Gone are the days when Masajid were only used for prayers
A Masjid is more than just a place to pray. Yes, we go to our local Masjid to pray our obligatory (Fard) prayers, and that should be our main driving force, but many of us find ourselves going there for many other needs. From performing nikah to fulfilling the burial rights of the deceased, the expectation is that the local Masjid provides various services.
For Muslims living in the West, the Masjid has become their community centre
Moreover, the imam of a Masjid does not just lead prayers and give lectures. The imam is expected to give marriage and parent counselling, help with youth programs, and represent the local Muslim community in the media. Yes, this is definitely more than any one person can handle, and a good Masjid management would divide the work fairly between its staff and volunteers, but it highlights just how vital the services a Masjid offers.
At the very minimum, a Masjid and Islamic Centre should provide the following services:
- Daily prayers and weekly Jumuah prayers
- Taraweeh prayers and Eid prayers
- Quran Tafseer, Tajweed, and memorization
- Weekend language school
- Youth activities
- Marriage and parent counselling
- New Muslim and revert programming
- Washing and burial of the deceased
When a Masjid provides crucial services such as these to the community, it makes it hard to imagine life without it. This naturally makes for a stronger case to support the Masjid to ensure its survival. When people witness the impact a Masjid and Islamic Centre has on its local community, both Muslim and non-Muslim, you can rest assured that when it asks for donations, people would respond favourably.