Rahimia Magazine (July, 2014)
Islam is a religion that discusses an individual and society at the same time. This creates aprofound relationship between religion and society. Without society, religion converts into a hypothetical philosophy, while without religion; society is unable to develop a system of sustainable welfare and progress for human beings. Hence, Islam introduces the concept of institutional development for social advancement. Mosque holds a central place among the institutions developed by Islam. It is an extremely effective organ to establish a link between an individual and society and also for the rectification and reformation of society. Quran states: “First holy place for the rectification and guidance of people is established in Makkah. Objective of this place is improvement and progress of whole mankind.”(Surah e AAL-E-IMRAN). Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said: “It is compulsory for you to maintain your relation with collectivism (instead of individualism), masses (common people) and mosque.” (Masnad Ahmed). Institution of mosques for an Islamic society was initiated at Quba and then extended at Madinah. Later on, it became the biggest and the most organized network of the world. Islam gives prime importance to discipline and rule of law in human society. These attributes can only flourish in the presence of a central place.
Through the institution of mosques, Islam develops centralization in the society. It invites its believers toward unity by stating: “Tightly hold the rope of Allah (Quran and Sunnah) and do not indulge in sectarianism and division.” (Surah e Aal-e-Imran). If you are divided due to conflict then “You will become coward and your reputation and confidence will be shattered.” (Surah e AlAnfaal). Thus, in order to keep harmony in the society, mosque enjoys the status of a central social institution. Historical role of Masjid-e-Nabvi in this context guides us that mosque became the religious, educational, military and cultural centre of Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) and his team of companions preferred the sacred environment of mosque to perform numerous activities pertaining to human life. These activities included organizational structuring to confront the prevailing exploitative system, performing daily prayers collectively, consultation on important affairs, oath taking to follow the rules of Allah, preparation of Jihad,accommodation of poor and weak people of society, meetings and agreements with different delegations, judicial decisions, planning of welfare projects, distribution of funds, acquiring of management skills and adaptation of organizational discipline, spiritual practices, insightful sermons and a struggle to establish justice and fairness in the society. In short, during the early era of Islam, mosque played the role of parliament, university, military camp, court of justice, medical facility, centre of preaching and publication and institution of social welfare simultaneously.
If we observe the condition and functionality of mosques nowadays, we come across the ironic reality that mosque which used to hold a primitive place in the overall social system of Muslims has become a hostage to sectarian conflicts. On the collective level, we have neglected the true role of mosques which is to instill peace and harmony among human beings living in a society. Today, there is a dire need to restore the comprehensive role of mosques in our society.In every department of social life, there is a tough criterion for the appointment of administrators. Similarly, the merit and criterion to appoint mosque management committee, teachers, Imams and speakers should be revised and these appointments must be according to the noble role of a mosque in Muslim society.
Translation: Muhammad Usman, Faisalabad