By Johara Al Mogbel
An imam, father, volunteer, professor and chairman of the WAMY’s Committee of the CIS and Russian Federation.
Tell us about yourself?
I am a faculty member at the University of Shaqraa, head of the Youth Committee of the CIS and Russian Federation Islamic Republics in WAMY, and the imam of Abdulrahman Almuqbil Mosque in AlNakhil AlGharbi in Riyadh.
In your opinion, what are the most important attributes that should be in an imam?
Knowledge in the manners and fiqh required for imams, and from those: modesty, cheerfulness, a love for doing good for others, assiduousness towards building a sense of trust and togetherness in the community, and care towards all that pertains to the comfort of the attendees.
What do you think are the topics that should be talked about in our masajid (mosques)?
Speaking about the purposes behind actions like salat (prayer), zakat and fasting, and showing that they aren’t merely motions that a Muslim must do but have meaning and purpose when one studies the acts themselves is very important. As well as educational matters that are an intricate part of the lives of the congregation, in their deen (religion), dunya (life) and akhira (afterlife).
From competitions to game nights, there are a number of programs and activities in Alnakheel Masjid. Who usually organizes them?
These are some of the most important activities we do at the mosque. We invest in occasions such as Eid to organize a gathering, as well as meet once a month with the congregation of the masjid and organize games such as table tennis and others. The imam, mu’athen and masjid’s caretaker do the organizing, and it does not require much effort.
In your khutbah, you usually discuss good manners, mosque etiquette or hygiene in Islam. Do you find it important that such matters are talked about in other masjids?
It is indeed very important to talk about these matters. I like to especially concentrate on emerging issues and the stance that sharia takes of them, as well as the purposes of religious rights.
You’ve visited refugee camps before. What was one experience you won’t forget?
I had a number of experiences. The one that stood out the most was a story I had with a mother-to-be. She discovered while we were there that the fetus had died in the fifth month, and she spent a week afterwards with the inability to pay for surgery to takeit out. Alhamdulillah, she found assistance.
Would you recommend others to go on volunteer trips to countries in need as well?
Yes, without a doubt. But only after gaining the education and training needed to undertake the effort required in volunteer work, whether in our country, may Allah protect it, or abroad.
How do you balance your life between your work at the university and being an imam, a volunteer and a father?
I try my best to create a balance between all aspects of my life by giving each aspect its due right, while praying to Allah for help and success to reach my goals.