Markazul-Uloom Al-Islamiyya (MUA) was founded in 1991 and converted into a purpose-built mosque in 2010. It currently accommodates more than 1000 worshippers, a number of whom attend from surrounding areas.
We believe that the fundamental purpose of MUA is to express the sentiment of the final testament to mankind where the fruits of tawhid – (Abrahamic) Monotheism, birr – righteousness, taqwa – God consciousness, ihsan – striving for perfection and makarim’l akhlaq – ethics of the highest order are evident for all to see.
As Muslims we strive to be part of a greater cause, and in aspiring to the perfect example of the Prophet we recognise the need for a centre from where righteousness, learning and activism emanate, as it did from the Prophetic Mosque.
This centre seeks to serve as a hub in Rotherham for the wider Muslim community, built on cogent Islamic practice that meets the contemporary intellectual, spiritual and social needs of British Muslims and wider society.
Rather than construct another prayer facility, the centre should provide Muslims with many of the institutional needs that have been neglected. This goes beyond pastoral community support to real scholastic advice and direction, deep conservative spiritual cultivation, educational support (both religious and secular), outreach work, spreading the Abrahamic message to wider society and educating the British public on Islamic beliefs and ethics.
The Muslim community has long required a space in which it can be comfortable, both religiously and socially – a hub where believers can actively participate in their own development and encourage the growth of others. Increasing levels of religiosity have rather unfortunately not seen the needed increase in resources to cater for it, and so the British Muslim community has been unable to conceptualise a cogent expression of faith in modern society and frame its own unique identity.
The community of believers should seek to positively impact wider society through their social and religious activism, engendering civility, courteousness, sagacity, fairness, sincerity, trustworthiness, and principled resolve. Our work with western Islamic scholars, thinkers and educators will help to produce a constructive way forward that cogently conceptualises all of the good that Allah calls us to.
Muslims face a number of modern challenges, and these are faced ever more so by those of post-immigration generations and converts. In the midst of this, those politicking for position or administrative power attempting to continue control wielded by family dynasties have neglected the actual religious needs of believers and pressing societal concerns.
It is widely held that Muslims in Britain lack definitive focus and accurate self-perception. Although many self-identify as Muslims the definition of the term ‘Muslim’ and its implications remain unclear. For many, being a Muslim does not involve the engendering of a worldview within a context but serves merely as an inconsequential aspect of their ethnic make up. Thus we see that Islam and the Islamic cause have suffered. Instead of true submission becoming a burgeoning phenomenon in the UK as it has been upon interaction with various world cultures, Muslims in Britain are confused and conflicted between old ethnic loyalties, contemporary post-immigration identities, post-colonial grievances, and misunderstood religious doctrine and practice.
We strongly believe it is important to address these conflicts in a meaningful way and map out a clear path to raise a cohort of godly people who inspire good and are inspired by prophetic tradition: true to God and sincere to the masses. This requires a physical space in which conservative Muslims can learn about their faith and practice it, as well as better understand its relationship with their immediate environment, encouraging and facilitating beneficial contributions to society.
If we maintain that Islam, as the message revealed to all prophets, can in its true manifestation merge effortlessly with any environment and culture, then it is up to the faithful and learned to demonstrate this in practice.
We believe that our confidence should stem from a sound and godly heart, and with wisdom, insight and revelation we should be the vanguards of truth, justice and prosperity. Rather than remaining insular, we must demonstrate a sensible and learned manifestation of orthodoxy and show society that an Abrahamic approach to believing in the one true God is a force for good.