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Raising the Dead…

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… a dead community, that is!

I’m sure many of us live in towns or cities where the Muslim community/ Masjid/ Islamic centre is, for all appearances and purposes, ‘dead’. I know I do! So for those who of us are absolutely bored stiff and desperately wish for a revival of our location community, let this be an open thread full of suggestions on how to get started!

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Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a Canadian Muslim woman who writes on Muslim women's issues, gender related injustice in the Muslim community, and Muslim women in Islamic history. She holds a diploma in Islamic Studies from Arees University, a diploma in History of Female Scholarship from Cambridge Islamic College, and has spent the last fifteen years involved in grassroots da'wah. She was also an original founder of MuslimMatters.org.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Sister

    July 1, 2007 at 2:27 AM

    I believe that starting with the youth is a good step towards the revival of a community. You pull in the youth and give them halaqas and increase them in knowledge. It adds an atmosphere to the masjid that was missing before. Soon enough the parents will come more regularly to the masjid and bring their own ideas for dawah and such. Organize big events like picnics and carnivals and dawah projects and by that time, you will see strength and unity in your masjid and spurn other side halaqas and such.
    The first step in getting the youth to the masjid is getting in touch with MSA’s in high schools in your area. Talk to the leaders and organize a zonal meeting. Tell them you need their help in getting other youth to the masjid. Hopefully by putting some responsibility on their shoulders will prompt them to take you seriously.

    Wa Allahu ta’ala Alam

  2. Maria

    July 1, 2007 at 8:19 AM

    Salam, thanks for the wake-up note,

    It’s true many Masjids in the “Muslim” world either become redundant or are built as exquisite ornaments, that sooner or later also go redundant too.

    The goal to centralise activities to the Masjids is pretty tough because it may only be achieved by education of the ummah and honestly, education takes time and alot of patience. Sister is right about the first step though, it should be targeted to the youth.

    Something that the Muslim world has, which is absent in the West, is the abundance of Masjids. Though it sounds like heaven on earth for many, it actually has its adverse effects. The ummah is divided and becomes clannish.

    Rich people pray in one masjid, the poorer pray in the other. This masjid is only for men, and that one tolerates little children running about. This masjid was built by the Government, the other masjid was built by the opposition. The list goes on. The clusters of Masjids in some countries grow so intense that you can see another Masjid from the window of another.

    Abolishing Masjids probably sounds blasphemous but the whole purpose of having one in the first place is to have Muslims congregate. When there are so many with conflicting messages, it just provides avenue for the Muslim community to disperse – racially, by “caste”, rank, political party and family. One Masjid per township is sufficient – any personal disputes can be settled there too.

    Secondly, a good way to re-ignite the importance of the masjid is to have important activities held within them. The best way probably is to start with schools. You would be able to kill 2 birds with a stone – firstly, having children grow up in the Masjid, thus allowing them to familiarise, love and respect the house of prayer, and secondly, having their parents, and essentially, the community convene at the Masjid.

    I’m not sure if this helps but it’s an important topic to dig at. But I seriously worry when I see empty Masjids “lying” around – they barely even come to live when the adhan is called!

  3. Abu Muhammad

    July 1, 2007 at 8:47 PM

    Raising the dead.

    Are all our prayers on time and in the Masjid?

    How much dhikr do we do?

    Do we pray tahajjud?

    Do we fast like the sahabah?

    Does the Qur’an go beyond our throats?

    Do we lower our gaze?

    If we died tonight what would we regret?

    I think the the problem is deeper. We ourselves need to look into our souls. We wish to revive the dead, but perhaps we are amongst them.

  4. abu ameerah

    July 1, 2007 at 11:12 PM

    I like this post…however…the thinking about it is somewhat depressing.

  5. abu ameerah

    July 1, 2007 at 11:13 PM

    DOH… scratch “the” in “the thinking”

  6. ibnabeeomar

    July 1, 2007 at 11:33 PM

    abu ameerah is having the thinking

  7. Abu Muhammad

    July 2, 2007 at 12:31 PM

    I’ve been contemplating about this for ages. In fact a small group of us have.

    Personally I have come to the conclusion that you have to do both things at once.

    I mean carry on with your projects of dawah etc. But at the same time make a program of self rectification.

    So for example become a lover of the Qur’an. Read it everyday, even a page. Begin to memorise it. Recite it anywhere, waiting for the bus etc! Then when you become consistent in one act, start another.

    Or begin with rectification and establishing the salah. Make it your goal to pray every one in congregation, if not then in its earliest time.

    So add one good action everytime you have become consistent with the previous one.

    You will find that your dawah will have more power and your projects will be more successful.

    So in conclusion, do both at once.

    Shaikh Wasee’ullah stayed in our city once and he came back from a long and exausting journey. It was very late, but the brother he stayed with said that a while before fajr, the members of the household heard him reciting the qur’an, even though he was tired.

    I have heard the exact same story about Shaikh Suhaib Hasan reciting at night.

    Pray at night, struggle during the day.

    That’s why Jihad against the self can be the most difficult struggle.

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