ACTIVATION OF THE MOSQUE’S ROLE

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ACTIVATION OF THE MOSQUE’S ROLE

 

I seek Allah’s protection against Satan, the accursed In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent and All-merciful All praise be to Allah Who is alone worthy of all praise as much as it should be. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet and His Household.

 

 

MATTERS OF HIGH CONCERN AT THE BEGINNING OF RAMADHAN

 

On the receipt of the holy month of Ramadhan, too many are the topics that can be discussed. On the top of such is the duties of the Hawzah in this very month, such as the admonition, guidance, conveyance of the religious rulings, settlement of the people’s needs, solving their problems and arguing the intellectual, ethical and social issues that they face as is ordained by Almighty Allah’s saying: “Nor should the Believers all go forth together: if a contingent from every expedition remained behind, they could devote themselves to studies in religion, and admonish the people when they return to them that thus they may learn to guard themselves against evil. 9\122”

In previous lectures, I have attracted the attentions to the general aspects of the topics that the students of the Hawzah may present before the community during the holy month of Ramadhan. One of these topics is the demonstration of  greatness and virtue of this holy month as well as the fact the Muslim nation has been exclusively conferred with this holy month during which the rewards of the acts of worship are greatly doubled. Likewise, special graces and gifts have been given to each day and night in this holy month. From this cause, a true believer must aspire to acting righteous deeds throughout the month and especially at the holy nights, such as the last ten nights. In Wasa 'il al-Shi'ah, vol. 7, Kitab al-Sawm (Chapter: Fasting) pp. 174, there is recorded a detailed tradition in which the Holy Prophet mentions the peculiarity of each day of the holy month. He then says: "If you know the rewards that are given exclusively for the acts that are done during the month of Ramadhan, you will surely thank Almighty Allah all the time more." Further, his famous sermon of the last week of Shaaban,    which was reported by Imam Ali, comprises a good number of divine awards that are granted in this month.  

 

Students of the Hawzah can also concentrate on the qualities and moral standards that must be enjoyed by the fasting people since fasting does not mean to abstain from eating and drinking for a definite period; rather it is the slogan of a perfect education that includes all the aspects of life and is called moral fasting. Too many are the books who have dealt with this subject in details referring to the holy Infallibles' repetitive encouragements on psychological and spiritual preparations for receiving the holy month of Ramadhan. In this respect, Abu'l-Salt al-Harawi narrated that he once visited Imam al-Ridha on the last Friday of Shaaban. The Imam then said to him: "Most of Shaaban has elapsed and this is the last Friday. You must thus make good your negligence during the past days of it;    observe that which concerns you; avoid that which is not your business; pray very much to Almighty Allah, seek His forgiveness and recite the Holy Quran; repent to Allah from your sins so that you will receive the month of Allah with sincerity to Him; fulfill any duty and trust for which you are responsible; uproot any malice that you bear in your heart against any believer; give up any sin that you have committed; fear Allah and depend upon Him openly and in private; verily, if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose. Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion. On these remaining days of Shaaban, repeat the following saying very much: 'O Allah! If you have not forgiven us on the past days of Shaaban; so please forgive us on these remaining days. For the holiness of the month of Ramadhan, Almighty Allah saves many individuals from Hellfire on this month.  

 

 Students of the Hawzah are required to attract attentions to the negative conducts and manners that are in violation of the religious instructions and mismatched to the pious society. Examples on such unacceptable behaviors are wasting much time in playing folkloric games, betting, popular amusements during which forbidden acts are committed, spending the holy nights watching television shows that destroy the religion and morals, public breaking of the fasting, loitering at nights and illegal association as well as other misbehaviors. Although such topics are worth presenting on the days that precede the holy month of Ramadhan, I will choose the subject of the complaint of the mosque    instead, since these topics have been presented in details in the book entitled Ramadhan and the Eid; Customs and religious laws. 

