Category Archives: mosque

Masjid An Noor

Today, on yawm ul jummah, alhamdulillah & subhanallah, Masjid An Noor opened its doors to the believers. The esteemed Maulana Saleem Dhorat was the specially invited guest and I assume that he delivered the bayan (talk prior to jummah salaat) and the khutbah (Friday sermon). The adhan was scheduled for 12:50p.m. and the khutbah for 1:00p.m.

My Lord, Allah the Majestic and Sublime and owner of many many attributes, the One God, commands in Al Qur’an, Chapter 62, Ayah 11:

O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.

There are some who ascribe to the notion or belief that it is not incumbent on women to attend the Jummah salaat – perhaps remembrance of Allah can be interpreted to mean other than performance of an obligatory salaat.

Ibn Kathir’s tafseer says that it means:

“(then hasten to the remembrance of Allah) means that you have to hasten to the prayer with your heart and actions, and walk to it.”

Today, the males in my family, ie BH, NoS and Youngest were attending jummah at Masjid An Noor. I returned home from work, made the ablutions, and joined them in the vehicle to the Masjid. They exited, I collected a Sister, and together we parked in a side street, and walked along the side path towards the frosted glassed door which bore the words ‘Sisters’ Prayer Entrance’. The bayan was already in session. Our path and entryway were well removed from the presence of any brothers whatsoever. We entered and traversed past a single toilet room and two wudhu seats, removed our shoes at the entrance to the beautifully painted, tiled and carpeted room. I prayed for Allah swt to Open to me the doors of His Mercy:

“Oh Allah, open the doors of mercy.”  (Mishkat)

“Let one of you pray two units of prayer when s/he enters a mosque before sitting down!” (Bukhari, Salat, 60).

These 2 rakaats, which I grew up terming as Daakhil masjid, and which I have learnt is Tahiyatul Masjid are not obligatory.

Large overhead ceiling fans, long narrow frosted windows, patterned tile, soothing colours, all lent to the serenity of that space. The only sound to breech that space was the whirring of the fans. Not a sound unsettled the otherwise hushed and tranquil space.

My mobile which acts many times as a timepiece for me, was left in the car so I relied on Sister to say when the 12:50 arrived. Exited the reserved prayer area, and walked to the end of the paved kerb outside of that prayer area, to the point where the open beautifully square-tiled courtyard was bordered by the exterior wall of the Sisters area, a white (picket) fence with two swing gates, and the arches of the entrance (I think) to the Brothers’ area. Pause at that point. A brother clad in grey gestured to us to (my interpretation) move to the other side – he may or may not have spoken. I said to him that we could not hear in the Sisters’ area so we would not be able to follow the salaat. Interspersed with salaams:

Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commanded us to do seven things: to visit the sick, to follow the funeral (of a dead believer), to invoke the Mercy of Allah upon one who sneezes (i.e., by saying to him: Yarhamuk- Allah), to support the weak, to help the oppressed, to promote the greeting of ‘As-Salamu ‘Alaikum’, and to help those who swear to do something to keep their oaths. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
He moved away and closed the gates nearest to where we stood (about halfway down the fenced area). i spread my prayer mat (a gift from the daughter of my now deceased Maulana friend from her Hajj and hitherto unused) on the kerb and sat. Heard the Adhaan which fills your mind and your chest.

 The Messenger of ALLAH [peace and blessings be upon him] said, “When you hear the adhan, repeat what the Mu’adhdhin says.” [Imam Malik – Muwatta]

Narrated by Yahya “Some of my companions told me that Hisham had said”, “When the Mu’adhdhin said, “Haiya alas-salah (come for the prayer).” Muawiya said, “La hawla wala quwata illa billah” and added, “We heard your Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying the same.” [Sahih Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 11 :: Hadith 587]

Moved around a bit (peering round the corner) in uncertainty as to whether the khutbah had started. The brother in gray returned and addressed the khala (aunty in Gujrati) – that he had arranged for the sound system but it was only able to be put in the brothers’ section and the madressa, but that it is only temporary and would be installed by Tuesday. I thanked him. In sha Allah:

 

“Nor say of anything, “I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow”- (Surah Al-Kahf, 23)

Without adding, “So please Allah.” and call thy Lord to mind when thou forgettest, and say, “I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer (even) than this to the right road.” (Surah Al-Kahf, 24)

Resumed my seat, heard the khutbah, heard the iqaamah, stood and followed the Imam in the 2 fard rakaat prayed for Jummah salaat.  On a prayer mat on the kerb. Who am I to complain when Allah swt favoured me to pray the jummah salaat on a prayer mat on the roadway in Mecca leading to Haram Sharif.

