Building of Mosques and Our Responsibilities
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) recited verse 18 of Surah at-Taubah and then stated: “He alone can keep the Mosques of Allah in a good and flourishing condition who believes in Allah, and the Last Day, and observes Prayer, and pays the Zakat, and fears none but Allah; so these it is who may be among those who reach the goal.”
After a long period of time, Allah the Exalted has enabled the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community France to construct another mosque in France. In Strasburg, 75% of Ahmadis are of non-Pakistani origin and by the Grace of Allah, they are very sincere and loyal. Now, the Ahmadis residing here can forge an even stronger relationship with the community than before. May Allah the Exalted enable them to do so.
Allah the Exalted has explained the attributes of people who build and populate mosques that they have unwavering faith in the immense power of God, which are shared by no one else. They believe in the Day of Judgement. It is their belief in the Hereafter, that makes them mindful of attaining a good end. These people offer prayer in congregation, offer financial sacrifice and stride forward to spread the teachings of Islam and fulfil the rights of others. All these good deeds make them even more aware of the majesty and power of God and they strive to gain His pleasure. These individuals are the guided individuals in the sight of Allah the Exalted.
New Ahmadi converts and those who are Ahmadi by birth ought to bear this in mind, and in fact, older Ahmadis, especially those that have come from Pakistan, have a greater responsibility of being mindful of the fact that they have to establish good examples for new Ahmadis. Every Ahmadi must first and foremost evaluate their prayers as to whether or not they are mindful of offering the five daily prayers regularly and in congregation. It takes effort and commitment to offer Salat properly and remain focused during the Salat and not get distracted by other thoughts. True Salat makes people mindful of their responsibilities to their fellow beings and helps them on the path of Taqwa (God-fearing righteousness). The whole philosophy of Islam is to enable an individual to use their capabilities in the right and pious manner. People, who understand and enact in this manner, are truly guided and will be triumphant.
Describing the condition of true prayer, the Promised Messiah (as) states, “Prayer certainly does not mean to simply go through the physical motions and to offer it merely as a ritual or as a customary practise. Prayer is where one’s heart feels the soul melt and in an extreme state of fear falls at the threshold of God. Such is the prayer which is full of blessings. If one perseveres in this way then soon a moment shall appear, either in the day or in the night, where one shall witness that a spiritual light has descended upon their heart and the brazen nature of Nafse Amara [the soul that incites to evil] has reduced.” In other words, it is God Almighty alone, who can safeguard one from such ill, thus one should always seek the blessings of Allah the Almighty.
Expounding on the importance of prayer, the Promised Messiah (as) states that salat is the essence of prayer and when observing Salat, one should always remember that they should stand before Allah the Almighty with utmost respect and courtesy; humility; full concentration and seek the blessings of God Almighty. The Promised Messiah (as) states that the word “Salat” alludes to burning just like something burns in a fire. Thus, one’s level of fervency in prayer should be like this state of burning. When one reaches this state as if one is nearing death, that is true Salat. Thus, this is the reality of Salat which we should all try to attain; may God Almighty grant us the opportunity to do so.
Further explaining this, the Promised Messiah (as) states that foolish individuals question why does God Almighty need our prayers?” The Promised Messiah (as) says: “O foolish ones! God Almighty is not in need of anything, rather it is you who are in need of prayers and for God Almighty to turn His attention towards you. Every incomplete task can be accomplished if God Almighty is with you. Prayer can remove thousands of sins and become a source of gaining nearness to God Almighty. Even when waiting for Salat in the Mosque, angels of God pray for the individual attending the Mosque for Salat. Thus, we ought to show great concern in order to fulfil the rights of worship of such a benevolent God and attend the mosque for the five daily prayers.
Whilst explaining the fact that the purpose of religion is to establish unity and create one community, the Promised Messiah (as) says: “The purpose of religion is also that the human race be united in the form of the beads of a Tasbeeh (rosary) through one thread. The congregational prayers or Salat is also for such unification so that all the worshipers are counted as one. This is to promote unity every day, then every Friday a greater congregation is gathered to promote unity and ultimately Hajj is to promote unity across the whole world.”
The Promised Messiah (as) says: “O ye people who consider yourselves members of my community! You will be counted as such in heaven when you truly tread upon the ways of righteousness. So, offer the five daily prayers in such fear and with such complete attention as though you were actually beholding God Almighty… Whenever harm befalls you, it will be from your own hands and not from the hands of your enemy. Even if you lose all honour on earth, God will bestow eternal honour upon you in heaven. So do not forsake Him.
May Allah the Almighty enable us to understand these heartfelt words of the Promised Messiah (as) and enable us to increase in our faith. May He enable us to fulfil the rights of worship and enable us to form an active connection with God Almighty, and may He enable us to keep this mosque populated.
Then Hazrat Khalifatul Masih (V) aba presented some details regarding the mosque. The official capacity of this mosque is for 250 worshippers, which the council has worked out according to its calculations, there is car parking for 50 cars, one office for the Jamaat, an office for Lajna, a library for men and women and there are adequate lavatory facilities. The large parking hall is covered and if there is ever an emergency, there is space for a further 125 people to offer prayers there. This mosque is situated approximately 15 kilometres from Strasbourg. The covered area for the mosque and halls is 303 square meters. There is also a house for the Missionary, as well as a four-bedroom guest house. Permission was not granted for the construction of a minaret, nevertheless, permission was given for a dome to be built, which sits at a height of 8 meters and is located to the right side of the mosque. May God Almighty bless it in every respect and may He greatly bless the progeny and wealth of those Khuddam who sacrificed in order to construct this mosque. May this sacrifice not be limited to financial sacrifice alone, may God Almighty enable them to understand the spirit of populating mosques. May God Almighty elevate the level of worship of the Khuddam and also elevate the levels of worship of the rest of the Jamaat members.