 

COMPLAINT OF THE MOSQUE

 Imam al-Sadiq is reported to have said: "Three will complain its people, an educated (person) who lives among ignorant people and a hanged copy of the Holy Quran that is covered by dust because nobody recites it.    The following points tell the reason beyond choosing this topic in this very place: 

 

1) This is an attempt to give the mosque its due, convey its complaint and avoid its antagonism since when the mosque is the rival, the situation will be very difficult and previous, when I presented the complaint of the Holy Quran, the society and the Hawzah did actually move to remove a part of the negligence to the Holy Quran in various forms. For instance, people have begun reciting the whole Quran twice a year at least, attending courses of learning the recitation and exegesis of it, participating in the Quranic competitions and learning the greatness, secrets and influences of it on individuals and societies. Today, I would like to remove some of our complicated. In t negligence towards the mosque.

 

 RETURN TO NEGLIGENCE AFTER RAMADHAN 

 

2) The holy month of Ramadhan plays a great role in encouraging people on acts of obedience to Almighty Allah that take various forms, such as presence in the mosques and attending the congregational prayers as well as other religious rituals. During this month, mosques witness considerable activities to the degree that even the Fajr held congregationally therein. Although such activities are certainly positive, negligence returns to its past state as soon as the holy month elapses. On previous Occasions, I have argued that Our righteousness and guidance must not be dependent upon the existence of definite motives and by the end of such motives, our deeds stop. In this respect, we notice that some ladies put the legal veil (Hijab) on in Ramadhan while they are unveiled during the other months. Similarly, we hear that some youths stop masturbation only in this month. Such states of being influenced by certain motives are in fact imperfect unless they (morning) Prayers are while they contribute in total change in one's nature and essence. For instance, a lady that believes in the obligatoriness of the fasting in Ramadhan and does not does not believe in the obligatoriness of women's putting veils is unfortunately engaging herself in the serious distinction between the religious duties about which the Holy Quran says: "Then is it only a part of the Book that we believe in and do ye reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do. 2/85" We should therefore benefit from the holy month bringing us up on willpower, ambition, determination, Overpowering one's soul, which is prone to pursuance of passions and lusts, and finally maintenance of advantages of this great month.  

 

 

THE RELATION BETWEEN SELF-TRIUMPH AND TRIUMPH AGAINST THE ENEMIES 

 

The Holy Quran has confirmatively reinforced the relation between tangible victory over the outer enemies and the spiritual victory over one's soul. In the same manner, the Holy Quran refers the reason beyond defeats before the enemies to the inner defeats before Satan: “Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts Met; it was Satan who caused them to fail, because of some (evil) they had done. But Allah Has blotted out (their fault), for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing. 3/155” Satan could find himself a good area in the inner selves of such people because of their having committed

sins and acts of disobedience to Almighty Allah. Hence, he destroyed their capabilities and they were defeated by the enemies.

 

One of the most important aspects and slogans to the return to Almighty Allah is to enliven the mosques through holding the congregational prayers therein and sessions of supplications as well as holding the other religious ceremonies. Naturally, one who needs somebody in an affair will directly go to his house and ask. Mosques are the houses of Almighty Allah. In this regard, it has been narrated that the Torah has comprised the following statement: “(Almighty Allah says) My houses on the earth are the mosques; so blessed be him who purifies himself in his house and then visits Me in My house. It is then incumbent upon the host to honor his guest.”   

 

Let us learn lessons from the people of Prophet Jonah whom were saved from the heavenly chastisement after they had returned to Almighty Allah: “Why was there not a single township (among those We warned), which believed; so its faith should have profited it except the people of Jonah? When they believed, We removed from them the penalty of ignominy in the life of the present, and permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while. 10/98” Societies have experienced the fact that closeness to Almighty Allah produces His mercy and blessings that are beyond expectation. 

 

THE ACTUAL MEANING OF TENDING THE MOSQUES

A little investigation in the aforesaid narration appertained to the complaint of the mosque makes us conclude that the require tending of the mosque is the spiritual, which includes perseverance on acts of obedience to Almighty Allah since emptiness of a mosque, as is stated by the Hadith, stands for the absence of the people who live near the mosque. According to linguistic givings, the word 'empty' is in fact the opposite of the spiritual, not the tangible, tending. On this account, the Holy Quran has ascribed many eminent qualities to those who tend the mosques and these qualities cannot be found with many of those who physically contribute in building mosques: "The mosques of Allah shall be tended and maintained by such as believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practice regular charity, and fear none (at all) except Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance. 9/18"

