بِسْــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِالرَّحْمَنِ اارَّحِيم
Our mosques have been paralyzed by governments and “scholars for dollars” for the last century. These where once centers of communities; a place for Muslims to pray, to educate, to find shelter, battle poverty, a think-tank, strategize military, initiate political campaigns, economic planning, set up agriculture, celebrate, and so much more. Today, mosques are just a place to pray on Friday’s. This atrophy of the mosques worldwide is no doubt tied to the atrophy of the Muslim mind. The oppression and calamities facing the Ummah are only symptoms of this problem. This proposal is aimed to target the source of the problem rather than getting distracted by the symptoms.
Reviving the mosques can be quite an overwhelming topic. For this reason, revival will be categorized into 3 areas: housing, permaculture, and economy. These areas have been chosen due to the self-sustaining aspect of this mission. Our Muslim communities should not have to go to governments, banks, or corporations to fulfill their needs. Instead, the mosques will be molded to facilitate the needs of the community in a self-sustaining manner.
To grasp the impact of this area, ask yourself how many Muslims do you know that are renting, mortgaging, or investing in real estate? Probably all. Now ask yourself how many are neighbors of one another. Probably none. This sad reality translates into being a major factor in the disunity of the Ummah. Muslims need to be living in the same communities to actually build their community. So the first step of this proposal is a call for all Muslims to live as close as possible to the mosques. This will naturally result in the cultivation of Muslim communities with the masjid as its nucleus. With the economic downfall, Muslims should use this opportunity and find foreclosed homes around mosques… better yet, MULTI-FAMILY HOMES around the mosques. There is no sense for Muslims to be buying million dollar homes when a few quad-plexes or apartments buildings around the moques will do just fine. Live like the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and the sahaba. This will result in lower housing costs and shared expenses while more importantly, build Muslim communities around the mosques. It is important to note here that there should be at least one learned scholar from amongst the community since these Muslims will be responsible for their masjid in the form of a working group committee.
With shelter taken care of above, next comes food. Permaculture is an important concept that you need to be familiar with. It is an ecological design which attempts to develop sustainable human settlements and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. It draws from several other disciplines including organic farming, agroforestry, sustainable development, and applied ecology. The primary agenda of this area is to assist Muslims to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable gardens and farms around housing and the masjid itself. This will ensure the long-term survival of the Muslim community without the need of poisonous and expensive corporations.
The diversity of businesses amongst the congregations of mosques is staggering. Developing an economy for the congregation can render itself self-sufficient. Selling, bartering, and donating around the masjid and amongst the congregation can help promote the livelihood of our Muslim community without the need of government currency or bank lending. Furthermore, mosques can trade and procure with one another on a local and international scale.
The areas mentioned about are the means to the goal. What is the goal? First is unity. Without unity, we will continue to be numerous, but as weak as foam of the sea. This will channel our numbers through the mosques to empower us. Second goal is sovereignty. If Muslims depended on mosques rather than the institutions of our oppressors, our Islamic sovereignty will naturally be established worldwide through the network of mosques and will only help build a landscape for the Khilafah.
There are steps we need to make this a reality:
- Talk to the sheikh at your masjid about this proposal
- Talk to your Muslim peers about this proposal
- Talk to Muslim real estate agents about this proposal
- Advocate for free Wifi Internet in your masjid
- Advocate for keeping the masjid open 24/7 (raise extra funds and rotate occupiers)
- Create a Facebook page for your masjid if not done already
- Create a Twitter account for your masjid if not done already
- Register your masjid at Occupy Masjid
- Notify Occupy Masjid if your masjid does NOT have a website
- Discuss this proposal on various masjid and imam Facebook pages
- Organize general assemblies at the masjid (a global assembly is in the works)
- Discuss your progress on Occupy Masjid’s Facebook page
- Copy and redistribute this proposal on emails, blogs, websites, etc
*Only Muslims can join this religious-based movement (draw inspiration from Masjid Al-Aqsa).
*Women must make up 50% of the working group committee.
*One learned scholar must be in the working group committee.
*This is a working draft. Please leave comments, feedback and ideas below.
And who are more unjust than those who forbid that Allah’s Name be glorified and mentioned much in Allah’s mosques? ―Whose zeal are (in fact) to ruin them? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter Allah’s Mosques except in fear. For them there is disgrace in this world, and they will have a great torment in the Hereafter. [Qur’an 2:114]
And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (proofs, signs, revelations, etc) clear to you, that you may be guided. And let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity. [Qur’an 3:103-104]
Just a question…I love the idea of building communities around the masjid and actually building lives with your neighbors…But my only concern is that if this vision is fully realized, it means that these communities would be isolated from the non-Muslim communities. I’m conflicted on this one, need to think through it I guess. Because our ultimate intended purpose…the reason Allah created us is to be His (swt) representatives on earth and improve the worlds we live in (see http://oaktreeinstitute.org/blog-single?id=4f4d0dddaa8eeca71c000002). So that means being a part of the world…that means living among the good and the bad. However, we need to live in a way that nurtures our souls so that we can sustain good work. So this idea seems that it would be such an amazing nurturing environment…BUT it’s by design isolating…which doesn’t lend itself to being a change agent. I also really like the idea that our institutions would be self-sustained and not constantly dependent on donations. I guess my ultimate question is: How can we ensure that this vision would not be isolating Muslims from the world community?
Take the story of the people of the Cave, or the immigration of the people of Noah, Moses, and even Prophet Muhammad (saw). There comes a point where the society is so corrupted that we must create our own and SET AN EXAMPLE for Muslims and non-Muslims to follow. Instead of the word “isolate”, think of it as given humanity an alternative… an example to model from. Take back our masjids in the process and reestablish our identity. Our muslims need dawaa more than ever and our purpose is to worship Allah. The masajid is a way to fulfill both of these goals in the end of times and provide a message to humanity that our way is better.