In November 2014 a small group of Muslims wanted a Mosque to be added to a retail strip center. The City said 'No' as the zoning was for general business. A Federal suit was filed and Kennesaw settled, giving the Mosque $18,000 for their legal costs. Here are some details on this issue. (See also: http://mayormathews.blogspot.com, http://suffadawatsuit.blogspot.com/ and http://suffadawatcenter.blogspot.com) Contact: email@example.com
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
UPDATE: THE MOSQUE ISSUED THIS CORRECTION TO THE BELOW EMAIL:
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته "With much pleasure, Masjid Suffah would like to announce that Khatmul Qur'an will be In sha Allah on 28th night of Ramadan (Thursday, June 22)."
KENNESAW MOSQUE -
every now and then I put up one of their press releases just FYI. You can also take a look at a site about the mosque at: http://suffadawa.blogspot.com/ and if you are interested in how they sued the City of Kennesaw you can find the link to that site also.
If this isn't enough Mosque info for you then you can always go take a look at another blog about a Georgia Mosque (Newton County and Covington) http://almaadalislami.blogspot.com/
Insha'Allah today at 5:30pm we
will begin our Ramadhan Month of Mercy Program. Alhamdulillah we were fortunate
enough to confirm 4 local scholars to teach us how to spend our Ramadhan in the
most appropriate and useful way.
Aside from just learning on how one should be
in the Month of Ramadhan, we will also learn the fiqh of Ramadhan or the do's
and dont's, the things that nullify one's fast, and the things that don't. There
will also be an open Q and A at the end of the program to answer any topic
related questions one might have.
Dinner will be served following
the program insha'Allah.
Please be on time to avoid any delays in
the program as time is limited.
Az-Zahraa Islamic Centre is a multipurpose complex consisting of a Mosque, Imamabargha, Gymnasium, Ghusl Rooms, Seniors’ Rooms, Nursery and Children’s Rooms, Offices as well as Madrasah and Elementary School. This 55,000 sq. ft. facility, built at a cost of about Cdn. $12 million, meets the needs, present and future, of Muslim community that is growing, dynamic and visionary.
The conception, planning, development and building of the Centre took ten long years and involved untiring dedication of many members of the Shia Muslim Community of British Columbia and in particular the members of Multipurpose Complex Taskforce. Through the Grace of Allah (swt) and generosity of donors locally and worldwide, the entire cost of building of the centre is now fully paid up!
The Centre has been named after the great lady Sayyida Fatimah az-Zahraa (sa), the beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S). Zahraa means radiant. It is the hope of the community leaders and visionaries that the teachings, practices and values of Islam as taught in the Holy Qur’an and illustrated by the Holy Prophet (S) and his Ahlul Bayt (as) would brightly beam from this Centre for many years to come.
Each and every structure at Az-Zahraa Islamic Centre is unique, but Masjid Az-Zahraa stands out as the most aesthetic piece of architecture. The beautiful mosque built in Islamic tradition and architecture has a green dome similar to the Prophet’s mosque in Medina, two minarets based on Imam Ali al-Ridha’s (as) mausoleum in Mashhad and Islamic Moorish design on the outside of the Mihrab. The internal of the Mihrab keeps the attention of the worshippers focused to the Almighty on account of relevant Qur’anic verses and calligraphy that manifests Divine unity.
On the day of Eid al-Fitr 1425 (November 14, 2004) the mosque with a ground floor of 5,000 sq. ft. and mezzanine floor of 2,500 sq. ft. accommodated over 1000 worshippers. It was truly an amazing scene to see mu’mineen from various background and ethnicity standing shoulder to shoulder and praying in unison Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest). In addition to wide stairs, the mezzanine floor can be accessed through a small elevator for the elderly and handicapped. A small room at the back of the mezzanine accommodates mothers with small children.
The tall paneled entrance doors, the wide and spacious foyers and corridors with sitting benches make the facility all the more welcoming and pleasant. It has come in Hadiththat it is recommended to have wudhu (ablution) place at the entrance of a mosque. Masjid Az-Zahraa has two Wudhu facilities at the entrance of gents and ladies that can cater over 20 people at a time.