 

THE RULINGS CONCERNING MAKING THE MOSQUES UNTENDED 

 

The Holy Quran has intensely warned those who cause mosques to be untended by stopping against fulfilling their social and religious roles: "And who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of Allah, Allah's name should be celebrated? Whose zeal is (in fact) to ruin them? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them except in fear. For them there is nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the world to come, an exceeding torment. 2/114" 

 

Regarding the complaint of the mosque, Imam al-Sadig is reported as saying: "When mosques complained to Almighty Allah against their neighbors who do not show themselves therein, He revealed to them saying: I swear by My Glory and Grandeur that I will never accept any of the prayers of those neighbors and will never present them as just before the people. My mercy will never reach them and they will not be My neighbors in My Paradise."    

 

The Holy Prophet assumed a very much intense attitude against those who absented themselves from the mosque and used not to show up in the congregational and Friday prayers. Imam al-Sadiq reported from his fathers that the Holy Prophet imposed the witnessing of the congregational prayers on the neighbors of the mosque. He then said: If those who abstain from attending the congregational prayers keep on it, I will surely order someone to declare the call to prayer and when the congregational prayer is started, I will order a man from my household (Ahl al-Bayt), namely Ali, to set flaming fire to their houses because they do not attend the prayers.   

 

Imam Ali also threatened the individuals who abstained from coming to the mosque by saying: "If those keep on absenting themselves from the congregational prayers, they will have to move away and never neighbor us. "    The Holy Prophet, too, rejected any treatable excuse for the nonattendance at mosques. 

 

The aforesaid threats must not be the major motives beyond attending in the mosques since this method is used mainly with the slaves. Yet, I want for our acts of worship to ascend to the level of the worship of the frees who adore Almighty Allah only because He is the worthiest of being worshipped and carry on acts of obedience to Him because they regard such as right, goodness and perfection apart from avarice for the divine reward or fear of punishment. 

 

ADVANTAGES OF ATTENDING IN MOSQUES

 

For attaining satisfaction, let us attract the attentions to the many advantages that are gained by both individuals and societies from attending at and tending the mosques. All these advantages are in fact deduced from Imam Ali's saying: "One who is frequently present in mosques will certainly gain at least one of eight advantages: (1) an honest brother-in-faith, (2) a useful item of knowledge, (3) (the understanding of) a decisive Verse, (4) an expected mercy (5) a word that saves from misfortune, (6) a word that guides to decency or (7) a negligence of committing a sin out of fear or (8) out of embarrassment."  

 

As a result, advantages of attending in mosques can be classified, in accordance with levels, into two levels to be hereinafter discussed in brief:

 

FIRST: INDIVIDUAL LEVEL 

This level can be further classified into many aspects as follows: 

 

(1) Ethical and Spiritual Aspect 

The ethical and spiritual advantages of attending in mosques are very clear since presence therein in one of the acts of obedience and reference to Almighty Allah who says: "Without doubt, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction. 13/28" Mosques furnish the believers with opportunities of seeking nearness to Almighty Allah and ascending to the scales of perfection. Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying: "One who sits in a mosque waiting for the prayer is actually the guest of Allah. It is then incumbent upon Allah to honor His guest." Everyone can feel a state of tranquility, security and prominence on the entering on the houses of Almighty Allah. Imam Ali is also reported as saying: "For me, to sit in the mosque is preferred to sitting in Paradise; since sitting in Paradise is achieving pleasure of me while sitting in the mosque achieves pleasure of my Lord."  

 

(2) Educational Aspect 

Mosque is one of the places where one receives education, just like home and school. Further, the education that is received from mosques are more significant and perfect since mosques produce nothing but pure decency, unlike homes and schools where they may be a place for deviation. In fact, many faithful believers could not obtain virtuous education at their homes or schools; rather they attained perfection through the mosque education. Again unlike home and school, the mosque's role in upbringing virtuous generations does not retreat under any circumstance and is always fulfilling its duty as excellent as required. Mosques also provide with dosages of decency that cannot be prepared by ordinary families, such as love for Almighty Allah, abstinence from worldly pleasures, negligence of immoralities (like obscenity, calling offensive names and humiliating joking), overcoming over psychological defects (like miserliness, greed, pride, anger, arrogance, self-conceitedness, ostentation and self- esteem) and adherence to moral standards (like altruism, patience, forbearance, courage, generosity, kindheartedness, lenience, indulgence, modesty and well-wishing). Thus, the personality of a believer will be perfected leaving highly praised influences on his/her relations with the society as well as the family in spite of everything.   Our society comprises many examples on such education. 

 

(3) Cultural and Scientific Aspects 

Mosques save big opportunities for their habitués to become skilled at useful aspects of knowledge and culture by means of lessons and religious, ethical and scientific lectures that are delivered therein, publications of scientists and intellectuals that first reach mosques, questions that are put before the imams leaders of congregational prayers), books stored in the mosques' libraries or meetings and conversations that are held by the educated personalities. 

 

(4) Associative and Connectional Aspects 

Naturally, human beings tend to association and connection with each other since it is impossible for them to live alone and it is impossible for them to feel their perfect existence unless they belong to an association. From this cause, each individual searches for an association to belong to, such as sport clubs, political trends, intellectual groups and the like. The best belongingness is thus the association of the mosque-the sacred entity founded by the Holy Prophet, managed by the Holy Imams and attended by their adherents. Above all, it is Almighty Allah Who is the Custodian and Guardian of mosques: “That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe, but those who reject Allah have no protector. 47/11” A great loser is he who betakes a protector other than Almighty Allah! 

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND: COLLECTIVE LEVEL 

Society is a group of individuals; therefore, any advantage that is gained by any individual will positively influence the society as a whole. In addition, the following points comprise other advantages that are gained by societies from attending in mosques: 

 

1) The mosque contributes in strengthening the fraternal bounds among the individuals, demonstrating the power of Islam and confirming the union of the Muslims. The congregational prayers, such as the Friday and the Eid    

Prayers, are the most manifest aspects of power in Islam since they indicate the Islamic attention to the system of the united entity and collective spirits. 

 

2) The mosque achieves social interrelation between the Muslims through introducing them to each other as is mentioned in the Hadith of the eight advantages of tending in mosques.    It also achieves intercommunication, exchange of visits and helping each other in settling ‘their needs, solving their problems and thinking in public interests, such as establishing schools, hospitals, buildings of social care and public ways as well as digging rivers. 

 

3) The mosque reaches at security and tranquility that are obtained through meeting faithful individuals. In this respect, Imam al-Sadiq is reported to have said: “A true believer feels tranquil at meeting a brother-in-faith in the same way as a thirsty individual meeting fresh water.” 

 

4) The mosque grants a big opportunity to carry out the duty of enjoining the right and forbidding the Wrong, 

 

5) Being the meeting-place of the various classes of the society, the mosque is the best introducer of the passive behaviors because such problems are referred to it and, similarly, the solutions and instructions are found therein, Society is thus the field in which the instructions of the mosque are applied. 

 

6) The mosque presents the current events and issues that concern the Muslims, especially those threatening the unity of the Muslims. The mosque thus brings up the society on paying attention to the affairs of the Muslims. In this respect, Imam al-Sadiq says, “One who does not care for the affairs of the Muslims is not one of them.”  

 

7) The mosque is the best caller to the approximation of the Muslim sects from one another. In this regard, an enthusiastic Muslim says: “The Muslim nation is bound by three links all of which can be found in the mosques; one Lord, one Book and one Kiblah (direction in prayers) to which all the Muslims pilgrimage from the remotest areas on the earth once a year so as to worship the One Lord according to the one code of law on one land, which is the center of the Divine Revelation. Thus do the unity of belief, the unity of the law and the unity of the higher homeland achieve to remind the Muslims that they are gathered by the word of Almighty Allah, the religion an the homeland, though their countries, lineages, languages and colors are different, and when the time comes, all Muslims must sacrifice their individual interests for the sake of the common interest of Islam.”  

 

8)The mosque acts as a mass medium that terrifies the enemies of Islam since it is the exhibition that shows the actual power of Islam. which is absolutely distinctive from the other religions. ideologies and beliefs. The mosque thus actively contributes in presenting the actual picture of Islam. improving its reputation-after it had been deliberately deformed by the enemies-and encouraging the people of other religions to convert to it. On witnessing the mosques, rituals and feelings of the Muslims, many have actually converted to Islam.    

