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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0006-CO-ORDINATION WITH OTHER MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS

Paper presented at the Leadership Training Program, Islamic College of South Africa 19-22 June 2000 by Prof Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr.

OUTLINE

1.0 ULAMA/SCHOLAR ORGANIZATIONS


        Who are the ulama?

        How to deal with Ulama


 

2.0 STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS


        Overview

        Student work is important

        Challenges for students

        Apathy and dynamism among students

        Issues that affect/interest students

        Characteristics of students

        Types of student programs

        Activism vs academic achievement

        Role of students

        Functions of student organizations

        Training and tarbiyyah


 

3.0 LABOR AND PROFESSIONAL UNIONS


        Labor migration

        Importance of work

        Wages

        Importance of organization

        Vision and mission of unions

        Rights of the worker

        Trade unions and ethics

        Trade unions and politics

        Trade unions and societal morals

        Trade unions and the interests of the national economy.

        Government role

        Unfair practices by management

        Unfair practices by unions

        Negotiations/bargaining

        Contract

        Economic system and labor issues


 

4.0 SOCIAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS


        Concept of charity

        Concept of takaful

        Definition of poverty

        Causes of poverty

        Rational social welfare system

        Components of the social welfare policy

        Socializing children to be charitable

        Beneficiaries of charity

        Charity should be temporary

        Protecting the dignity of those helped

        Social network to guarantee basic necessities

        Type of social work

        Objectives of social work

        Types of programs

        Scope of social welfare services

        Social welfare institutions

        Resources

        Role of government

        Abuse of the charity system

        Eradication of poverty

        Prevention of poverty

        Helping the family

        Health

        The mentally sick

        Child welfare

        The elderly

        Hunger

        Evaluation


 

5.0 DISASTER RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS


        Overview

        What is a crisis/disaster?

        Man-made disasters

        Non man-made disasters

        Causes of disasters

        Dimensions of a disaster

        Importance of prevention

        Learning from a disaster

        Strategic planning/scenarios

        Characteristics of a disaster

        Crisis management

        Time dimension

        Risk

        Prevention


 

6.0 MOSQUE


        Scope of mosque activity

        Location

        Controversial matters

        Training/Tarbiyyah

        Mosques are houses of Allah

        Mosques are built on taqwa

        Mosques should not be built on basis of fitna

        Only believers build mosques

        Attending mosques

        Good dress for mosques

        Nobody should be forbidden from mosque

        Building of mosques

        Activities in mosque

        Activities forbidden in mosque

        Administration of mosque


 

6.0 COMMUNITY CENTER


        Facilities of an islamic center

        Functions of a center

        Organizational structure of a center

        Legal ownership and control of a center


 

1.0 ULAMA/SCHOLAR ORGANIZATIONS

Ulama organizations: Ulama organizations must have the following objectives: dawa, protect Islam and its heritage, application of Islam, Islamization, advice. Membership qualifications: ulama certificate, Islamic character and values. Types of members: active, honorary. Structure: general assembly, general secretariat, academic councils/committees. 

 

Who are the ulama?: Ulama must know sharia, undestand it and follow it. They are leaders of religion (Sajdah:24). Ulama have ilm, are firm in aqida, jihad, fear Allah, and are recognised by other ulama. Ulama get known by their teaching, fatwa and publications. Ulama are different from readers. Readers can ‘read’ Qur;an without understanding all of it (fiqh). The Ulama on the other hand has comprehensive understanding. Ulama are different from thinkers. Thinkers have a general undestanding of Islam and the world but are not knowledgeable in sharia. Ulama ae different from ‘preachers’ khutaba or wuadh. The preacher may be a good speaker but with little knowledge. Ulama are not saints and have no supernatural powers

 

How to deal with Ulama: Love and respect. Learn from them. Ulama do not teach only facts. They also teach character. The student must stay with them for a long time to learn character. Learn from Ulama according to their specializations. Do not criticise them in a disrespectful/contemptible way. Do not fault them unless you are also knowledgeable. Turn to them for guidance. Put confidence in them. Watch for their mistakes so that you may know the genuine from the rest

 

2.0 STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Overview: This chapter will deal with organizing programs for students at secondary and tertiary educational institutions.

