I have a follow up question I suppose. In this current society of almost a billion (masha Allah) Muslims I can understand how the requirements of Zaka’h and declaration of faith can be monitored.
However, how is one supposed to know if all the believers are saying prayers five times a day? I know that there are several times where I have had to say prayers in obscure rooms of the library where no one would find me! In this case, is there a way to establish whether someone establishes prayers?
Before answering your question, I would like to clarify one thing: According to the established Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh):
the obligatory prayers (i.e. the five regular daily prayers) should generally be offered with congregation (jama`ah);
the mosques are to be sponsored by the particular Muslim state;
After the establishment of an Islamic state in Medinah, and then in the later years, during the times of the khulafa-e-raashideen1 all collective matters, including shooraa2, administration and judiciary were carried out in the mosque. In this way all the state officials were quite familiar with those people who would come to the mosque five times a day.
In the present times, following the same example, we can have all our administrative and judicial offices attached to the mosques. In this way we shall not only promote the mosque as a centre of all our collective activities but shall also solve the problem that you have raised. For this purpose, my proposal would be to have a chain of mosques in such a way that there is one central mosque at the state level (in the capital city of the country), one provincial mosque (at each provincial or state capital) and a chain of area mosques (at the various lowest level administrative localities). All these mosques should have their respective level administrative and judicial offices attached to them. In all these mosques, the Jum`ah congregation shall be addressed by the administrative head of the respective area, province and country. In this way, not only shall the administration develop a close contact with the common man but it shall also become familiar with its Muslim and non-Muslim population.
However, it must remain clear that the above model is not a part of the Islamic Shari`ah. The Muslims can collectively decide on any model that helps them in:
monitoring the five time prayers; and
developing a close liaison between the administration and the administered.
I hope this helps.
23rd April 1998