The inside of the dome with 12 arched windows signifying our Ithna Ashari (Twelver) faith are decorated with Islamic calligraphy that is simply superb and glowing. The panel of the 12 stained windows beautifully designed contains the names of fourteen Ma’sumeen. The word Allah Jalla Jalaalahu (God, Sublime is His Majesty) is repeated throughout the inside top end of the dome. The internal base of the dome has ninety nine beautiful names of Allah, all decorated but easy to read. The fourteen windowpanes of the mosque also contains the names and titles of the infalliable 14 Ma`sumeen (as).
A small portion of the mosque has been separated from the main section, enabling it to remain open 24 hours a day for the convenience of travelers, visitors and other mu’mineen that cannot make it to the regular scheduled congregation prayers.
”Only those shall maintain Allah's mosques, who believe in Allah and Last Day, and establish prayer and give zakat, and fear no one except Allah. They, hopefully, will be among the guided.” (9:18)
Only Muslims can enter the mosque. Mu'minin are requested to ensure that all cleaning, repairs and maintenance inside the mosque be done by Muslims only. When inviting non-Muslims to the Centre for marriage and funeral ceremonies or during any other occasion, care should be taken to accommodate them outside the mosque such as in the Imambargha, adjacent rooms and foyers.
Why should we visit mosques often?
Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has advised:
”He who walks to the mosque seeking the congregational (prayers), for every step he takes he receives seventy thousand good deeds, and his rank is raised accordingly. This status continues even after his death, for Allah appoints seventy thousand angels who would pray for him in his grave, give him good tidings, accompany him in his loneliness and plead for forgiveness for him till he his raised (from the grave).”
Preparing to leave for the mosque
1. When leaving your home, work or business, go toward the mosque with eagerness and enthusiasm for you would be meeting fellow believers who have come to worship Allah.
2. Demonstrate your eagerness by wearing perfumed, good and neat clothes.
3. Ensure that your body and clothes are all pure and clean (tahir/pak). Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) says: ”One who goes to the mosque with (physical & spiritual) purity, Allah purifies this person from sins and includes him/her from the pilgrims of the mosque.”
4. Do not carry any unclean & impure items (najasat) in your pockets to the mosque.
5. If you have eaten garlic, onions, etc… do not go to the mosque, until the odor from your mouth has vanished.
6. It is forbidden for the one who is in the state of janabat and haydh to enter the mosque. Only after having performed the required ghusl (major ablution) can such a person enter the mosque. Sisters who are in the state istihadha can enter the mosque for prayers or otherwise. (For detailed rules on these please refer to books on Islamic Laws)
Entering the Center and then heading towards the mosque
1. At the first entrance of the Center, you would find the following verses from the Holy Qur'an. Read these with understanding and enter the precincts under Divine safety:
”In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Enter it with peace and safety; for Allah is the best of protectors and the most merciful of the merciful ones.” (Holy Qur'an 15:46 & 12:64)
2. Use the right foot to enter the Center, reciting the following Du'a:
”O Allah, open for us the doors of Your mercy and make us amongst those who frequent Your mosques. Exalted is the praise of Your countenance.”
Have a quick look at the poster containing Rules and Etiquette of Mosque hanging near the entrance of the mosque and inside the mosque.
3. Please switch off or mute your cell/mobile phone. Experience has shown that phone rings irritate other worshippers and can sometime take away the concentration of worshippers including that of the imam.
Entering and being inside the Mosque
1. At the door of the mosque, recite this Du'a taught by Imam Hasan b. 'Ali al-Mujtaba (as):
“Ilaahi dhayfuka bibaabik, yaa Muhsinu qad ataakal-musee', fatajaawaz `an qabihi maa `indee bijameeli maa `indak, yaa kareem.”
”My God, Your guest is at Your door. O the All-Beneficent, the sinner has come to You; so overlook what is ugly with me with that which is beautiful with You. O the All-Generous.”
