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Re-structuring the Mosque, to serve

There is an unsaid important rope you hold, while you stand to serve a cure to humanity, a cord named Imaan (Belief), that connects to a string of Amaal (Deeds), while these attached help us with our Niyyah (Intention).

It’s simple,
Service through the Mosque
“In Maharashtra, a gurdwara (the Sikh place of worship) fed two million people in 10 weeks last year. Other gurdwaras in India melted the Gold they had collected in the previous 50 years to set up hospitals and medical colleges. Sikh NGOs set up “oxygen langars” – langars are the community kitchens in the gurdwaras – providing free oxygen to people as India gasped and reeled through its deadly second wave of coronavirus.”

– BBC Viewpoint: Why Sikhs celebrate kindness
“Righteousness is not in turning your faces towards the east or the west. Rather, the righteous are those who believe in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Books, and the prophets; who give charity out of their cherished wealth to relatives, orphans, the poor, ˹needy˺ travelers, beggars, and for freeing captives; who establish prayer, pay alms-tax, and keep the pledges they make; and who are patient in times of suffering, adversity, and in ˹the heat of˺ battle. It is they who are true ˹in faith˺, and it is they who are mindful ˹of Allah.”
-Surah Baqarah
Is it enough to ponder? Mosque is more+++
Not just a place of worship, but a place of justice, kindness, patience, service, brotherhood, empathy, discipline, & Simplicity.
“To carve his name in Gold, rise it so high,
& Slowly lower the ranks of remembering it.
In the glimmer of Gold, we forgot the creator of it.
We resonate with the color, the stones, the carpets.
But fail to remember, we are but slaves,
walking every step in the house of worship,
not as slaves, but as rich as kings.”

-Unknown Poet
Re-interpreting = Re-structuring
To begin the process of re-structuring, we need to unlearn the concept of a mosque just confined for Salaah and begin re-learning the functionalities of a mosque through Prophet Muhammed (May peace & blessing be upon him).
The Prophet’s Mosque, the courtyard of the Prophet Muhammad (May peace & blessing be upon him). In Medina, Arabian Peninsula, the model for later Islamic architecture. The home of Prophet Muhammad (May peace & blessing be upon him) and his family was a simple structure, made of raw brick, that opened on an enclosed courtyard where people gathered to hear him.

With time, Mosques became a hub for many discussion gatherings —social, political, educational and much more. In addition, schools and libraries were often attached to mosques to teach the purpose of being & the purpose of living.

A mosque was a place of Salaah and a place where the distribution of responsibility would take place. The purpose of a mosque was not just to be lit with the perfect chandeliers but to be a flaming torch of justice.

A structure that welcomed people who lacked the informal/formal information of how Muslims cope in times of crisis and walked the path of life.

At that time, it was safe to say that the beauty of a mosque was praying lips & doing hands, not the carving.
Regaining The Essence of Simplicity
With a belief, we intend to strive harder to regain the essence of a Mosque, so people can expand their knowledge of a mosque & work together to dispose of their social responsibilities and supply the cultural and social knowledge required for the generation & generations to come. This approach will help bridge the gap between local-religious and Western intervention models.
To achieve this, we will have to begin re-structuring a Mosque with Belief & Intention, not only Money!
While we try to decode the need for a specific place to pray, we begin with a simple yet profound question. Why would the creator of skies, galaxies, humans want a plot of land just dedicated for his worship (Prayer)? While it is clear. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“The entire earth has been made a place of prayer, except for graveyards and washrooms.”
“If you see a man committed to the mosque, bear witness to his faith. Verily, Allah Almighty said:
The mosques are only maintained by those who have faith in Allah and the Last Day, establish prayer and give charity.”

-Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2617
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Mosque, is more+++

They say if walls could talk, each building would have a story to narrate, a story of belonging-but don’t we all hear places speak, in our mother tongues, telling tales of togetherness and belonging? Yes, we all have, and maybe that’s what we call A Smart Design.

“There is no doubt whatever about the influence of architecture and structure upon human character and action. First, we make our buildings, and afterwards, they make us. They regulate the course of our lives.”

-Winston Churchill, addressing the English Architectural Association, 1924

The practice of architecture is employed to fulfil both practical and expressive requirements, and thus it serves both functional and aesthetic ends. Although these two ends may be distinguished, they cannot be separated. Every society has a spatial relationship to the natural world and other organisations; their structures reveal much about their environment (including climate and weather), history, ceremonies, artistic sensibility, and many aspects of daily life.
A Perfect Space Of Togetherness, A Mosque
A mosque (/mɒsk/; from Arabic: مَسْجِد, romanized: masjid, pronounced [mǝsdʒid]) literally “place of ritual prostration”, also called masjid, is a place of Ibadah. Historically, mosques have served as a community centre, a court of law, a religious school, and a gathering place.

What sort of gatherings?