 

Student work is important: Students are a very important segment of the society. They are intellectually alive, are dynamic, idealistic, and can afford the luxury of looking at issues without being under the pressure of being in the field. Skills and convictions acquired by students are a valuable investment for future community leadership. Work among students helps not only to identify potential leaders but also to train and promote their leadership potential.

 

Challenges for students (Manzoor Alam): Ideology. Ijtihad. Modernity. Cultural invasion. Economic development of the Ummah. Intellectual ‘Isms‘ and fads. Students on the frontline of ideological confrontation. Students grow up in homes and communities where they  receive Islamic knowledge and culture to varying degrees. They attend eductional institutions that impart euro-centric disciplines of knowledge some of whose paradigms are contrary t what they learn from their communities. Studenst are acutely aware of the gap in science and technology between their societies and the industrialized world and many of them are aware of the reality that their education may not equip them to ‘catch up’ or even if it did there are forces that will not allow them to mke their societies stronger. Students are bombarded daily with ‘isms’

 

Apathy and dynamism among students: Students in affluent free societies with no pressing social problems tend to be satisfied and difficult to organize because of apathy. Students in societies with political repression are apathetic because they have little hope of changing their fate. Students are most active where there are issues that affect them as students or as citizens and there is  reasonable chance of meaningful change. Too much idealism can cause some students to back away from social activism when they realize the imperfections of 'real life'

 

Issues that affect/interest students: Students have a wide range of issues that affect them both inside and outside the institution. Most student activists tend to gravitate to controversial issues. Within the institution: academic policies, physical facilities, services, local politics. Outside the institution: partisan politics, environment, social issues, economic issues, international affairs

 

Characteristics of students: Students have the following characteristics: idealism, openness, strong convictions, taking strong actions on convictions, tendency to take extreme positions

 

Types of student programs: Student programs may be social, dawa, or even political inside or outside the university campus. Programs for students on the campus: worship, training, academic, entertainment, career or study counseling, counseling on social life. Programs for students in the community: dawa, political mobilization, providing services for the community

 

Activism vs academic achievement: You however should never forget that the main purpose is to learn and study. Student extracurricular activities should never interfere with studies. Students have to be good students first before they are anything else!

 

Role of students (Maududi): Islamization of knowledge. Learn and transmit Islamic heritage to the next generation. Intellectual struggle against other ideologies. Fight corruption to preserve their morals and those of society. Get practical skills needed to succeed

 

Functions of student organizations: Functions of MSA: religious activities, education, protect interests of Muslim students, dawa. MSA should receive and initiate new students on arrival or if possible even before coming to the University or college. Activities of MSA: lectures, question forums, study groups, competitions, projects, drama, exhibitions, visits to hospitals, charitable visits, Islamic newsletter/magazine, video shows, practical demonstrations

 

Training and tarbiyyah: The USRA type of training is the best for students. The late Ismail al Faruqi drew up such a system (p. 58-64 Muhammad Shafiq)

 

3.0 LABOR AND PROFESSIONAL UNIONS

Labor migration: Knowledge is the only inexhaustible resource. One of the aims of labor migration to developed countries or the investment of multinationals in Muslim countries should be the acquisition of industrial skills and technology in the long run

 

Importance of work: Work is a necessity for society and for individuals. Labor has its own dignity. Love of work and a job well done are a source of strength for the society. Too many lazy able-bodied people who expect to live off the back of others are a social liability. People are needed to specialize in the different trades that society needs. Work (a-m-l) was mentioned in the Qur'an 360 times and refers to both earthly work and work in ibadat. Labor has an exalted position in Islam. All prophets worked with their hands: Adam in farming, Nuh in carpentry, Daud in iron works, Musa in writing, Zakariyyah in carpentry, Idris in tailoring, Sulaiman..., Isa in carpentry, Muhammad in trade. Virtually all prophets were shepherds. All jobs are honorable. The only classification accepted among jobs is between haram and halal. Productive work like agriculture and industry is preferred because it is a source of strength. Every able-bodied person must work. Duniya and Akhira work, Both are important

 

Wages: Wages (A-j-r) has been mentioned in the Qur'an in more than 100 verses.  Wages are in the contract between owner and worker. The contract must be for a fixed term and conditions for renewal must be known. Payments must be prompt. The wages should cover at least the basic necessities of the worker. The wages must not be set so low that the owner accumulates too much wealth (hashr: 7). Besides wages the owner should provide: education and training, social services such as health, and freedom to practice deen.