2. Enter the mosque with humility and submissiveness for it is the house of Allah (swt) frequented by angels and believers.
3. It is forbidden to bring any inherently impure (najisul-`ayn) things into a mosque. Therefore, clothes containing blood, urine, semen, flesh of a dog or swine, etc. cannot be worn or carried when entering a mosque.
5. Greet the believers and angels with the best of greetings and a smiling face. Please note that if the believers are engaged in the Salat, it is not advisable to greet them.
6. Recite two rak'at prayer as a gesture of greeting and respect to the mosque.
(S). While in the mosque keep your focus on none other than Allah (swt) , as He says in the Qur'an:
”Surely the mosques are for Allah (alone); so do not pray to anyone with Allah.” (72:18)
8. Keep the mosque clean, tidy and fragranced.
9. Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has recommended that we say many prayers and recite many supplications in mosques:
فَأَكْثِرُوا فِيهَا مِنَ الصَّلاَةِ وَالدُّعَاءِ.
10. Sending Salawat on Prophet Muhammad (S) and his family (as) is the most effective supplication that the Muslims are blessed with.
11. Spend as much time in the mosque as possible as the Noble Prophet (S) said to Abu Dharr: ”As long as you are seated in the mosque, for every breath you take Allah will give you a rank in the paradise and the angels are praying for you.”
12. It is recommended to say various prayers at different places or sites within the mosque. Therefore, for e.g., say Maghrib Salat at one place, nafilah of Maghrib at another place, and 'Isha prayers at yet another place. Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has stated: ”Say your prayers in the mosques at different sites, for every site would witness for the person saying prayers on the Day of Resurrection.”
13. Ensure not to contaminate any part of the mosque, for it is forbidden (haram) to do so and goes against the sanctity of the mosque.
14. If any part of the mosque is contaminated it is obligatory for all those present and those who have the knowledge of it to immediately purify it (make it tahir/pak).
15. When bringing young children who cannot discern right from the wrong, into the mosque, ensure that they are under your continuous care - both for the respect of the mosque and for those present in it.
16. When inside the mosque, you are a guest of Allah (swt) . Additionally, you are in the presence of angels and believers. Beautify the environment with continuous remembrance of Allah (swt) and pleading for His forgiveness (Istighfar).
17. Avoid worldly talks, discussion and recitations (e.g. non-religious poetry) while you are inside the mosque.
18. Carrying out business transactions in the mosque is abhorrent (makruh).
19. Playing board or computer games, hide and seek, or any sport in the mosque is abhorrent (makruh).
20. Raising one's voice for reciting or talking in the mosque is detestable. Of course reciting adhan, du'a, etc. for congregation is exempt from this rule.
21. When you take an item for use, (e.g. Holy Qur'an, book of Du'a, prostrating tablet (turbah/mohr) take care of it and return it to its original place (e.g. book case).
22. Do not remove or take away anything belonging to the mosque. If you need to borrow an item temporarily then ensure that you have sought permission from the trustee or a keeper of the Center.
When exiting the mosque, step out with the left foot and recite the following supplication:
The Prophet of Allah (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) has narrated that Jibra`il once came to him after Salat al-Zuhr accompanied by 70,000 Angels and said, 'O Muhammad, your Lord conveys greetings to you and has granted you two gifts which he has not granted to any Prophet before you.'
I said (to Jibra`il), “What are these two gifts?”
He said: “The Witr Salat which has three Raka'at (i.e. two Rak'at prayer of Shaf'a and one Rak'ah prayer of Witr said late after the 8 Rak'at Nafilah of night) and the saying of five (daily) prayers in congregation (Jama'at).”
I said, “O Jibra`il, what reward is there for my Ummah in saying the prayers in congregation (Jama'at)?”