 

9) The mosque is a major means that reduces the social and economic classes of the society. In the Holy Masjid and during the seasons of the ritual Hajj, all the Muslims share the same garb and the same movements. 

 

As he intended to remind us of all the advantages of the mosques, Imam al-Sajjad, as has been narrated by Imam alSadiq, said to one of his servants who asked him where he was going at such an extremely cold night after he had seen him putting very rough clothes: “I am going to the Masjid of the Holy Prophet to ask for the hands of the fair women of Paradise from Almighty Allah.” 

 

SOCIAL DUTIES TOWARD MOSQUES 

The following duties of the society towards the mosque have been deduced from the Holy Quran and Sunnah: 

 

1) The first duty is to tend the mosques with pure hearts and faithful souls that are firmly connected to Almighty Allah. In this respect, Imam Ali reported that Almighty Allah revealed the following to Prophet Jesus: “Order the Israelites not to enter any of My houses unless their hearts are purified.” On account of such characteristic as well as  the qualities mentioned in the Holy Quran,    the maintainers of the mosques have been given exclusive favors, such as their being the reason beyond saving the inhabitants of this earth from misfortunes. As much as the spiritual meaning of maintenance of mosques is concerned, one’s mosque is his heart, since it is the house and sanctuary of Almighty Allah; hence, it must be tended, purified and cleaned from anything other than Almighty Allah. 

 

2) The society must encourage construction and establishment of mosques. It has been narrated on the authority of Abu-Ubaydah that Imam al-Sadiq, once, said: “As for him who builds a mosque, Almighty Allah shall build for him a house in Paradise.” When they passed by a place, they saw a few rocks that were joined together to be taken as mosque. Abu-Ubaydah asked Imam al-Sadiq whether his previous saying includes such efforts. The Imam answered, “Yes, it does.”   It has been also narrated that one of the holy Infallibles said: “One who likes his grave to be expansive should establish a mosque.”     Of course, all such favors will be given only when such efforts are well-intended and purely dedicated to Almighty Allah. In this regard, the Holy Quran reads: “There is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of the standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loveth those who make themselves pure. Which then is best? He that layeth his foundation on piety to Allah and His good pleasure? Or he that layeth his foundation on an undermined sand-cliff ready to crumble to pieces? And it doth crumble to pieces with him, into the fire of Hell. And Allah guideth not people that do wrong. 9/108-9” This is the secret of some mosques being preferred to others or the mosques in general being preferred to the places of worship of other religions. 

 

3) The society must urge on attending in mosques. Imam alSadiq is reported to have said: “For each step walked by him who is on his way to a mosque, the earth, with all of its seven layers, shall glorify Almighty Allah for him.” “For each step walked by him who is on his way to a mosque, Almighty Allah will give ten advantages, forgive ten of his sins and raise him ten ranks until he returns home.” 

 

4) Cooperation must be made between the attendants and the imam for the attainment of the abovementioned fruits. 

 

5) The society is responsible for carrying out the religious duties of the mosques. Some of such ‘duties have been deemed obligatory upon Muslims such as the following: it is absolutely forbidden to soil mosques and it is obligatory to purify them when soiled even if it requires expenditure; it is forbidden to dispose of the things that are entailed to mosques except in states defined by the Islamic law; it is forbidden for the ritual impure, the menstruant and their likes to enter mosques; it is forbidden to take out any part that belongs to the mosque. Nevertheless, other duties are not obligatory, yet ethical: it is recommended to participate in the congregational prayers; to precede the others in being in the mosque; to be the last to leave it; to perfume oneself; to put new dresses; to be physically clean; to avoid putting anything that may alienate the others; to use the right foot in entering the mosque and the left in leaving it and to offer the recommended two-Rak’ah (unit) prayer for greeting the mosque. On the other hand, it is discommended to sleep in mosques except when necessary; to let children and the insane play therein; to discuss worldly affairs therein and to raise one’s voice unless when supplicating, declaring the prayer or reciting the Holy Quran.

 

 

THE HAWZAH’S DUTIES TOWARD ACTIVATING THE MOSQUES’ ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY

 

The Hawzah, too, is responsible for activating the mosques’ role in the community through carrying out the following duties: 

 

1) Each and every mosque, be it little or handsome, must be occupied by appointing an imam whose mission is to hold the rituals and the congregational prayers. In case a village is empty of any mosque, it is possible that a big room in a house is chosen as mosque after it is supplied with a loudspeaker for declaring the azan (the declaratory call to prayer) and an outer door to be used by the attendants. I do not think that such a project will cost too much, especially when it is compared to the countless favors that Almighty Allah will give to the implementer of such projects. 

 

2) Observance of holding the congregational prayers, especially the Maghrib (sunset) and Isha (evening) obligatory prayers, as well as the other obligatory prayers, such as the Eid and the Alarm (the eclipses) Prayers. It has been obvious to everybody that a mosque in which congregational prayers are held is more active and attractive than the empty mosques. This is because the rewards of Almighty Allah that are exclusively given to the participants in congregational prayers are too numerous to be counted in addition to the fact that the existence of an imam achieves many advantages, such as answering the religious questions, settling the financial and social needs and delivering sermons of guidance and religious affairs. 

 

3) An imam must be selected on definite characteristics among which are sincerity to Almighty Allah, observance of collective interests other than personal, and enjoying a considerable amount of knowledge through which the intellectual, religious and cultural needs of the society can be settled.   The least an imam must do is to deliver a weekly lecture so as to apply the Hadith that reads: “Fie unto him whoever does not dedicate Fridays to learning the religious questions.”    Because the opportunity to learn the religious affairs is not available to everybody, it is the imam’s responsibility to secure such opportunities for the society since the imam’s major role is to take the others nearer to the acts of obedience to Almighty Allah through securing opportunities to do righteous deeds and to close the doors in the face of acts of disobedience through encouraging enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. 

 

4) Not only the rituals of the holy month of Ramadhan and the consolation ceremonies on the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn, all the religious ceremonies and the anniversaries appertained to the Ahl al-Bayt must be held in mosques, not houses. Of course, if such rituals are held in mosques, they will be further from ostentation and arrogance. Also, attendance in such ceremonies will be purely intended to Almighty Allah away from courtesy or etiquette. Such being the case, the mosque will occupy a larger area in the people’s lives because such ceremonies will be matched to the congregational prayers. Finally, sitting in mosques in an act of worship. 5) Cultural and religious competitions must be held in mosques, especially during the holy month of Ramadhan and on Fridays. Then prizes and gifts must be presented to the winners. The fruits of such competitions are noteworthy, such as urging the attendants to read and learn more and to be present in the mosque to live the atmospheres of these competitions.

 

6) A board must be hanged in the mosque on which a Hadith of a doctrinal, ethical or social yield must be each day recorded. Also, a religious ruling, a new question, a useful item of news, a new publication, a discussion of a new social event or similar things can also be recorded on such boards in order that people will ceaselessly activate with the mosque. 

 

7) Sessions on teaching the recitation and exegesis of the Holy Quran as well as Islamic jurisprudence, doctrines, history, ethics and other useful sciences are required to be held in mosques. 

 

8) A library, be it huge or simple, can be established in mosques so that people will profit by the religious and educational books therein. 

 

It is noticeable that the responsibility towards mosques is interrelated between the Hawzah and the society; the Hawzah guides the society to the righteous path and the society practices and acts as the witness on the Hawzah. 

 

RETROGRESSION OF THE ATTENDANTS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS 

 

To deal with the problem of the retrogression in the attendance of the congregational prayers, we first of all should investigate and explore the causes some of which are to be presented hereinafter: 

 

1) The number of the students of the Hawzah whom are qualified to represent the Muslim authorities in the miscellaneous regions and to fulfill their religious duties properly is unfortunately few. 

 

2) Some of the students of the Hawzah have shown misbehaviors when they have attempted to collect fortunes or supply themselves with worldly luxuries, showed narrow-heartedness and impatience and committed some matters that are improper for the religious to do. From this cause, people have disliked and turned away from them and doubted their godliness. 

 

3) Some people have been very much excessive in understanding the decency that is specified as one of the stipulations of leading congregational prayers to the degree that some of them understand that a leader of a congregational prayer must be as pure as the holy Infallibles. 

 

4) People have had an aversion to the conducts of some of the muezzins (those who proclaim the times of the obligatory prayers), the servants and the custodians of the mosques who, in most cases, exaggerate in demanding with donations for the mosque or show misconduct since most of them are ignorant people who find in holding such a position a good opportunity to behave arrogantly. 

 

5) Some people have personal disputes with the imams of the mosques or with some of the habitués. 

 

6) Naturally, human souls are prone to pursuance of personal passions, play and amusement while the attendance in mosques requires solemnity, maintaining and discipline. 

 

7) The society generally lacks religious enlightenment and is unaware of the significance of attending in mosques and the advantages gained therein. 

 

8) Rumors and investigations of the defects of the imams, even if they were unreal or old, refrain people form attending in the mosques. 

 

9) The daily requirements have been so complicated that one must dedicate much time to settling them. Hence, one may consider that continuous attending in mosques is the function of the jobless and it is sufficient to attend on Fridays or in the holy month of Ramadhan only. Finally, there are other reasons some of which are restricted to certain regions and can be identified through deep investigation in the problem.

 

 

 

THE TREATMENT 

As long as the identification of causes is the half of the treatment, we can conclude some of the solutions as follows: 

 

1) Much attention must be paid to the increase of the religious enlightenment and the hinting at the positive effects, in this world as well as the Next World, of frequenting to the mosques. 

 

2) The imams and those in charge of the social responsibilities must behave as purely and honestly as possible and must imitate the very conducts of the great Muslim personalities whose chaste pictures are always present before us. The only thing that must be undertaken by the imams is to copy the conducts of those personalities even if this may cause them to deprive themselves of definite pleasures, since it is Almighty Allah Who observes all such things. He, the All-powerful, says: “And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord’s (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires; their abode will be the Garden. 79/40-41” Such restraint includes legal pleasures so long as they lead people to dislike, resent or mistrust the imams. 

 

3) Eyes must be turned to the Next World and seeking of perfection therein, not in this transient world. The Holy Quran reads: “But seek, with the wealth which Allah has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world: but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief. 28/77” 

 

4) The imams must personally undertake the affairs of the mosques and must not allow the offensive behaviors of the servants, the custodians or the muezzins. 

 

 

DUTIES OF MOSQUES’ IMAMS 

The imams must comprehend and properly undertake their duties and missions in order that mosques will play their expected roles. Of course, the imams’ responsibilities are not only religious, such as leading the congregational prayers, answering the religious questions, settling the spurious arguments that are aroused against the doctrines, holding the religious ceremonies and delivering lectures about the topics that carry worldly and religious benefits, but also the imams are required to take on social missions, such as sharing people’s joys and misfortunes, settling their individual and social problems, giving everybody his due, treating the people equally, dealing with the passive behaviors with the best and most effective methods and participating in the charitable projects the most important of which is helping the youths to marry.    The carrying out of all such duties depends upon an imam’s social consciousness and application of the directive of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. 

 

The imams are also charged with economic duties, such as receipt of the legal rights (namely the Islamic levies) and conveying them to the Hawzah or distributing them on the needy, after obtaining the permission of the religious authority, custody of the poor, helping the unemployed to find jobs. Furthermore, there are scientific and cultural duties that should be undertaken by the imams. 

 

It is worth mentioning that the duties of the imams vary according to geographical and occasional circumstances. Hence, it is not easy to mention them all since some of them follow the intellectual, doctrinal and social constituents of personalities. 

 

In conclusion, Mosques are the symbols of the power of Islam and the dignity of the Muslims. They are also the criteria on their religious commitments. Activity and influence of the mosques on the social life take the society nearer to Almighty Allah. 

 

Finally, we pray to Almighty Allah to save us from the complaints of mosques, to include us with those who tend them with piety and righteous deeds, to confer upon us with their blessings and favors and not to deprive us of HIS graces, generosity and favors. All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. All peace and blessings be upon Muhammad and his Immaculate Household.