 

Importance of organization: Labor and professional unions are very important forums in a modern society. We can not ignore them. They serve as a forum for communicating new ideas and concepts. They are also a very important center of power in society. Workers join trade unions for the following objectives: (1) collective bargaining for higher wages and benefits (2) job security (3) social reasons: being wih others (4) recognition (5) compelled by peers. Each trade should have its own union. Union membership could be: certain grades/categories of workers in that trade, all workers in that trade including management / supervisory categories, workers and owners. A trade union could be organized on a local, regional, national or even ummatic level. The supra-national bodies should concern themselves with issues of universal ummatic importance. The national union should have professional expertise to be able t help local unions. It must have on its staff lawyers, economists, researchers, PR specialists etc. It should have a national convention, a national executive committee, and executive officers. It should have specialized departments and staff. The local union need not have full-time staff. Its relationship to the national union could be as a branch or it could be in federation of confederation type of association. Trade unions needed are: medical, teachers, farmers, industrialists, shop-keepers (bazaar), accountants, transportation, factory...Trade unions of owners or managers could also play a role. It is also conceivable to have unions that unite both workers and employers. The Union should aim at educating its members to raise their spiritual and intellectual level. It should also be interested in their technical skills.

 

Vision and mission of unions: The concept of a trade or professional union should be expanded from being a body that fights for certain limited rights of its members in a work-place, to being a social institution like the school, the Islamic center, the university, and the political party. It should address and try to resolve problems of the whole community and not just those of a certain sector. The union should concern itself with larger issues of controlling inflation, stabilizing prices, expansion of the economy to provide full employment. The union should also take positions on issues of local and global economy. Protectionism protects local industry and jobs but makes the world economy less efficient. Many of today's trade or professional movements retain the European concept of continuous social struggle and conflict between interest groups: employers vs workers, professionals vs clients, government vs unions etc. This contradicts the Islamic model of social development which requires consensus-building at all stages within the context of Islamic teachings. Islam equally rejects the Marxist doctrine of class struggle. The idea of labor being a permanent class of society in continuous struggle with owners should be replaced by a system whereby workers are encouraged to avoid hyperconsumerism so that they may save enough money and buy property and shares and thus gradually join the owners' class. If working class is thus temporary why the social struggle? The union should promote cooperation between owners and workers in al birr and taqwah instead of competition and struggle. Cases of a union that has both owners and workers as members should be envisaged. In such a case the two sides work together to promote their trade. It is better to be an entrepreneur, however small, than to labor for someone else. Laboring must be temporary until you collect enough starting capital and have learned the trade

 

Rights of the worker: Social justice is guaranteed by freedom, equality, and takaful al ijtimai. The worker must have freedom of religion, expression, seeking knowledge, and working in what he wants. Equality is that in human rights. Equality does not mean similarity. Economic inequalities are natural (nahl:71). Some people are endowed with more intelligence or better health and will perform and earn better than others. The state has certain obligations towards workers (1) provide them with jobs (2) make sure they work when a job is available (3). Children and women are not obliged to work. Workers should not be treated as slaves. The relationship must be based on a mutually agreed contract

 

Trade unions and ethics:

 

Trade unions and politics...

 

Trade unions and societal morals....

 

Trade unions and the interests of the national economy.

