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“Mosque Friendliness” by Imam Faizul Khan

“Mosque Friendliness” by Imam Faizul Khan

(This a brochure from the Islamic Society of the Washington Area (ISWA) which explains their policy of being a welcoming mosque)

The Messenger of Allah (s) guides us saying, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be hospitable with his or her guests.”

When “Welcome” Feels Like a Smile

Newcomers who visit our mosques are like guests in our homes.

The event of guests in our homes is special to us and becomes a special time for our guests.

Guests in our mosques, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims, when treated as family guests, are helped to feel comfortable in new surroundings amongst people who may look different, dress differently, worship differently and whose culture or language may be different; when we are hospitable and accommodate their needs including programs and literature in their language, whenever possible.

Also the maintenance of order and good conduct in our mosques shows respect for our religion and encourages others to do so.

This brochure is a collection of “Mosque Friendly” ideas that may be sued or scaled to fit your mosque community.

Your “Welcome Team”

A mosque welcome team is a group of caring, sincere, and responsible young adults, seniors, male and female individuals, who are given authority by the mosque administration to be responsible for mosque guests, order and good conduct of all those who attend the mosques, including guests and regular members.

It is not enough for this team to simply smile when a newcomer arrives. More, this team must smile, reflect the warmth of a smile and be individuals…

  • Who insure hospitable treatment of guests, with a team leader who is responsible to regulate, manage and train team members.
  • Who accepts responsibility to main order, good conduct and who will in fact nicely approach those who challenge this requirement in our mosques and prevent misbehavior in any form by children or adults.
  • Whose demeanor sets the tone for the kind of behavior expected in the mosque.
  • Capable of and must take charge to insure that newcomers feel comfortable.
  • Individuals who have the stamina to maintain alertness and respond to the needs of guests during their visit.
  • Who have a sufficient number of team members who may be assigned to individual guests or otherwise to areas where guests can see them.

HOW?

As with anything new, the Mosque community should be introduced to the initiative by an announcement which explains its intent and purpose along with an announcement of the starting date.

  • Tags. Team members should wear name tags as “Mosque Host” that are easily visible to identify their service to guests.
  • Position. Team members should be strategically placed at entrances of the building and in prayer areas throughout programs.
  • Initial Contact. Of course, guests should be welcomed with a salaam and smile and also directed to the prayer areas, or program and instructed on how to find rest rooms if needed. If possible a gift, if merely a schedule of the program, warms the heart.
  • Guest Registry. To keep in touch with guests, upon initial contact, welcome team members may direct guests to a sign-in registry, conspicuously placed at entrances, requesting guests email or snail mail address.
  • Mom’s of Dad’s with Children. A friendly and warm welcome to Mom/Dad and their children will help them feel comfortable in accepting your help if needed. When young children with “5 minute” attention spans get tired, team members should approach Mom/Dad and ask if help is needed. Planning for children’s programs that run simultaneously with the adult lecture is an excellent experience for children. Mom’s/Dad’s can be invited to tag-along to supervise their children if necessary.
  • Meals. An announcement inviting guest to be first into a serving line is more considerate; or guests should be given their meal first.

 

“Our great Prophet (s) teaches us to be generous and how to entertain guests. He wants a Muslim to show gratitude and be kind and happy when receiving guests. One should respect and welcome his guests, in particular when they are strangers, or have no family or friends in that country.

It may even happen that a guest comes while relatives or friends are being entertained, or other travelers are staying and there is lack of space; or you are unprepared and have few provisions or are even short of money. In any eventuality, guests who come to your home should be made welcome, shown respect and provided with whatever food and drink available. One should sit with them in order to make them feel comfortable and happy, and take care to pay great attention to them.

Surely our glorious Prophet (s) guides us towards respecting guests and being generous towards them. In this respect, he says, ‘Indeed whoever believes that Allah is All-Generous, who provides for His creation and rewards those who are hospitable towards their guests, should look after his guest.’

Surely, Allah will increase our provision if we welcome our guests and give them food and drink, and will reward us on the Resurrection Day.

Allah is All-Generous, who loves the generous ones and dislikes those who are mean.”

Shaykh Abbas Qummi, Safinat al-Bihar, Bab Dhaif, Sunan ibn Maja, vol. 2, Haq al-Jiwar (The Rights of Neighbours), Ikram al-Dhaif (Respecting the Guest)

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