It has become common practice for masjids to become extravagant and opulent in its building and structure. Large amounts of money are being collected to firstly build the masjid and then to maintain it. With rising costs and financial strain being continually exerted on the community, masjids are facing shortfalls every month.
Today the domes are costing close to R100 000 and yet this is not from the sunnah. The carpets need to be of the most expensive imported type while our sahaba prayed on the bare desert sand in the hot desert heat. The mihrab and walls are decorated with the most expensive finishings and frames.
Abu Dawood (448) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have not been commanded to build lofty mosques.” Ibn ‘Abbaas said: ‘You are going to adorn (mosques) as the Jews and Christians adorn (their places of worship’)
Building expensive masjids is not part of the sunnah. There are many other ways we can contribute to the Islamic causes like dawah and charity in other areas and parts of the world where they don’t even have running water.
If masjids don’t have air conditioning and under-floor heating, it will not deter from the quality and sincerity of your ibadat. Electricity costs are escalating and many masjids are struggling to pay and meet other expenses like salaries as a result of ‘luxury’ items given preference over the muadhins salary.
For starters many wudhu taps need to be permanently shut to just allow 3 or 4 taps for emergency purposes. Washing the towels take a lot of effort and energy which we don’t even consider when we throw it into the basket.
Consider some of the masjids in the townships. How basic it is yet they are overcrowded and serve the same purpose.
Let’s spend less money concerned about the aesthetics and more time in the masjid.
Attorney Mohammed Coovadia