 

Government role: The government role in the labor movement should be limited and confined to the following: registration and recognition of unions, ensure that elections of officials are legal; and follow set procedures, ensure that the running of the internal affairs of the union follows the procedures, prevent unfair practices by the unions of the management, mediation in case of disputes

 

Unfair practices by management: Management can practice the following unfair practices: hinder worker self-organization, punish/persecute unionized workers, persecute employees who file complaints, refuse to bargain with union representatives

 

Unfair practices by unions: Unfair practices by unions include: forcing workers to join unions, discriminate against workers who are not in the union, overcharging union fees, manipulation of employers, refusing to bargain, illegal strikes.

 

Negotiations/bargaining: Collective bargaining requires two steps: negotiation and administration. Collective negotiation can be of the following types: (1) containment / aggression: management tries to control union while union tries to usurp management rights (2) competition: each side is after maximum gain for its interests (3) tolerance and compromise (4) cooperation with the aim of saving the industry from collapse. A bargaining zone are those limits that both management and union find acceptable. There should be agreement on this before negotiations start. Approaches to solving an impasse: (1) pressure tactic: strike (employees stop work) lock-out (employer withholds work) (2) conciliation, trying to bring the 2 parties together again for negotiation by a neutral third party (3) mediation, bring 2 parties together with solution suggested by neutral third party. The two parties agree in advance to accept the mediation

 

Contract: The main elements of a contract are: recognition of the union, recognition of the rights of management, wages - benefits - working conditions, employee security, administration / implementation. Agreement reached by union representatives and management may require ratification by polling the rank and file. A grievance procedure should be set to enable continuing administration of the contract. It sets out how problems that arise can be resolved. The new trend is to have worker representatives sit on company boards and to give employees stock in the company. In times of economic crisis the workers may choose to give up part of their benefits so that the factory does not close. Conditions of work by mutual agreement....Muslims bound by their agreements...Workers must get their full wages and quickly...What is the basis for employee compensation? value of goods produced or covering the basic necessities? What is the fair distribution of income from production between the owner and the worker? Can the doctrine of human equality be invoked in deciding the distribution of income between the owner and the worker?. Since owners have more political power, how can we ensure that they treat the workers fairly? There is a relationship between unemployment, economic efficiency, and compensation. Compensation based on type of work: blue collar and white collar. Who is more productive? The Islamic view bases compensation on both quantity and quality. Thus all workers can not get the same compensation.

 

Economic system and labor issues: Islam allows private property but there are controls on its use. Hoarding, waste, bribery, monopoly, misuse, and riba are forbidden. Payment of zakat is enjoined. The type of economy determines the fate of workers. In a colonial economy cheap raw materials are exported and expensive finished goods are imported. The worker's income is generally small. Unions should be partners in the effort to transfer technology. Unions should not push owners and governments into the 'debt trap' of the third world. Many ideas of labor are undergoing fundamental changes. Brain power is replacing muscle power. Work units are getting smaller. Workers are more educated and work increasingly independent of direct supervision. It is now becoming an economy of speed and not of scale.

 

4.0 SOCIAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS

Concept of charity: Concept of charity is Islam is very wide. Every good act is charity (sadaqa).

 

Concept of takaful: The concept of takaful al ijtimae (mutual help in society). Charity is a means of mutual support in society.

 

Definition of poverty: Poverty can be defined in absolute and relative terms. Absolute insufficiency in food, clothing, shelter etc. Inequality (relative deprivation) can be perceived as poverty. The poverty level varies from country to country. Poverty may be invisible. There is no agreement that a culture of poverty exists and that poverty if from generation to generation

 

Causes of poverty: Two approaches: case and area. An individual may be poor. The whole region may be economically deprived. Poverty in an individual may be due to: lack of saleable skills, lack of knowledge, lack of opportunities, misfortunes due to failed economy or discrimination. The deserving poor can not in any way help themselves by working: blind, aged, mentally and physically handicapped.