Jibra`il replied, 'O' Muhammad:
· When there are two people (saying congregational prayers), then Allah will record the reward for each Rak'at is being equal to 150 Salat;
· When there are three people, then Allah will record the reward for each Rak'at is being equal to 600 Salat;
· When there are four people, then Allah will record the reward for each Rak'at is being equal to 1,200 Salat;
· When there are five people, then Allah will record the reward for each Rak'at is being equal to 2,400 Salat;
· When there are six people, then Allah will record the reward for each Rak'at is being equal to 4,800 Salat;
· When there are seven people, then Allah will record the reward for each Rak'at is being equal to 9,600 Salat;
·When there are eight people, then Allah will record the reward for each Rak'at is being equal to 19,200 Salat;
· When there are nine people, then Allah will record the reward for each Rak'at is being equal to 37,400 Salat;
· When there are ten people, then Allah will record the reward for each Rak'at is being equal to 72,800 Salat.
[O Muhammad] If there were more than ten people attending the congregational prayer then if all the rivers in the Heavens and the Earth were to become ink, and all the trees (are used as) pens and all of the Jinn, human beings along with the Angels together were to write the reward of one Rak'at prayed, they would not be able to do so.
O' Muhammad! The (first) Takbir (i.e. Takbiratul Ihram) that the believer performs with the imam (of the congregational prayer) is better than performing 60,000 Hajj and 'Umrah and better than 70,000 times what is in this world. For ever Rak'at that a believer prays in congregation is better than 100,000 dinar (gold coins) given in charity to the poor. For ever Sajdah that the believer performs in the congregational prayer is better than freeing 1,000 slaves.'“
Ref: Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Volume 1, Page 487
The Holy Qur`an
Islamic Laws, Ayatullah Sayyid 'Ali al-Husaini as-Sistani
Mizan al-Hikmah, vol.4, Muhammad al-Ray Shahri
Al-'Urwah al-Wuthqa, vol. 2, Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Kazim al-Yazdi
“Certainly, the faithful have attained salvation -those who have humbled themselves in their prayers.” (23:1-2)
Imam Husayn b. 'Ali (as) described the prayer of his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (S): “He used to weep until he filled the place with tears on account of his fear for Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime. (This was his state) though, he (i.e. the Messenger) had done nothing wrong.”
The right of your ritual prayer (Salat) is that you know that it is an arrival before God and that through it you are standing before Him. When you know that, then you will stand in the station of him who is lowly, vile, beseeching, trembling, hopeful, fearful, and abased, and you will magnify Him who is before you through stillness and dignity. You will approach the prayer with your heart and you will perform it according to its bounds and its rights. (Risalah al-Huquq, Imam 'Ali Zaynul 'Abidin (as))
Each and every prayer should be the final prayer
The Noble Prophet (S): “When you say your Salat, say it in a way that it the final prayer of your life.”
'Aisha, the wife of Prophet Muhammad (S) says: “The Messenger would talk with us and we would talk with him. When the time of salat approached, he would be as if he no longer knows us and nor did we know him (i.e. all family socialization would end and he would focus his attention to worshipping his Lord).”
”There are three kinds of people, even if they were Muslims, would not be greeted, given daughters in marriage and taken as partners in business. These are those who abandon their prayers, consume alcohol and indulge in gambling.”
فِي جَنَّاتٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ 40
عَنِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ 41
مَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ 42
قَالُوا لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَ 43
”In the Gardens they will ask one another, about the guilty: 'What led you into Hell Fire?' They will say: 'We were not of those who prayed.'” (74: 40 -43)
“And I have no success in my endeavours except with the help of Allah.”
Still open for business, Friday afternoon is the major draw for them, usually around 2 pm..
BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Mohammad Ali Chaudry, a retired financial officer, has lived in this prosperous town for 40 years. It is where he raised his three children and where he served as mayor, and before that, as a member of the school board. It was also where Mr. Chaudry, an observant Muslim, always wanted to pray.
But Mr. Chaudry and some 70 fellow Muslims have been stymied for years in their quest to build a mosque on a four-acre plot of land in Basking Ridge, a genteel community here that is as proud of its old oak trees as its old homes. A year ago, after 39 public hearings in which local officials and residents picked apart every aspect of the proposed mosque, the planning board rejected the proposal, citing issues like storm water management and pedestrian safety in the parking lot.
Now, the federal Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Bernards Township, arguing that its decision violated federal law and discriminated against the applicants purely because of their Muslim faith. The complaint, filed last month, follows a lawsuit brought by Mr. Chaudry’s Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, which has been subjected to anti-Muslim fliers and social media posts and even vandalism.
During the protracted application process, someone stomped on the group’s mailbox and later superimposed “ISIS” over the society’s initials on the mailbox. “This was unprecedented,” said Mr. Chaudry, the society’s president, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from Tufts University and teaches a course at Rutgers University on Islam. “No other house of worship in the township’s history had ever been treated the way we were.”
Across the country, more and more towns have used local zoning laws as barriers to new mosques and Islamic schools, underscoring what civil rights advocates say is a growing wave of intolerance that has been amplified by the victory of President-electDonald J. Trump. In response, the federal government has been increasingly turning to the courts, using a law passed unanimously by Congress in 2000 that prohibits municipalities from discriminating against religions in land-use decisions or treating religious groups differently than secular ones.
“The law, by its very nature, deals with particularly vulnerable populations,” said Mark Goldfeder, a senior lecturer at Emory University’s School of Law and a senior fellow at the university’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. “It’s so easy for towns to hide discrimination behind layers of land-use procedure.”
But Muslim advocates and experts on religious freedom worry that Mr. Trump’s impending inauguration leaves the future of the powerful religious freedom law in doubt. The man the president-elect has nominated to lead the Justice Department, Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, has endorsed Mr. Trump’s call for a temporary ban on immigration from Muslim countries.
As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Mr. Sessions might be less sympathetic to pursuing investigations involving the rights of Muslims. There are now 13 open land-use investigations under the law, though a spokesman for the department declined to say how many of those involved mosques.
Ross K. Baker, a distinguished professor of political science at Rutgers who has studied the federal law, said it was “entirely possible” Mr. Sessions could choose to dial back on the investigations. “It is within the province of the attorney general-designate to decide whether to proceed with a lawsuit,” he said.
Another recent case brought by the department involved a proposed mosque in Virginia. The lawsuit argued that Culpeper County violated the religious land-use law in denying a sewage permit application. The complaint noted that since 1992, the county had considered 26 applications and never before denied such a permit to either a commercial or religious group.
In a speech this month at a Virginia mosque, Loretta E. Lynch, United States the attorney general, talked about the department’s response to a surge in hate crimes, highlighting enforcement of the land-use law. “Members of the Civil Rights Division have heard repeatedly about more overt discrimination in both the tone and framing of objections to planned religious institutions, especially mosques and Islamic centers,” said Ms. Lynch, who sent a letter to state and local officials on Thursday reminding them of the law and their obligation to respect religious freedom.
In the case of Bernards Township, the Islamic Society bought land that was in a zone that permitted a house of worship. Raising money from various sources, Mr. Chaudry oversaw the purchase of four acres, aware that the zoning code required at least three acres for a house of worship.
The society hired an architect who took pains to design a mosque that would blend in with the neighborhood, where a fire station stands across the street from the site. The 4,400-square-foot mosque, the size of a large house, would forgo the traditional dome and would include minarets that mimic the chimneys on neighboring houses.
“The mosque proposal met with vociferous public opposition,” the Justice Department wrote in its recent complaint. “Fliers, social media and websites denounced the mosque and were filled with anti-Muslim bigotry and references to terrorism and the 9/11 attacks.”
The federal lawsuit concluded that the planning board had used different requirements in denying the society’s application than it “had in evaluating previous applications.”
The language in the society’s own lawsuit was more blunt: “What should have been a simple board approval for a permitted use devolved into a Kafkaesque process that spanned an unprecedented four years.”
Nearly three dozen religious, legal and civil rights groups have supported the society’s lawsuit by signing amicus briefs, said the society’s lawyer, Adeel A. Mangi, of the firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler.
