HELP BUILD THIS MOSQUE AND “BUILD YOUR HOUSE IN JANNAH”
The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said:
“None of you will (truly) believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself” (Saheeh Bukhari and Muslim)
Islam in Sumbiling Baru Village (Sabah, Malaysia)
This is the village where the mosque and the new Muslim support center are being built.
A few years ago, the majority of the people living in Sumbiling Baru Village were non-Muslims, with only one or two Muslim families.
All praise to Allah. Today, more than half of them are Muslims, and most of them are converted from another religion to Islam. The village chief himself converted to Islam.
Upon becoming Muslims, these converts found that their village, which is located in rural areas, had no single mosque.
And these new Muslim brothers and sisters were also having difficulty learning the basics of Islam, such as how to pray.
So, therefore, they decided to build one. For a start, they raise funds out of their own pockets. But eventually, they were out of funds, and the project was stopped.
Islam in Sabah (Malaysia)
Sabah is a state in the east of Malaysia. It is located in North Borneo. Despite Malaysia's independence 65 years ago, much of the interior Sabah remained relatively undeveloped. The state of Sabah, just like the neighbouring state of Sarawak, has a unique demographic with a broad indigenous ethnicity (which is approximately 60%).
In 1960, the Muslim population in Sabah was only about 38%, with most of the indigenous communities maintaining pagan beliefs and about 16% being Christians.
Today, more than 70% of the state of Sabah’s population are Muslims, owing largely to immigration, dawah, and widespread conversion to Islam.
Allah says in the Quran:
When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest and you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes, then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of Repentance. (Surah An-Nasr, 110:1-3)
Challenges for Muslims in Sabah
Although the majority of people in Sabah are Muslims by faith, it is not easy for them to practice Islam. This is due to the difficulty of learning the basics of Islam.
There are hardly any mosques in the rural areas of Sabah. In contrast, despite being a minority religious group, Christians from a few denominations have churches even in rural areas that are not accessible by car.
It is not easy to convert an indigenous person or a person from another faith to Islam. After their conversion to Islam, they find no facilities to support them on their new path and new life as Muslims. These scenarios have led to many of them being neglected, and eventually, they return to their old faith or become non-practicing Muslims.
Not only new Muslims, even those born into Muslim families, find it difficult to learn Islam in rural Sabah. As such, a report indicated that most of the 70% of Sabah Muslims lean towards being "secular", due to a lack of basic Islamic knowledge.
What has happened now?
This mosque and the new Muslim support center project in Sumbiling Baru Village are no longer running, mainly due to a lack of funds. The only source of funds is through their own pockets. But they are mostly not doing salaried jobs, except for rural agricultural activities and daily wage jobs.
Just like the rest of the world, Malaysia also is impacted by inflation and rising prices. Building materials, such as bricks and cement, steel and sand, are rising every month.
Therefore, these new Muslim converts who initiated the building of this mosque reached out to outside donors, and they reached out to us, the Iltizam Relief Society.
On 18 September 2022, we visited this village and discovered that all of those who initiated building this mosque and support center for new converts are converts themselves.
We were moved by their spirit and convinced of their noble intentions, and we decided not to let them down for their efforts thus far.
Build Your House in Jannah!
Uthman ibn Affan reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“Whoever builds a mosque for Allah, Allah will build for him a house like it in Paradise.” (Source: Ṣaḥeeh al-Bukhari 450, Ṣaḥeeḥ Muslim 533)
Do you remember that during the great migration of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), upon reaching Quba, the first thing the Prophet did was to build a mosque, which was the first mosque to be established after the beginning of his Prophethood?
Likewise, in Madinah, he built the Prophet's Mosque, which not only became a gathering place for worshipers but also a community center and the center of learning about Islam itself until it spread all over the world.
You can help!
We call upon all our brothers and sisters: let’s support the building of this mosque and new Muslim support center in Sabah, Malaysia.
Your donation will help build a mosque for these new Muslims, and the aim of this project is also to become a support center to help the new Muslims with guidance on their new path in life:
It is also intended to use this center as a dawah center for those who wish to learn about Islam in this rural village.
We need to raise at least USD30,000 to restart this project till it is completed.
Let’s do it now!
Construction begin after we agreed to help to resume to project:
Current status: The roof is up
The below photographs are taken during our visit to the site on 18 September 2022:
This is the status of construction on 18 September 2022.