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how do you establish a multicultural masjid

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  • #31
    Re: how do you establish a multicultural masjid

    I'm facing the same issue here in Fresno, California, as we have a few masjids that currently seem more like Arab clubs than truly multiracial masjids. Therefore I am planning to open a new masjid Insha'Allah, called Madinah Mosque. The masjid constitution will emphasize the following points. These are not hard and fast rules, just some points that I've listed off the top of my head. Your input is welcome:

    1. Madinah Mosque is here to serve the needs of all Muslims regardless of race or nationality, or whether they are "raised Muslims" or "converted Muslims". Any form of intolerance or exclusion is not permitted.

    2. The Friday khutbah will be in English. Quranic ayaat and Hadith should be quoted in Arabic if possible and then translated. However, the main text of the khutbah should be in English.

    3. Madinah Mosque is dedicated to serving the spiritual needs of Muslim men and women. Women make up half the community and must not be ignored. Men and women will pray together in the main prayer hall. Men will be in front and women behind. Separation will consist of a low curtain or screen (1 meter high) so that the women can see the Imam, and can participate in community meetings.

    4. The masjid Shura or Executive Board will consist of 12 members. At least 2 Shura seats will be reserved for women. Another 2 will be reserved for youth under the age of 25. Another 2 will be reserved for seniors above the age of 60.

    5. In the future a full-time salaried Imam may be chosen. The Shurah will conduct an annual performance review of the Imam, and will vote every 5 years on whether to continue him in the position. The Imam can be removed at any time by a 3/4 vote of the Shurah.

    6. In the absence of a full-time Imam (for example due to lack of funds), it will be a volunteer position. A new Imam will be selected every two years by popular nomination and vote. All community members (male and female) 16 years old, whose membership is in current standing and dues are paid, may vote.

    7. The Shurah council positions will be unpaid. Shurah members will be elected every two years by popular vote. The Imam may participate in Shurah meetings and will hold two votes.

    8. Names of the Imam and Shurah members, along with duties and telephone number of each, will be permanently posted on the wall of the Masjid. The date of the next election will also be permanently posted.

    9. There will be no campaigning for positions of Imam or Shurah. On election day, all members of the community will gather. Nominations will be asked for, and will be written on a board. No one may nominate himself. Once all nominations have been received, a vote will be held and results announced immediately.

    10. Financial records of the Masjid (donations collected, bank account balances, salaries paid, expenses, etc) will be made available for viewing to any Masjid member upon request.

    11. Islamic education for men and women will be a priority of the Masjid. That includes basic Islamic education for converts, Quran classes, Seerah, Arabic, Fiqh, etc.

    12. Da'wah will be a priority of the Masjid. That includes community outreach, setting up da'wah booths at community events, welcoming converts and having programs in place for them, and welcoming non-Muslims to the masjid. Any non-Muslim who calls or knocks on the door of the Masjid will be made welcome. They will be invited in, asked to take off their shoes, given a tour of the Masjid (scarves and abayahs will be available for female visitors), and invited to future events.

    13. Education of the youth will be a priority of the Masjid. There will be Islamic education classes for youth, but there will also be entertainment for youth such as a playground, sports teams, and events hosted and run by them. Youth will be given responsibility in the Masjid, involved in Masjid decisions, and groomed for future leadership.

    14. The Masjid will be open to all Muslims, no matter their madhab or sect. No one will be turned away. However it should be clear that the Masjid is founded upon the principles of the Quran and authentic Sunnah of Rasulullah (sws). Anyone found to be actively preaching or pushing an ideology contrary to this can be removed from the membership rolls by the Imam (an appeals process will be avialable).
    "Common sense Islamic marriage and family advice."



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