Isn’t it weird…
I missed going to circles, after the sister whose house we used to have circles in moved away. SO i decided to start my own. My house was not suitable, neither could we find any other sisters house to hold it in, due to restraints of space, husband being at home, elderly relatives and so on.
So where is the first place we asked? Obviously at the masjid, and straight away they said no. What did we ask them? we asked them if a group of sisters could use one of their rooms on a weekday afternoon to get together and recite Quran and share hadith. They said no. The masjid is apparently not the place for this.
So then where did we look? We looked at a charity run community centre. Unlike the masjid this community centre does not leave it’s rooms empty, but hires out to community groups. Only community groups. No private bookings for birthdays, weddings or anything like that. This community centre exists to be a community resource, to be used between 8am and 9.30pm. Monday to Saturday and 9am to 5.30pm Sunday.
There are many groups which use this centre. I myself have been involved in some. They ran a Youth and Community work NVQ specifically for Muslim women, as they saw a need for Muslim women in this field in the community. That was 2 years ago, and since then they have run several more of these courses. Which they secured funding for, so it was free for the sisters attending. They run a Sunday Islamic school, where kids aged7-18 go and have tutoring sessions followed by Islamic studies, for around £40 A YEAR! The centre has also helped that organisation grow and secure funding and discount on rent.
Some of you might know I am organizing an Eid event, and the Chair of this organization has been so helpful, provided us with activities, volunteers, food, insurance, advice, advertising, really gone out of his way to help us, alhamdulillah.
There are various other Islamic activities at the centre, such as lectures, Arabic lessons and so on.
While the masjid accross the road, that no doubt exists due to the charity and donations of the local people, stands empty and does not support them, does not provide them with a space to meet, is filled with suspicion and distrust of anyone who wants to organise an event or a circle, unless they know them.
Why are we donating to masjids that don’t serve the function of masjids? Or is the function of a masjid just a place for prayer, one weekly circle, and madrassa for kids? Is that sufficient? Does it meets the community needs?
And do you know what really takes the biscuit?
This organisation and community centre that helps so many Muslim community groups – it has a church attached to it. Not a church group using the halls, but an actual church with permanent pews and a altar.
Qur’an (3:28) - “Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them…“
This last part means that the Muslim is allowed to feign friendship if it is of benefit. Renowned scholar Ibn Kathir states that “believers are allowed to show friendship outwardly, but never inwardly.”
Posted on 19/10/2012, in Experiences, politics, Women in Islam and tagged Aston Mansfield, Froud Centre, going to circles, Islam, quran, religion, Shah Jalal Mosque. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.