 

Rational social welfare system: A system that is rational and efficient can be set up to help the disadvantaged. Helping the poor and near-poor to stand on their feet and function without making them dependent for ever. Identify and solve specific problems. Do not throw money at problems. Must identify and distinguish intended and unintended consequences of the social welfare system. Measure cost-benefit

 

Components of the social welfare policy: Organization. Administration: small is beautiful; little bureaucracy. Service delivery. Evaluation of short and long-term impact

 

Socializing children to be charitable: Teach saving, economizing, and investment. Economy in expense to leave something for helping others

 

Beneficiaries of charity: Beneficiaries of charity are: orphans, widows, the poor.

 

Charity should be temporary: Charity should always be a temporary measure. Societies that allow conditions of poverty to continue and relieve their consciences by offering charity are only being superficially charitable. The aim of charity should be to help people over a difficult time while arrangements are being made to liberate them from handicapping conditions so that they can help themselves

 

Protecting the dignity of those helped: Social welfare organizations should train their workers to have sensitivity. They should respect those being helped. Their orientation should be to their clients. They must have a spirit of service. They must be responsive. Too much bureaucracy should be avoided. Procedures should be simple, efficient, and quick.

 

Social network to guarantee basic necessities: The social safety net should in the first place be the extended family. Government and community organizations should intervene in societies where the extended family has been destroyed or it can not play its designated role

 

Type of social work: Social welfare can be undertaken by governmental agencies, non-governmental private agencies, families or individuals. Non-governmental social welfare institutions: waqf, nudhuur, sadqat, tatawu. Specialized social welfare agencies: orphans, the lost, the blind, the handicapped,  the elderly and the poor

 

Objectives of social work: Alleviate immediate suffering. Help people stand on their feet and become self-supporting. Strengthen social fabric through mutual support. Dawa of non-muslims (muallafat qulubuhum). Protect muslims from being lost through need

 

Types of programs: Immediate assistance: emergency/disaster. Long-term assistance: Prevention of poverty: indoor and outdoor. Rehabilitation

 

Scope of social welfare services: Income support. Nutrition. Health. Education. Shelter. Family support. Family support: marriage, child rearing, counselling. Voluntary work to assist the elderly, the handicapped, mentally ill. Lobbying for the disadvantaged

 

Social welfare institutions: Hospitals and clinics. Schools. Orphanages. Homes for the elderly and the handicapped

 

Resources: Fund-raising necessary. Giving together with getting. Government. Investments. Endowments. Voluntary labor

 

Role of government: Social welfare work should be in the hands of private societal organizations. Role of government must be limited to regulation and monitoring to prevent abuses. If the government wants to participate, it should give funds to private organizations to carry out the work

 

Abuse of the charity system: Loafers. Lazy. Corrupt

 

Eradication of poverty: Alleviative strategy: assistance. Curative strategy: job creation, job training/apprenticeship, education, job search/match, minimum wage

 

Prevention of poverty: Compulsory saving. Strengthen the family. Crisis intervention. Ensure employment. Job training. Work ethic

 

Helping the family: Preserve family unity; discourage break-up of family. Adults who are poor because of immorality should not be helped until they they repent; their children or other dependents should not be deprived of help. If  possible children should be removed from immoral families. Absent fathers should be forced to pay but their rights must be guaranteed

 

Health: Health status determined by lifestyle and environment more than medical care. The poor have no preventive care

 

The mentally sick: Substance abuse, depression, psychoses. Try to de-institutionalize and treat in the community. In-patient care of limited duration. Out-patient care is possible because of psychotropics. Crisis intervention. Counselling. Drug abuse can be controlled: stop supply, stop demand, remove social causes

 

Child welfare: Child abuse/exploitation. Delinquency. Try to solve family problems rather than remove the children

 

The elderly: Extended family. Preserve independence and dignity. Prevent physical and psychological abuse

 

Hunger: Hunger can be absolute or under-nutrition. Malnutrition is impairment or risk of impairment to mental of physical health resulting from failure to meet the total nutritional requirments of an individual. Relief of hunger may be by giving cooked/uncooked food or giving money. The problem is that they may use the money to buy superflous things. Special nutritional programs: schools meals (lunch and breakfast), pregnant women and infants, the elderly (meals on wheels)

 

Evaluation: Did the program cover the goals? Coverage of the target group. Spill-over to non-target group. Methods: public hearings, site visits, program status, compare to professional standards, experimental, quasi-experimental, time series

 

5.0 DISASTER RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS

Overview: Both man-made and natural disasters that afflict communities and countries are discussed. We will not discuss crises that afflict individuals.

