Building of Mosques and Our Responsibilities
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) recited the following verses of the Holy Qur’an
Say, ‘My Lord has enjoined justice. And fix your attention aright at every time and place of worship, and call upon Him, making yourselves sincere towards Him in religion. As He brought you into being, so shall you return.’ Some has He guided, and as for others error has become their desert. They have taken evil ones for friends to the exclusion of Allah, and they think that they are rightly guided.O children of Adam! look to your adornment at every time and place of worship, and eat and drink but exceed not the bounds; surely, He does not love those who exceed the bounds. (Holy Qur’an 7:30-32)
A New Mosque in Dallas, Texas
His Holiness(aba) said that Allah the Almighty has granted the Dallas Jama’at the opportunity to inaugurate its mosque. Although it has been in use, it is formally being inaugurated today. Previously, there used to be a hall that was used as the mosque, but now a beautiful structure has been built. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may those who partook in the building of this mosque do justice to this mosque; may they have built this mosque solely for the sake of Allah the Almighty and may they be among those regarding whom the Holy Prophet(sa) said that those who build a mosque for the sake of attaining God’s pleasure will be awarded a home in Paradise.
His Holiness(aba) said that the objective of a building a mosque for the sake of Allah is not achieved once the structure is complete, rather one can only attain Allah’s pleasure when they obey His commandments, worship Him, fulfil the rights of His creation, give precedence to their faith over the world, and fulfil their pledge of allegiance. We are fortunate to have accepted the ardent devotee and true lover of the Holy Prophet(sa). Having pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiah(as) places great responsibilities upon us. Pledging allegiance is not enough, rather we must adhere to what he taught. Hence, it is imperative that we understand our responsibilities.
His Holiness(aba) said that it is our responsibility to populate this mosque, to live harmoniously with one another, and to propagate unity and brotherhood in the world. It is our duty to spread the message of Islam to the world, to focus on our reformation with prayers and to focus on the reformation of our future generations. It is in doing these things that we can give due justice to this mosque.
Embodying Islam, Inside and Out
His Holiness(aba) said that once, the Promised Messiah(as) said that if you wish to introduce Islam in an area, then a mosque should be built. Although the apparent building and structure of this mosque draws attention and acts as a form of introduction, as it has with the various neighbors who have come to visit, however, it is our responsibility to take care of the neighbors and be mindful of them. Hence, every Ahmadi must embody and exemplify Islam. We should show others that Ahmadis are those who, despite living in this material world, give precedence to their faith. When people see this, they become curious and inquisitive, which opens doors to dialogue and introduction.
The Responsibilities that come with Building a Mosque
His Holiness(aba) said that in the verses he recited, God outlines the responsibilities of those associated with a mosque. The first thing which Allah enjoins is to establish justice. At another place, Allah states in the Holy Qur’an that one should not act unjustly, even towards their enemies. Hence, there is absolutely no room for causing harm to anyone, and those who come to the mosque must be mindful of the rights of others while acting with justice. If we are to act in such a manner with others, then imagine the degree of compassion with which we must treat one another. Yet, there are unfortunate instances where men do not treat their wives in an unbecoming manner and are always scolding them, which also has a negative impact on the children. The Jama’at work or worship of such people renders no benefit in the sight of God. Their duplicity deceives no one except themselves. Those who fulfil the due rights of a mosque are people who establish justice inside and out and whose words align with their actions. Hence, these are the standards that must be met, otherwise simply coming to the mosque in order to be done with the burden of prayer will be of no benefit whatsoever.
His Holiness(aba) said that true servants who honour the rights of a mosque are those who adhere to the commandments of God whilst maintaining the fear of God in their hearts. God Almighty states that if one does not adhere to His commandments and does not focus on seeking forgiveness and repentance, then Satan will overcome them. These days, in the worldly society that we live in, focusing on these things is of paramount importance. The downfall of the Muslim world occured when Muslims made their justice and worship a mere show and did not do justice to them. They have always made beautiful mosques, yet the reason they destroy the mosques of Ahmadis in Pakistan is so that our mosques do not resemble theirs. However, in reality, they have not been able to produce true servants of Allah, because their mosques were filled only for show.
His Holiness(aba) said that such conditions were bound to arise as they had been foretold by the Holy Prophet(sa). However, the enlightened era that has followed upon the advent of the Promised Messiah(as) of giving precedence to faith over the world requires us to take a close look at our own conditions. We must not let our mosques become like the mosques of others, regarding whom it is narrated that the Holy Prophet(sa) said that soon, nothing would be left of Islam except its name, nothing would be left of the Qur’an except its words, the mosques of the people at that time will appear full but be devoid of guidance and their leaders will be the worst creation on the face of the earth. Disorders will arise from them and return to them. This is the exact condition we are seeing in the mosques of such people. This should be a wake up call for us all. Their focus is merely to break down the minarets of Ahmadi mosques and they believe that this is their service to the faith. However, a mosque should encourage us to focus on how we can fulfil the rights of others.
His Holiness(aba) said that as the followers of the Promised Messiah(as), if we do not fulfil our pledge of allegiance and if we do not reform ourselves according to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, then we will not be among those who were to be part of the revival of Islam. We must turn to God and pray for the salvation of the world.
