Renaissance, Reform and the Mosques
When MPACUK call for Mosque reform, they are not calling for Islamic reform, however, it is often taken to mean that we are calling for a reform of the religion and is therefore met with confrontation. When MAPCUK call for Mosque reform, we mean that we just want Mosques to be the way they were always intended to be.
We understand that Mosques are first and foremost a dedicated place of worship for Muslims, our Mosques have got this bit right for men, and some have also come as far to provide places of worship for women too.
Mosques at the time of our Prophet (pbuh) and the Mosques of the golden age were the epicentres of the community. They were centres of knowledge, places of enlightenment and sanctuary. These centres catalysed the advancement of the Muslim world and united the Muslims.
For example, Friday prayers were not held in madrassas or in other Mosques in Damascus, but the Friday prayers were only held in the Umayyad Mosque. This was true until the second half of the eighth century. Jumma prayer at the one Mosque only, ensured that the entire city prayed in congregation at least on Fridays.
Mosques formed the hub of the community and provided centres for learning at all levels; Islam encouraged enquiry, reflection and discovery. Keepers of the Mosques, scholars and teachers were versed in Arabic, Latin, Greek and Farsi. These multi lingual abilities meant that they were able to translate text and use the wisdom that came before them. It was the discovery of these texts after the fall of Andalusia that sparked the renaissance of Europe.
We are not asking for anything new when we call for reform. Reflecting on the golden age, do you not wonder what our generation will be known as? What will we provide the generations after our time with? It is sad that we may fall in to an age of stagnation.