 

What is a crisis/disaster?: A crisis is a potentially dangerous situation if not managed well. It may also be an opportunity for learning and growth. A crisis situation is said to exist when the magnitude of the problem or its speed of evolution and progression overwhelm the usual coping mechanisms. A disaster has bad or harmful effects. It is rapid in onset and progress. Most disasters are unforeseen and are therefore unpreventable. Only Allah knows the future for certain. However leaders and organizations with strategic thinking and planning skills could work out possible crisis scenarios and have some basic infrastructure available to cope immediately should the crisis strike. You have to distinguish true emergencies that are natural disasters beyond our control from crises due to poor planning. This chapter deals with the former. In a crisis situation you do all what is humanly possible and then leave it to the Lord. Never forget the power of prayer. Ability to deal successfully with a crisis is an indicator of basic efficiency and sound management. Strong organizations with robust management teams are resilient. They adapt to face crises, overcome them, and even profit from them emerging stronger than before. Weak organizations are ill-equipped to weather the storms of a crisis and usually succumb and fail.

 

Man-made disasters: There are disasters in which man is involved directly in their causation. War/violence. Economic disruption. Political instability. Social crisis. Group hysteria

 

Non man-made disasters: There are disasters that happen without any direct involvement of humans.

Epidemic disease. Drought/crop failure/famine. Hurricane/typhoons. Flooding. Earthquake

 

Causes of disasters: Only Allah knows the ultimate causes of disasters; humans have limited knowledge of the causal pathway. You may know that a disaster was due to a geological fault that caused an earthquake. You however can not know much beyond that. Crises or disasters can be man-made such as wars or not such as drought, famine, epidemics. Some of what goes as crisis may be punishment from Allah for some human transgression. Some may be a blessing in disguise. Since these matters are beyond human knowledge we will confine ourselves to managing the crisis and its consequences and not inquiring into the unknown causes.

 

Dimensions of a disaster: managing a disaster requires a full assessment of its human, geographical, social/psychological, financial/resources, and  technological dimensions

           

Importance of prevention: Infection. Fire. Epidemic disease.

 

Learning from a disaster

 

Strategic planning/scenarios

 

Characteristics of a disaster: A crisis situation has the following characteristics: (1) immediate danger to life (2) unstable and unpredictable situation (3) events happening quickly (4) emotions high (5) no routine or standard responses

 

Crisis management: The aim of crisis management is to reverse the situation back to normal or limit the damage done. Crisis management is a type of problem-solving. It however requires speed in information gathering, deciding, and implementing. Because of the rapid change in status quo, decisions must be updated continuously. Dealing with a disaster should be systematic: assess the situation, assess potential development, assess side effects, determine who can be involved, stop actions that make the situation worse, decide the strategy and alternative strategies, review and assess, do not panic or allow others to panic. The following processes should go on continuously during disaster management:  assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluation. Tracking progress of a crisis. Prioritizing under pressure of time. Deciding under pressure of time: decisions are made on less that full information more often than in normal situations. Intuition based on previous experience plays a more prominent role. Implementing under pressure of time. Routines are very good for dealing with crises. In a crisis situation some one must be in control. There must be a recognized leader. Crises should be looked at a trial of our patience and trust in Allah. They are also a trial of our leadership and managerial skills. Speed of response is very important in a rapidly developing crisis situation. Quick intervention at the right time can limit the damage. The leadership must maintain their calm in a crisis and project optimism. A few crises can become chronic problems if the causative agent continues operating unchecked or if the primary cause leads to secondary crises that become chronic and are not checked. Most crises are self-limiting and are time-limited. Speed of response is very important to limit the damage. Late intervention serves no purpose because the damage is already done and the crisis may be over. In an emergency you may not have the luxury of using the ideal approach. Speed is important and we may have to use less that ideal quick and dirty solutions. As far as possible you must avoid creating future problems in our haste to resolve a current crisis. Charismatic leaders usually emerge at times of crisis. They are usually very effective in crisis management. Each disaster is unique. There are no fixed rules that can cover management of all disasters. There are however some general principles.