His Holiness(aba) said that once a youngster asked him how we can combat the people of this world who taunt us. His Holiness(aba) replied that we must be confident that the world’s salvation lies in our hands and we have accepted the Promised Messiah(as) who was sent to save the world and spread the true teachings of the Holy Prophet(sa). People’s lives in this world and the next can only be saved by accepting him. When we make the world aware of this, we must ensure that our words and actions are aligned, our standards of worship and fulfilling the due rights of others must be high.
The Revival of Islam and the Promised Reformer(as)
His Holiness(aba) said that we should be grateful to be attached to the person who was sent in order to rectify the fallen state of Islam. Muslims played a role in the degraded view people had of Islam. However today, we are the ones who must establish bonds of loyalty with God and must adhere to His commandments with sincerity. We are the ones who must spread love and eradicate hatred in the world. We must have full trust in God, for He is the One with the power to do everything. Islam is the true and complete religion in the world that will prevail and it is for this faith that we must expend all of our faculties in becoming true helpers of the Promised Messiah(as).
His Holiness(aba) said that the promises made by God to the Promised Messiah(as) are bound to be fulfilled; it is up to us whether we partake in their fulfilment or not, otherwise God will send others through whom these promises will be fulfilled. In order to do this, we must work on removing our weaknesses and shortcomings, such as pride, arrogance, and others which the Promised Messiah(as) admonished must be uprooted. Each one of us should analyse ourselves and see whether we are playing our role in the mission of the Promised Messiah(as) by removing our shortcomings and striving to adopt virtue and elevating our standards of worship.
Striving Toward God and Finding His Love
His Holiness(aba) said that we must seek a great deal of repentance and we must constantly mould our actions in a manner that draws the pleasure of God. The Promised Messiah(as) said in order to achieve such action, we must adopt sincerity and turn to God for it is only He who can grant us the ability to do so. God is extremely Gracious and He constantly overlooks our faults; it is our responsibility to strive and consider how we can attain His pleasure and tread according to His commandments.
His Holiness(aba) said that we must constantly strive to safeguard our prayers and this can only happen when we establish love for God in our hearts. When this love is established it can bring about a grand revolution within a person. Those who tire after praying for some time or say that their prayers are not accepted should ponder over this. Rather than praying only in times of need, one should establish a constant love and connection with God and it is then that God expresses His love. When these two loves meet, God’s grace descends in ways that are beyond comprehension.
The True Purpose of Life
His Holiness(aba) said that it is with great pain that the Promised Messiah(as) urged his community never to forget the true purpose of life, which is to worship God. If we forget our real purpose, then our pledge of allegiance is of no value or benefit and our words are hollow. Every Ahmadi should analyse how many minutes in a day they spend in the worship of God. Can we fulfil the purpose of our lives by offering prayers for a few minutes and that too without any awareness of what we are even saying? Allah the Almighty does not stop one from worldly engagements, rather God expects people to attain the highest levels of success in whatever they do. At the same time, He also expects that along with our worldly responsibilities, we never forget the purpose of our lives or slacken in our prayers. It should not suffice that we have built a beautiful mosque, rather we should focus on populating the mosque with true worshippers. We must strive to attain the highest levels of righteounsess and when this is achieved, one can be considered a true worshipper. This also requires outer and inner purity, which is why a worshipper should perform ablution and ensure they are donning clean clothes.
His Holiness(aba) said that Islam enjoins a balanced diet without exceeding the bounds. This also enables one to worship properly. It also means that the purpose of man’s creation is not simply to eat, drink and sleep, for these are the qualities of animals. By extension, this means that one should not simply chase after worldly desires and pleasures, rather one should recognise their true purpose in life. A true servant of God also does worldly work, but not to the extent that they completely forget about their worship and their duties owed to God. Not only do they worship, but they do so with care, rather than being hasty to finish their prayers and move on. If one’s worldly work hinders them from worshipping God then this would fall under the category of exceeding the bounds, something which is displeasing to God.
The Balance and Equilibrium in Islam
His Holiness(aba) said that Allah has given a very balanced teaching that we can benefit from the world, however we should not allow it to detract from our worship or distract us from the rights owed to God. When one remains mindful of these things, then God also opens new paths for them in this world. When one gives due attention to their faith, then they will also be saved from becoming engulfed in the world, for their priority will not be the world but to establish and maintain a balance. Hence, the true purpose of a mosque is to populate it with worshippers and this is how Allah’s pleasure can be drawn. This enables people to reform themselves and to reform the future generations as well. It is imperative to attach the future generations with the mosque and to help them understand the importance of faith. This is the responsibility of both parents.
His Holiness(aba) said that building a new mosque also open avenues for the propagation of Islam. Hence, spreading the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat is a responsibility which every Ahmadi Muslim must fulfil. The Promised Messiah(as) states that a mosque should be established with sincerity and when this is done, it establishes the foundation for the Jama’at’s success. Hence, we must raise our standards of worship and prayer as a result of which we will witness a revolution come about even in the material world of today. The beauty of a mosque is not in its structure but by virtue of the worshippers who pray within it.
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may this mosque remain populated with those who do justice to worship and may Allah accept our prayers.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions