Why is it necessary to frequent the Mosque?
1.The Mosque is the best place to achieve your primary purpose in life; which is Nearness of God. In fact, the Mosque is masjid in Arabic, which means the place of sujud [prostration]; Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: “The closest that a servant is to his Lord is when he is in prostration.” (Muslim)
2. Frequenting the Mosque makes you one of the seven special types of people under God’s Shade; Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: “There are seven whom God will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of God; a man whose heart is attached to the Mosques; two men who love each other for God’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position, but he says: ‘I fear God’, a man who gives in charity and hides it such that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given; and a man who remembered God in private and his eyes shed tears.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
3. Establishing your ritual prayer in congregation in the Mosque elevates your status with your Lord and brings you a lot more reward than doing it by yourself at home. Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: “A man’s Salat in congregation is twenty-five times more rewarding than his Salat at home or in his shop, and that is because when he performs his Wudu’ properly and proceeds towards the Mosque with the purpose of performing Salat in congregation, he does not take a step without being raised a degree (in rank) for it and having a sin remitted for it, till he enters the Mosque. When he is performing Salat, the angels continue to invoke Blessings of God on him as long as he is in his place of worship in a state of Wudu’. They say: `O God! Have mercy on him! O God! Forgive him.’ He is deemed to be engaged in Salat as long as he waits for it.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
4. Frequenting the Mosque is necessary to show your kids a role model and be an inspiration to them and others. Also, taking them to the Mosque very early in their age will help them become attached to the House of God and hence become always close to God.
5. Last but not least, by all of us frequenting and serving the Mosque together, we will further strengthen our unity and spirituality, and our impact on society as American Muslims. It is a great blessing to be in a country where freedom of worship is guaranteed by our constitution. We need to cherish such freedom and take full advantage of it in a way that revives the role of the Mosque during the time of Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace. Such role is that the Mosque is the central place for real change in people and society. Other Muslims don’t have such freedom even in Muslim-majority countries.
How to face the challenges preventing you from frequenting the Mosque in the U.S?
1- I don’t have time
If you truly believe it is necessary to frequent the Mosque, then plan time for it like you plan time for every other thing during your day and night. Plan for at least one visit every day preferably at the Fajr Prayer. With such sincere effort and good planning, God, the Almighty, will surely make such time for you and bless everything else you do, day and night, and all your life.
2- The Mosque is too far
If you truly believe it is necessary to frequent the Mosque, then plan to live closer to the Mosque. If you can’t, then the good news is that the farther the Mosque the higher the reward in frequenting it.
3- I do want to go but I feel lazy, helpless, and powerless
Make a lot of supplication to God, constantly asking Him for help. Also, be in the company of the righteous who frequent the Mosque so that they can help you do so too.
The Mosque is the house of God
Finally, and most importantly, the Mosque is the house of God, Most High. No host can ever be Most Generous as God, Most High. By paying a visit to Him every day in His house, He will surely welcome you, support you, help you, bless you, guide you, have mercy on you, forgive you, love you and so empower you and all of us to (1) achieve our primary purpose in life: Nearness and Love of God and (2) fulfill our mission as American Muslims in this great land, which is to make Islam well known and relevant to Americans by both our words and deeds.