 

Time dimension: Many crises may have to be waited out. Time is the ultimate solution. Epidemics of infectious diseases are self-limiting in time if spread of the contagion can be controlled. Preventing movement into and out of the stricken region is a first preliminary measure. Spread of the infection to the healthy can be prevented by appropriate measures of vaccination and other precautions against infection.

 

Risk: Interventions in a crisis situation are always associated with some risk. The intervention may inadvertently cause more damage. It may not achieve its goal or it may close off other more viable options. Having a fall-back plan minimizes the risk

 

Prevention: Precautions against fire must be rigorous. Leaving sources of fire near combustible elements is a recipe for disaster. Food should be covered and stored in such a way that it is not exposed to infection. Rain is associated with thunder-storms, hurricanes etc. Strong shelter is needed. Prevention/precautions must always be in place. Finally do not forget prayer.

 

6.0 MOSQUE

Scope of mosque activity: The mosque is the natural center of gravity for a Muslim community however small that community may be. All community activities should take place inside or around the mosque. The concept that a mosque should function or be alive during the prescribed prayers only in not acceptable and if put in practice will lead very quickly to weakening the community.

 

Location: The lay-out of an ideal Muslim community and the building of homes and other community facilities should be based on the concept that the Islamic center is the hub. Each community should build in concentric circles around its Center such that every person will be able to walk from his home to the mosque when he hears the adhan and be able to arrive before Iqama. This implies among other things that Muslims can not live in big anonymous urban communities. They should live in small communities that have internal cohesion among themselves and whose members can meet daily at the center. It is better to have several small self-contained communities.

 

Controversial matters: In order to protect the mosque from conflicts due to divisive partisan issues, an attempt should be made either to discuss and act only on those issues that are accepted by all or to develop a high degree of tolerance for plurality of opinions and practices.

 

Training/Tarbiyyah: The mosque should act as a forum for leadership training. It must provide a lot of challenges in the form of various committees each to undertake a specific function and task.

 

Mosques are houses of Allah: Mosque do not belong to any individual or group. They are to be used by all people. For administrative efficiency, there should be a body that legally owns the mosque facilities and is responsible for its upkeep. They should however be aware of the true character of a mosque as a house of Allah with free access to all Muslims of good standing

 

Mosques are built on taqwa: The sole purpose of mosques is worship of Allah and those activities that support the basic worship function

 

Mosques should not be built on basis of fitna: Any mosque built on the basis of nationalistic, clan, tribal, political or any other non-Islamic basis is not acceptable. It is however allowable to have special mosques that serve particular linguistic groups

 

Only believers build mosques: A non-believer can not build a mosque because he basically can not understand the purpose of mosques

 

Attending mosques: Regular attendance at mosques is a sign of spiritual health. It is also necessary for community building

 

Good dress for mosques: Good physical appearance, cleanliness of body and garments are required for mosque attendance in order to show respect for the mosque and those who frequent it

 

Nobody should be forbidden from mosque: All genuine worshippers should have access to mosques as long as they do not undertake activities that are detrimental to the basic purposes of the mosque

 

Building of mosques: no excessive decoration; Simplicity is needed.

 

Activities in mosque: Prayer, reading Qur'an, education, medical care, social welfare, political activity, eating,

 

Activities forbidden in mosque: Violence, commerce, noise,

 

Administration of mosque: The imaam and muaddhin are the main officials of a mosque. They may have other officials to help them

 

 

6.0 COMMUNITY CENTER

Facilities of an islamic center

        Prayer hall

        School

        Clinic

        Social welfare services

        Sports and gymnastics

 

Functions of a center

 

Organizational structure of a center

 

Legal ownership and control of a center

        The local community should own and look after its center

        Government should make sure that laws are followed

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. June 2000