Got up and returned to the calm interior of the Sisters’ area and completed the sunnah of the salaat.

Returned to the vehicle the same way I had come, and BH, NoS and Youngest joined me. And amongst my whatsapp messages were announcements that one could listen live to the opening of Masjid An Noor.  It was being live streamed. Regrettably, there was no live stream to the Sisters’ area.

I commend those who have contributed in so many ways, known only to Allah swt, tangible and intangible, and in concert and in dissent, to the building and opening of Masjid An Noor:

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi).

and I praise and glorify Allah swt for His favours:

“And if you would count the favours of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly, Allah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” [16:18]

re Masjid An Noor.  It is now the masjid which is nearest to my home. and right across the road from Youngest’s school, so that in sha Allah, he will be able to attend unfettered jummah there during school term. Alhamdulillah.

I haven’t written this particular blog to be facetious. and I know that some of the tone is ironic. I pray that my intention is correct, and that nothing within this blog creates any fitnah (variously interpreted to mean testing, or civil strife, or sedition) amongst the Muslims in my community. I understand the need for control, or exclusion, for barriers. The Holy Prophet Muhammad saws never prohibited the Sisters, the female Muslim believers from attending the masjid. I pray that Allah swt opens the doors of His Mercy to me and to every Muslim in my community and the Ummah at large. I pray that He guides the hearts and minds of those in control of Masjid An Noor to open the doors of the masjid to every Muslim who enters the spheres of our island, regardless of race or gender:

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” Surah 49, Ayah 13

and to facilitate those of us who strive to leave off our trade on a Friday, the blessed day of Jummah, and attend to the remembrance of Allah swt, in that masjid.

I know I have focused on jummah salaat, but that focus is not meant in any way to diminish the other obligatory salaat.

 

 

Glorying in ascent?

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When Youngest & I were in Trinidad recently, we attended a masjid family day – activities for all ages abounded. Included in the activities was the popular wall-climbing. In preparing this post, I searched my memory for an inkling with respect to a hadith on climbing, and compliments that google search engine, I found the following Q&A at https://islamqa.info/en/164340. I’ve reproduced the information below:

Praise be to Allah.

Al-Bukhari narrated in his Saheeh that Jabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: When we went up we would say takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and when we went down we would say tasbeeh (Subhan Allah).

Abu Dawood narrated that Ibn ‘Umar taught him that when the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) got up on his camel, when he was setting out on a journey, he would say takbeer three times, then he would say: “Subhaan allathi sakhkhara lana hadha wa ma kunna lahu muqrineen wa inna ila rabbina la munqaliboon. Allaahumma inna nas’aluka fi safarina haadha al-birra wa’l-taqwa wa min al-‘aml ma tarda, Allaahumma hawwin ‘alayna safarana haadha watwi ‘anna bu’dahu. Allaahumma anta al-saahib fi’l-safar wa’l-khaleefah fi’l-ahl (Glory be to the One Who has placed this (transport) at our service and we ourselves would not have been capable of that, and to our Lord is our final destiny. O Allah, we ask You for righteousness and piety in this journey of ours, and we ask You for deeds which please You. O Allah, facilitate our journey and let us cover its distance quickly. O Allah, You are the Companion on the journey and the Successor (the One Who guards them in a person’s absence) over the family).”

And when he returned he would say the same words and would add to them: “Ayiboona taiboona ‘abidoona li rabbina hamidoon (Returning, repenting, worshipping and praising our Lord).”

When the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his army climbed a hill they would say takbeer and when they went downhill they would say tasbeeh.

Those scholars who say that this is mustahabb (recommended) when going up the stairs and so on, say that one should say takbeer when going up and that going up stairs or hills is the same thing.

But others say that saying takbeer when going up the stairs and so on is not prescribed, because that was not narrated except in specific circumstances, namely climbing up a mountain and the like when travelling; with regard to going up the stairs and so on, there is no such report, even though this was something known among them and they used to do it (i.e., climb up and down stairs etc). If it were prescribed, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would have done it or he would have taught it to his companions as he taught them what to say when entering the house and when leaving it, and other adhkar (words of remembrance) to be recited every day and night.

This is the most correct view concerning this issue.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked the following question: It says in the hadeeth that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to say takbeer when climbing a hill and tasbeeh when going down into a valley. Is this takbeer and tasbeeh only when travelling, or did he say takbeer – for example – at home when going up to the second and third floor? May Allah reward you with good.

He replied:

During his journeys, when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) climbed up a hill he would say takbeer, and when he went down into a valley he would say tasbeeh. That is because the one who is above a thing may feel proud and think that he is great, so it is appropriate for him to proclaim the greatness of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, by saying: Allahu akbar. And when he descends, he is going down to a lower level, so it is appropriate for him to glorify Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, when going down. This is the context of saying takbeer and tasbeeh.

But there is no report in the Sunnah (prophetic teachings) about doing that when not travelling. Acts of worship are based on tawqeef i.e., they are limited to what is narrated in sound reports. Based on that, when a person goes up the stairs in his house he does not have to say takbeer, and when he comes downstairs he does not have to say tasbeeh. Rather that only applies in the case of travelling.

End quote from Liqaa’aat al-Baab al-Maftooh.

And Allah knows best.

 

 

Every footstep to masjid

In my childhood, my grandparents lived 2 buildings away from the masjid. We walked to masjid for salaah.

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported:

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said,

“He who purifies (performs Wudu’) himself in his house and then walks to one of the houses of Allah (mosque) for performing an obligatory Salat, one step of his will wipe out his sins and another step will elevate his rank (in Jannah).”

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Abu Hurairah (RA reported:

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam)said, “Shall I not tell you something by which Allah effaces the sins and elevates the ranks (in Jannah).” The Companions said: “Yes (please tell us), O Messenger of Allah.”

He said, “Performing the Wudu’ properly in spite of difficult circumstances, walking with more paces to the mosque, and waiting for the next Salat (prayer) after a observing Salat; and that is Ar-Ribat, and that is Ar-Ribat.” [Muslim].

 

Photo Challenge: Windows

Through my window at Maghrib, St. Michael, Barbados
Abdullah b. Umar reported:
I heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) say: Don’t prevent your women from going to the mosque when they seek your permission. Bilal b. ‘Abdullah said: By Allah, we shall certainly prevent them. On this’Abdullah b. Umar turned towards him and reprimanded him to harshly as I had never heard him do before. He (‘Abdullah b. Umar) said: I am narrating to you that which comes from the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and you (have the audicity) to say: By Allah, we shall certainly prevent them.

Sahih Muslim 442 : Book 4, Hadith 885

via Photo Challenge: Windows

What do you do?

What do you do?

 

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when you’re:

  • female
  • muslim
  • have wudu
  • are fully clothed
  • it’s maghrib time
  • you’re physically sitting in a motor vehicle in the carpark of the masjid at *** to which your spouse has driven because he has to pray magrhib salaat as well
  • your spouse is encouraging of your praying in a masjid if that is your desire
  • and you’re aware that that masjid perpetuates a no women policy?

What would you do?

Unprepossessing

It does look unprepossessing, doesn’t it? Have been off radar for a bit, with Ramadan, BD’s graduation, Eid without BH and NoS, holidaying over and away, return to work, having Mama with us etc.

So this photo is of the Islamic Center of Orlando (Jama Masjid), 11543 Ruby Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32836, where we attended jummah salaat on the two Fridays we were in the area. The first Friday we sweltered through the heavy traffic at that really busy intersection and arrived at a full mosque. The second Friday we left 10 minutes earlier and it made such a difference, to the extent that we were amongst the first persons at what seemed like a very empty mosque. It quickly filled up.

Separate entrances for sisters and brothers. Sisters upstairs. Brothers spill out onto an un-air-conditioned patio.

Surprise on the first Friday for BD and me – Sister A, and her daughter greeted us when we walked in – hey, we left you in Bim!

Surprise on the second Friday – a brother taking shahadah. And Uncle R from Trinidad this time amongst the congregants.

Ice lollies & ice cream. A dress for BD. A gift of a royal blue scarf (to match my royal blue dress?) – thank you unknown Sister.