggestions of great Ideas. Here is one for our common future :

Thank’s to God’s Blessings (El HamdouliLah) and to your support and interest, this AMOSQUEADAY-Ramadhan2013 project has been pretty successful -given the number of visits and views, your feedback by e-mail, comments or in live and the interest of the media on it.

So why stop short of our Mosques visit and culture discovery ?

We can continue our Islamic world tour through the center of the muslim communities, which are the mosques. Let us think BIG, let us think Oumma ! So, you yourself submit an article about your jumua (friday prayer) experience in the Mosque you grew up in, the one you celebrated your union in, the one you passed by on a trip or any mosque of your choice that made an impression on you for some reason. We would keep a common skeletton with a short historical part and paragraphs on prayer, architecture or whatever? Any idea ?

This will enable us to travel all over the world, through the cultural and personal prism. To give you an idea, these are the countries from where you, readers-contributors, visited the website:

countries

So we will have a very rich and colorful overview of the muslim communities and initiatives all over the world !

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# YOUR CONCEPT:

You got the broad picture ? Now, you design the future of AMOSQUEADAY:

Thank you dears 🙂 Looking forward to our collaboration !