A message to all the board members and leaders of our currently crumbling institutions:
1. Stop asking for money weekly to pay the monthly electric bill (implying a shut down) and start investing in illuminating the spiritual lives of your congregants.
2. Stop begging for you building expansion and rebuild the (religiously) broken homes of your community members first.
3. Stop spending lavishly on your parties and picnics and start spending on stabilizing those who have given up hope on Allah due to the negligence of assistance from your end.
4. Stop telling the community all about your wishes and start listening to their wants for a change.
5. Seniority in pioneering the center doesn’t qualify one as a permanent shareholder or the ultimate decision maker. Don’t take to your grave more than you can handle.
6. The house belongs to him, not you.
7. Stop pandering to others. Pursue the pleasure of Allah.
8. You have a title only because you’ll be held accountable (in both world’s) so don’t forget.
9. Every human is Allah’s guest, not yours. So stop picking and choosing who enter those doors or who gets better treatment.
10. Your leader should be one who can lead the community with love, not instill fear in them. Make sure you have a captain navigating the ship and not a sailor, or else the vessel will sink with you onboard.
11. Treat the Imam with the highest regard in respect of what they bring to you, not for who they are. Hold them to account in the same standard. For all are human and all are sucestable to evil.
12. Your Imam has signed his life to his Lord even if he doesn’t know it. And last I checked, God was one, not two.
13. The only expectation you should have from the Imam is that he continues to nurture the lives of each family member. He isn’t a celebrity televangelist and nor should he be compared to one.
14. Reminding them that “they’re doing it for Allah” doesn’t qualify their work to be a free service.
15. If you have expectations, allow them to acquire the necessary qualifications.
16. Start teaching your community how to live a wholesome life and stop feeding them sound bites.
17. The criteria for management isn’t money, power, or social status. It is piety. Don’t make the Masjids into your personal gym (where you flex your muscles) because Allah smells the stench masked under that deodorant.
18. After every “Please (XYZ)” make sure you follow it up with a “Thank you.”
19. The Masajid are spiritual hospitals. Everyone is welcome to consult with their Lord and gain treatment for no one here needs insurance.
20. Sisters, children, or brothers, all are Muslims and all constitute one community. This isn’t an all men’s hangout joint.
I grew up in a community where the board members are the same today as when I was a child. We need to collectively fix the culture in these places of religion for they won’t fix themselves. If we fail to, we will all lose.
The solutions of all our problems today can be found in the Masjid of the Prophet (AS) during his lifetime.
Everyone needs to take responsibility and everyone needs to work collaboratively for the common good.
By Azhar Subedar