The impact of the Pokemon Go app in communities around the world can be observed by anyone whether you are a fan or not of the game. This free to play, location based augmented reality game, developed by Niantic for iOS, and android devices to capture Pokemon around your local neighborhoods has taken the world by storm.
The app may cause some issues in a community just like everything else that people get their hands on, but there are opportunities and benefits from the app that every Mosque around the world should be aware of.
The Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore – Darul Arqam Singapore, for one recently opened up their doors to Pokemon trainers(app users) when they realized that their building is a Poke stop. A Poke stop are locations around your neighborhood where items to assist in playing the game can be found. The people at Darul Arqam Singapore were probably aware of the opportunities this game present them.
Here are some benefits the game can provide our local Mosques:
1) More Youths Visit The Mosque
A high number of Mosque I visited in different countries seem to share a common problem, most of them are lacking the participation of young people.
This is a real concern of every Mosque. During the Prophet’s time, it was the youth that was the driving force of his Ummah.
For whatever reason, the Mosques are having trouble pulling young people in. Pokemon Go has made a few religious spaces including the Mosques as Poke stops, and the Mosques should take this opportunity to invite young people into their spaces!
The Muslim Converts Association of Singapore has allowed Pokemon trainers to come in to cool down after spending the day out catching Pokemon while highly encouraging the Muslim Trainers to do their obligatory Salah before catching em all!
2) Become A Community Center
The Mosque was always meant to be a community center during the Prophet’s time and he had every intention of keeping it that way.
This is a great opportunity for every Mosque to take heed that they now can be a space for activities beyond just religious activities and classes. Imagine if every Mosque allowed the youth to come into their building to play Pokemon Go, and right before they catch em all, the youth would pray in congregation.
The Muslim community could just build a reputation of producing the best Pokemon Trainers out there. One less reason for people to believe what the mainstream media is saying about our community!
3) Reach Out To Other Faiths
With everything the mainstream media is saying about us, it would be nice if we were able to reach out to people from other faiths to show the beauty of Islam.
Just as Pokemon Go hit Malaysia, I remember seeing some friends from other faith groups who said one of their first few Poke stops were Mosques. Just imagine if outside the Mosques there was a big banner that said
“All Pokemon trainers are welcome to have a quick drink. Muslim Trainers, please make your prayers first. Trainers from other faith groups, if you like to know more about Islam, do visit our information counters for a free copy of the Quran and other books and pamphlets”
The Mosque would be attracting a number of people in ways they never had before.
Not every Mosque out there are aware of the opportunities and benefits this game or app provides them and this is where we come in. As the younger generation, we should be pro-active and write to our local Mosques, presenting to them why they should take advantage of the Pokemon Go phenomena.
Do not underestimate the power of this simple act because if enough of us write in you’ll never know who’s heart you could possible touch!
Do you agree that the Pokemon Go can offer more benefit than harm? Are there any other benefits you think this game can provide? Please share your thoughts in the comment below.