Bernards Township officials deny that the applicants’ faith played any role in their decision. The mayor, Carol Bianchi, declined to respond to the allegations. But a statement by the township after the Justice Department filed its lawsuit asserted that the planning board’s denial was based on “legitimate land-use and safety concerns which plaintiffs refused, and to this day, refuse to address.”
The township’s most forceful response was reserved for the Justice Department, which it accused of a conflict of interest because one of its investigators served on the same board at Drew University’s Center for Religious and Cultural Conflicts as Mr. Chaudry. The township also claimed that the department’s communication with the Islamic Society before bringing the federal complaint suggested an “inappropriate collusion.”
The United States attorney for New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman, a Democrat, looked into the township’s allegations and declared them baseless.
In July, the Justice Department released a report on its enforcement of the federal law since 2010, which detailed the growing proportion of cases involving mosques. It also found that while 84 percent of non-Muslim investigations were resolved without a lawsuit, only a fifth of cases involving Islamic institutions were similarly resolved.
In Bernards Township, much of the initial resistance to the proposed mosque centered on parking. According to the federal complaint, the local ordinance required 50 parking spaces for houses of worship based on a 3-to-1 standard ratio, or an average of three people arriving in one car. But a traffic engineer enlisted by opponents of the mosque recommended 107 spaces.
The planning board insisted the mosque meet that goal, which, in turn, raised new issues, like visual impacts and storm water runoff. The society’s complaint stated that applicants “dutifully revised their site plan and brought back professionals to testify time and again, only to find that the board had generated yet more requirements.” Mr. Fishman said the township “kept moving the goal posts.”
For Mr. Chaudry and other members of the society, the lack of a mosque has made worshiping difficult. The nearest mosque is 25 minutes away. Members have rented a local community center for Friday prayers, lugging in prayer rugs and audio equipment. But the center is unavailable in the summer so they pray in a public park. And the absence of a mosque has prevented the society from attracting a full-time imam.
During public hearings, some residents made anti-Muslim remarks, but town officials mostly restricted their comments to land-use questions. But in a trove of emails unearthed by the Justice Department investigation, and recently shown to the Islamic Society, the same officials shared their personal views of Muslims.
In one email, a member of the township committee, John Malay, wrote, “As a religion, Islam owes its source of influence to a tradition from Day 1 of forced conversion through violent means.”
In an email chain, members of the committee and planning board discussed ways to exclude Mr. Chaudry from a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony in honor of town residents who died in the terrorist attack. “Let’s make it happen without that fool,” John Carpenter, a township committee member, said.
Mr. Chaudry is active in local groups like the Rotary Club and statewide committees promoting interfaith understanding. In 2013, Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, appointed him to the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service. He also serves on the state attorney general’s Outreach Committee for the Muslim Community and the Interfaith Advisory Council of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
Outside the Dutch colonial on Church Street that serves as the society’s offices and where, members hope, a new mosque will one day stand, signs of patriotism abound. A sign amid American flags of various sizes proclaims, “Proud to Be an American.”
“We feel everybody should know that we are American,” Mr. Chaudry said.
During the week there is not much activity at the Mosque. Friday for their main afternoon service (around 1-1:30, times vary) it is jammed.
we have programs going on at the Masjid through which we can benefit as families
and ultimately as a community at large.
In light of this, we had a
program titled Stories of the Prophets last week on Friday, which insha'Allah we
will continue next week.
Insha'Allah this week we will be having a
Family Night on Saturday Dec. 17th after Isha Salaah (7:15).
It is very
important that we as a community are as close as the sahabah of Medina
and Mecca, but to develop such love and connection, we must make an effort to
show up to events like these to firstly be involved in a congregational Ibadah
by listening to the words of Allah SWT and his Messenger SAW, and secondly by
meeting one another on such occasion.
All the brothers and sisters are
requested to come and participate and encourage others to attend.
With the great mercy of Allah SWT we are fortunate
enough to announce that we will be continuing the Daily Maktab System under our
latest Imam, Mufti Mohammad Jafari.