Through prayer, the Mosque encourages a sense of community and addresses a variety of ongoing challenges. A Muslim has several social obligations in addition to prayers. Muslims do not isolate themselves from the rest of society. While standing to pray at a Mosque, we must remember that we are carrying the torch of social responsibility.
Every Mosque should focus on becoming a hub of the solution rather than structures of awe and beauty.

Mosque, Not Just A Religious Structure

While we know a Mosque is a “religious structure”, we fail to understand the actual purpose of the religious structures.
A place that takes you through history, reminding you of the true essence of the religion, Islam! When the stones mummer tales from their countries, the structure screams to remind one message la ilaha il’lallah (there is no god but Allah.)
Every corner of a Mosque reminds you of Islam; every step in it should remind you of your duties as a Muslim!
A famous aphorism evoked, which acts as a synopsis of the effect of free-market capitalism producing excessive inequality, reads,

“To him, that hath more shall be given; and from him, that hath not, the little that he hath shall be taken away. Therefore, the rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer.”

-Percy Bysshe Shelley. In A Defence of Poetry

Drawing inpsiration from the quote above, we consider the design of a mosque, a place that eliminates discrimination; everyone gathers as a Muslim and is directed to fulfil his responsilites.
A Mosque was never intended just for Salah;
there is much more!
“You are the best Ummah ever raised for mankind. You bid the Fair and forbid the Unfair, and you believe in Allah. If the people of the Book had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them, there are believers, while most of them are sinners.”

– Surah Al Imran

So we were born to reverse the narrative of the rich getting richer?

Yes, through a place of solace called Mosque, which keeps you away from the distractions and reminds you of your PURPOSE.

Purpose of Creation → Ibadah
Purpose of Living → Prayer and Service to humanity
But have we confined this space only for Salaah/Attendance and not learning/involvement?

-a disappointing but factual answer, Yes we have!

Muezzin, in Islam, is the official who proclaims the call to prayer. At the same time, he calls everyone towards prayer and success -he also calls out to everyone in distress, with assuring words, that their relief is near because people who gather to worship would be the bearers of their comfort through Allah.

“Righteousness is not in turning your faces towards the east or the west. Rather, the righteous are those who believe in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Books, and the prophets; who give charity out of their cherished wealth to relatives, orphans, the poor, ˹needy˺ travellers, beggars, and for freeing captives; who establish prayer, pay alms-tax, and keep the pledges they make; and who are patient in times of suffering, adversity, and in ˹the heat of˺ battle. It is they who are true ˹in faith˺, and it is they who are mindful ˹of Allah˺”
– Surah Baqarah
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A framework for Success: Discipline or Hustle?

While everyone today races against time to get sorted with their clutters. It’s not entirely out there, but to achieve a certain something- you need to struggle with time through patience & discipline.

A famous poet named Rudyard Kipling quotes.
“If you can dream—and not make dreams your master.” -if

Maybe he spoke some volume of tales in a single line to slow the hustle culture. So, with hustling, we aren’t successful? Ah, let’s rephrase that, we would never be successful with “pointless hustle”.
Discipline Over Hustle

Let’s begin with understanding the Hustle Culture, as it’s turning into a never resting forest fire.

A new perspective on how to be successful– Hustle?

Today, the hustle culture symbolises running around spending time, energy, and money with little regard to the purpose, direction, and results. It’s easy to Hustle, just be busy and share the “busyness” on social media.

Hustle is just fatigue and slavery of your mind!

What is Discipline?

“Indeed We have created man (to live) in the hard Struggle.”
Surah Balad 90:4

An accurate estimate of one’s ability to execute what matters most now. Where Hustle represents the busy, discipline appeals to appropriate purpose and progressive action(s). Discipline teaches us we don’t have to like it; we would see highs, lows, and some days no evident progress. No one will probably know you or the purpose, but when we act in a disciplined manner over time, we become an influential drive because there is still progress, even if there is no apparent progress.

Disciplined Struggle ← → Consistent Growth
“Neither you nor your people knew it before this. So be patient! Indeed the ultimate outcome belongs ˹only˺ to the righteous.”
Surah Hud 11:49

Salah/Prayer: Anchor Points for a Disciplined Framework.

“Building core habits is imperative; it’s essential to have a morning routine, an organised series of habits that motivate and inspire you in the morning.”
-Be as Disciplined as Elon Musk, by Sudheer Amarthya.

To begin right, we should begin Early!

While the “early to bed, early to rise” concept was being taught to others, Muslims absorbed this framework of discipline through Salah.

Hayya alas Salah (Rush to prayer)
Hayya alal Falah (Rush to success)

Salah timing placement acts as the perfect anchor points to curate an excellent discipline framework for a content lifestyle. Organising days around these times can help you strive better while staying productive-this also fills your days with disciplined containment and motivation rather than guilt after hustling.

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.”
Surah Rad 13:11
Get disciplined to be successful!