I found this in a notebook from 2015. Not much changes, except that even the virtual realms now repulse me.
Yes, the heart yearns for food for the soul from the masjid, in place of these technological, virtual realms…
But the positive view of the role of the masjid and imam in the community perhaps needs to be tempered by the reality faced by many even today, which is that too many local masjids offers absolutely nothing to the wider community.
Imagine… the Friday khutbah each week in a language that half the congregation cannot understand, an imam who deigns to exchange salams with congregants outside his ethnic group, no social provision of any kind… and when people do step forward to initiate change, they are castigated and sent on their way because they are from the wrong tribe, follow the wrong school of fiqh or allegedly have the wrong aqida.
Alas, these are the realities even today which are causing people to search elsewhere for spiritual nourishment. A dysfunctional social reality is as much the cause of the rise of virtual communities as technology itself.
We need to address both sides of the problem and stop saying, “We have no idea why this is happening.”