When attending Jalsa Salana UK, most people make a point to visit Baitul Futuh, the UK’s largest Mosques, and Fazl Mosque, London’s oldest Mosque. Both mosques are beautiful in their own way. However, for the three days of the Jalsa, the Jalsa Gah (main Jalsa marquees) together become Western Europe’s largest Mosque! We spoke to Salaam Bhatti to find out some of his favourite reasons for visiting mosques:
- It’s a networking powerhouse
- In your regular daily life, you’re brushing shoulders with people of your level. It’s the same people, day in and day out. In a mosque, you’re brushing shoulders with people from all walks of life in your haste to make it to the front row. You get to be with people from different ethnicities, occupations, schools, jobs, social classes and so much more. Besides obvious reasons, this is important because we get to learn from one another.
- People your age
- Coming to the mosque becomes way more attractive when there’s people your age there. You grow up together and develop from childhood into adulthood around the masjid together, and eventually end up giving back to the mosque and community together. With national events, you get to meet others of your age group. And then, when you ultimately end up moving to a new city, there’s likely some Ahmadis there that you know. This helps create a home away from home feeling, all because you attended mosque. What a great investment into your own future!
- There might be food
- You can’t say “meeting” without “eating” and odds are that if an event is happening at the mosque, there will be food in the Mosque’s communal hall. (Shout out to the mosque teams that make food for meetings. They show up early, make some amazing food, and usually stay late for cleanup.)
- You become better.
- In your diverse experiences (trust me, these experiences are more diverse than your other peers at school and work), you likely get involved in a lot of humanitarian causes, like setting up blood drives, volunteering at food banks, helping the poor, or cleaning up your community. You learn about yourself, learn different skills, you get to become more compassionate, and develop bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood that are built to last.
- A community that prays together stays together.
- The best part about mosques is coming together with all the people and events from above and praying together. Praying is such a sensitive act. We’re opening ourselves up, sometimes surrounded by strangers, to our God. And so, this exposure also creates a circle of trust with those around you. As a result, we become closer with those who we pray with while we’re trying to become closer to Him who we pray too. Thus, we go from being strangers to being brothers and sisters in the same quest. That’s the beauty of the ummah. That’s the beauty of the mosque.
Besides these reasons, what’s your favourite reason for going to your local mosque?
By Salaam Bhatti, USA