Masjidku (My Mosque)
CONNECTING INDONESIAN MOSLEMS WITH THEIR MOSQUES
We have a dream to bring back the centrality of mosques as the heart of Islamic civilisation in Indonesia. We aspire to connect Moslems with their mosques to foster a greater sense of belonging, ownership, and religious-based social activism in their societies.
However, as with all goals in life, there are challenges that need to be addressed. Below are some of the problems we have observed concerning the role of mosques in Indonesia:
- Connectivity. The low degree of connectivity between mosques and theummah. Moslem societies gets inadequate exposure that is able to report on a regular basis what activities are being held at their mosques, scheduled events progress of charity programs, etc.
- High cost. Mosques often have to spend and allocate a large amount of its funds for socialisation of its activities, which is done manually by printing posters, copying reports, and other means of conventional communication. Furthermore, it is difficult to manage and control participation in events held at the mosque. This presents a problem for the organisers in managing the right amount of resources needed for the event.
- Financing. Most mosques are managed independently and run by donations from their communities. Mosques located in urban-suburban areas with a predominantly Moslem society from the middle-upper class find hardly any problem on maintaining regular financing for their operations. However, it is not the same for mosques located in rural areas. These mosques often find difficulty in financing for renovations,programs, and even for maintaining daily operations.
- Financial transparency. Financial transparency is also a big problem for official mosque management boards (in Indonesia, they are known as Dewan Kesejahteraan Masjid or Mosque Prosperity Board). They find difficulties in providing timely and accurate reports on the amount and spending of infaq and shodaqoh collected from people who have given donations, but might not necessarily reside nearby the area, thus rendering them out of reach of conventional means of communication. Transparency and financial accountability is key to attract greater goodwill from more Moslems to channel their infaq and shodaqoh to the mosque.
- Trusted information. This is the highlight of current challenges faced by the Moslem community since the Indonesian Government has recently restricted religious-based online information sources to impede extremism, terrorism, and radicalism. The government has shut down several online media suspected of channeling propaganda and religious extremism. Contrary to one-sided propaganda, an alternative media is needed – one that allows Moslems to communicate to each other in positive synergy, to build a stronger and sholih ummah revolving around mosques as the center of Islamic civilisation. This new media needs to be developed in the spirit of peaceful empowerment of the on the Al’ Quran and Hadith to epitomise a religion that is truly rahmatan lil ‘alamin.
TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP!
Indonesians are among the ‘most-connected’ people on the internet, particularly in terms of social media use. However, social media dedicated for the purpose of enhancing communication among Moslems is still rare. This serves both as an opportunity and challenge to create a useful application for positive communication among Moslems; ukhuwah Islamiyah that revolving around the activities of their mosques.
MASJIDKU: AN APPLICATION FOR MOSLEMS TO STRENGTHEN UKHUWAH ISLAMIYAH
To address the problems listed above, we have developed a mobile application called Masjidku (meaning ‘My Mosque’in Indonesian). This application aspires to be the social media for Moslems inIndonesia, and hopefully other countries as well if we are able to exceed our funding target to develop a global version of the app in the future. This application has been created on iOS and Android platforms, and can be downloaded for FREE on the App Store and Google Play Store.
Since being launched in May 2015, this application has already been used by more than 5,000 people. It also empowers 28 mosques in 5 provinces of Indonesia. Masjidku has also been featured in various Indonesia’s online media coverage. We fully believe that we can optimise the use and benefit of this application.
Masjidku features include:
- Mosque activities: users can check a mosque’s event schedule and register to participate in the events that suite their interest and time preferences.
- Islamic articles: users can read content onIslamic teachings, excerpts fromkhutbah, Quranic lessons, etc. that are created by mosque administrators.
- Mosque crowdfunding: users can donate their infaq and shodaqoh via Masjidku to any registered mosques and get a detailed report on the use and distribution of the donation. Masjidku has secure connection with 83 banks throughout Indonesia. All funds received are directly transferred to the mosque’s bank account with no fees deducted for Masjidku.
- Sholat schedule and reminder.
- Qibla compass.
- Mosque map to find mosque(s) within 1-2 KM from user’s current location.
As we continue to grow, we will develop other features that will enhance user experience and provide added values to Masjidku.
YOU CAN BE A CHAMPION FOR MASJIDKU
At the moment, our team is focusing on the continuously upgrading Masjidku’s features to improve user interface and user experience of the app. Since its launch in May 2015, Masjidku has been adopted by 28 mosques from 5 different provinces in Indonesia with a total of more than 5,000 downloads, and this number is still counting!
Apart from upgrading the app’s features, we are also in the process of promoting and educating mosques’ representatives how to utilize Masjidku. To achieve this, we are launching the #hubungkanmasjid (meaning ‘connecting mosques’ in English) campaign. This campaign aims to empower mosques throughout Indonesia with information and communication technology made available through Masjidku. By doing so, we are creating a mosque network in which registered mosques will be able to exchange experience, knowledge, and skills related to mosque management. At the moment, we target around 500 mosques for this campaign.
The Masjidku team is fully committed to make Masjidku adopted by as many mosques as possible. However, to make our campaign a success, we need all the support we can get from all of you out there who share the same vision.
We have calculated the cost needed to make one mosque become aware, understand, acknowledge, and finally use Masjidku, will be approximately US$ 10. So in total, to reach 500 mosques we will need around US$ 5,000. If the funds raised exceed this target, it will go towards promoting the app. And if the funds raised significantly exceed this target, we hope to be able to create the app on a different platform to reach even more users.
At the moment, we are still relying on a 1-on-1 approach where Masjidku volunteers visit mosques one at a time in order to ensure good relations between mosques and Masjidku and that sufficient due diligence is done before a mosque joins the platform. Our volunteers are spread throughout several major cities in Indonesia. Thus, the funds raised will be used solely for materials printing and copying, internet connection, and to cover the transportation costs of our volunteers.We will give regular updates on the use and distribution of the funds collected as well as Masjidku’s progress both via e-mail and website www.masjidku.id
OUR THANKS TO YOU
Your donation, however small, means the world to us. To let you know just how much we appreciate your support, we have arranged some following perks. We will give continuos Masjidku update for any of you who donates Masjidku. We will contact you further for details of your perk’s delivery.
We will give regular updates on the use and distribution of the funds and Masjidku’s progress via e-mail as well on our website www.masjidku.id
We believe in the idea of people power and grassroots-led initiatives. Masjidku is an independent initiative aimed to create change for a better society,particularly through strengthening ukhuwah Islamiyah. At the end of the day, with all our imperfections, we are most humbled by your input and suggestions towards the continuous improvement of Masjidku so that it may bring as much benefit as possible for the ummah.
We thank you for all attention and support. May Allah SWT bless us in all of our endeavours.