Are you fed up with your local mosque not being the centre point of the Muslim community? Is your mosque catering for the needs of the local community? Are our Imams and committees providing what is really needed for our local Muslim community? The answer in most places is NO! But why is this? Has Islam become an outdated religion? Has culture overtaken the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)? In majority of densely populated areas in the UK our mosques, Imams and committees are failing to provide for the needs of everyone.
So what do mosques really need to do?
As a young person who has been going to mosques since I was a kid and someone who has been very active in my local mosques for many years this is what I think mosques need to do:
No real education system!
Mosques should have an education system. Children are tired of just reading the Quran over and over again. Our mosques should adapt a curriculum/syllabus where the basics of the fundamentals of Islamic belief should be taught- a school like education system should be adopted.
Speak my language!
Some youngsters hate having to sit down and listen to a lecture from some boring old person- especially in a language they don’t understand. Our teachers should teach lessons in English and make lessons more fun and using interactive resources.
Is your Imam a role model?
A fundamental person in an Islamic environment is the Imam. The Imam should be the centre-point of the Muslim community. He should be a role model. Majority of Imams now just lead the prayer and forget the role of working with people on a day-to-day basis. The Imam is the head of the community. He is a youth worker, a counsellor and an educated scholar. He needs to be in touch with the community especially the youth.
However this comes with costs- our Imams should be on healthy wages in order to fully dedicate their time serving the Muslim community. The Imam should not be untouchable- he is accountable to the mosque committee and the public.
A place to deal with our problems!
Our mosques should not just be a building of worship. It should be the centre of the community where Muslim and non-Muslims could go when in need, providing solutions to their problems. Anything from the simplest of problems such as searching for a marriage partner to providing help for those who just need some Halal entertainment. It should be a charity and shelter for those who are in need.
Mosques should be youth centres!
Mosques need to start hiring a youth worker who works with youngsters when they are most vulnerable to drugs, peer pressure and boy/girlfriends. The mosque should have a youth club where kids can hang out, watch footy, play some pool, table tennis, PlayStation etc. Youngsters should be able to go out on day trips and holidays through the mosque.
We need a library!
A public library with Islamic and non-Islamic books should be available. Most people need books, some can’t afford them and others need help when choosing a book.
What about the women?
Majority of our mosques lack facilities for women. Does your mosque have a female Islamic scholar on site? Do they organise events for women from study circles, talks, seminars, workshops and Halal entertainment? If not, why not? We all need to demand this from our mosques.
All I want to say is the mosque should be the centre point of your Islam, the community, Muslims and non-Muslims. It should deal with majority of the issues facing the Muslim community. If we look at the life of the Prophet (pbuh), the mosque was a centre point of entire Arabia and still is.
Don’t just moan- get involved!
Finally, if you are not involved with your mosque now then get in there. Start attending the mosque regularly and think about how you can improve your mosque then communicate it to those who are running the mosque. Ask how to get into the committee or be in a position where you can play an advisory role.
Sometimes the committees are in need of help but feel it is only their responsibility. It’s your mosque. It’s your community. If the mosque is not catering for your community then don’t just complain but do something to improve it.
Note: Tell us about your local mosque and what it offers for the community, especially the youth. If you need help with ideas on how to improve your mosque then contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org