The weather was as sunny as we wished for. Alhamdulillah, perhaps this was the best for us. We took the tram to the other side of the river. I switched on the GPS (global positioning system) on my phone and started looking for our exact destination in the Google map; the Budapest Islamic Centre. We walked along the same sidewalk twice, checking the map constantly but to no avail, the Islamic Centre was nowhere to be seen. Then my friend decided to ask a guy who was strolling towards our direction. The guy gestured us to follow him; apparently he too was a Muslim and was on his way to pray since Zuhr prayer has just commenced.
“How do you know he was a Muslim?”
“Because he did not look local and besides, he looked rather surprise to see us.”
“Oh okay.” I could not differentiate between local and non-local. I mean, they were human (okay ,lame. I don’t yet have the ability to judge mankind from appearance alone)
It was located at the back side of the building; I wondered why it did not have a front opening so that other people who were not used to this place could locate it as easily.
We entered the building and went upstairs to the ladies prayer room. A plate of unfinished meal covered with tissue was the first thing that I noticed on the floor. The whole area was covered with the not-so-thick-carpet but was enough to provide insulation to our feet from the cold floor. Clothes; babies’ and adults’ were seen hanging on the clothesline inside the prayer room! The place somehow felt homey but we were uncomfortable.
‘This place might be poorly funded.’ I thought to myself.
It was nothing like the humongous mosque you see in Malaysia but you might want to compare it with the smaller musalla in small village in Malaysia. They looked almost the same except that in Malaysia we did not let people make the musalla their homes and we did not let people eat inside it let alone to hang the clothes.
And the tiny part of my brain told me, ‘I did not expect to see the main Islamic Centre in Budapest to be this way. I mean it was at the centre of the city’.
I was not sure what to expect myself.
****Perhaps you guys want to hear the ironic part of me.
In the tram:
“There were not many Muslims here. Perhaps the more developed the country is, you will see more Muslims.” I was not sure how did we come to this conclusion.
More developed nation means there are more critical people who thought more about their purpose of life, perhaps? Enlighten me as you may do so, I’m still trying to figure it out.
That night, it occurred to me. It was not the problem of whether the country was developed or not to see its citizens seeking the foundation of faith, but it was how the followers of the faith itself behave or act. It started with oneself. When I saw the condition of the Islamic Centre, I told myself I should infaq some money that I had in my pocket. But I assume, my intention was not strong/sincere enough. I forgot about it shortly after that and returned to the hostel as a regretful being.
"Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned." [2:245]
My point is, if you wish to see your beloved deen to flourish with your part contributing to it (as this deen does not really need you, sounds cliché but true), then do not just think but ACT! Do not just condemn, but work for solutions. The problem with us now is that we think too much about the problems instead of searching or creating the solutions. And I urge you who spend your time reading this and myself who is always as forgetful, to make as much charity as a way of jihad.
Narrated by Abu Hurairah r.a : A man asked the Prophet (saws), "O Allah's Messenger (saws)! What kind of charity is the best?" He (saw) replied. "To give in charity when you are healthy and greedy hoping to be wealthy and afraid of becoming poor. Don't delay giving in charity till the time when you are on the death bed when you say, 'Give so much to so-and-so and so much to so-and so,' as at that time the property is not yours but it belongs to so-and-so (i.e. your inheritors)."
[Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.492]
"Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing." [2:268]
P/s: Hungary is actually a developed nation.
Article contributed by: Pen Hitam