The Prophet SAW has said, "The
best among you is he who learns the Qur'an and teaches it to
As Muslims it is very important that we learn the Qur'an and
recite it everyday as this is our daily remedy for any problems we might face,
and if not for the sake of remedy, it is definitely an avenue for us to get
close to Allah SWT.
Our children are the future of American Muslims,
but to be that they need to know the teachings of Islam, the etiquette and
manners of the Prophet SAW, and the practical lifestyle of how to be Muslims
while living in America.
There is so much our children need to
learn that maybe we might have been void of as children, but Allah SWT is giving
us an opportunity to fill that void if not for ourselves, then at least for our
Our Maktab Classes will be comprised of 2
1. Qur'an: In which the student will learn to read the Qur'an
along with the rules of tajweed, and also memorized at least the last 10
2. Islamic Studies: In which the student will learn the
following subjects: Fiqh, Hadith, Tareekh (History), Aqaaid (Islamic beliefs),
Seerah (life of the Prophet SAW), and more.
Classes will be 3 days a
week from 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Classes are open for both boys and girls
from the ages of 7 and up.
Please take this opportunity to enroll
your child and equip him or her with the understanding of Islam.
8/13/16 Anonymous asked Kennesaw City Councilman Jim Sebastian:
Q) As I recall the approval for the Suffa Dawat Mosque/Worship Center was phrased as a ‘variance’ for 24 months of usage. We are approaching the end of that period now.
Did they in fact get a 2 year variance or did they just get total approval with no specified time limit?
Jim Sebastian • reply Get the Story about Kennesaw
In April 2015 , to ensure compliance with all Federal laws, including the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (commonly referred to as RLUIPA) and to bring the City of Kennesaw into compliance with recommendations made by the Department of Justice, the Mayor and Council unanimously amended the Kennesaw Code of Ordinances Appendix A, Chapter 2, Sections 2.02.03 “Table of Land Uses- Residential Districts” and 2.02.04 “Table of Land Uses – Non-Residential Districts.”
This conformity was made to allow for Religious Assemblies (defined as a site or facility maintained by a bona fide religious groups) for the primary purposes of religious worship, study, prayer or other religious practices of such religious groups.
Religious assemblies include but are not limited to churches, mosques, synagogues and temples in residential and non-residential districts. As these uses are now allowed, there are no limits on times or durations of use.
The Mosque land was donated by Mr. Kashif Rashid Rana of Kennesaw.
3.62 acres, 200 spot parking
NEW KENNESAW MOSQUE SITE:
3.62 acres already donated. Fund raising started for:
Masjid Suffah, 6045 Pine Mountain Road, to replace the strip mall mosque at 2750 Jiles Rd, Kennesaw.
The property with a FMV of $134,400 was donated to the Mosque by Kashif Rashid Rana, Kennesaw, and on 4/6/16 a demolition permit was issued for the existing abandoned shell of a house.
The property belonged to Mary Estelle Holcombe and was sold by her estate to Mr. Rana (Parcil ID: 20016601430).
(Note: Flyer is from 2015, very little $ has been donated so far)
WHO IS BEHIND THE MOSQUE? Kashif Rashid Rana, 678 485-9261 Naser B. Omer, 770 906-0838 Nayyer Islam, 404 556-9222 Mazhar Hussain, 404 483-8077 Sena Ali, 404 936-7108 Imam Faizan Wahid, 678 848-1965 Mufti Fakhir Islam (Director) Abdul Kareem Amer
In November 2014 a small group of Muslims wanted a Mosque to be added to a retail strip center. The City said 'No' as the zoning was for general business. A Federal suit was filed and Kennesaw settled, giving the Mosque $18,000 for their legal costs.…
The mosque would go in a wooded area surrounded by houses and an office park. None of the neighbors knew about the plans and they seem to have varying views.
"They've been very friendly," said Teresa Barnes, who manages Candy Man Inc. She says that so far, her eight-month neighbors, Masjid Suffah, have been as sweet as a piece of chocolate she was packing up during our interview.
"Yes, you have your radical Muslims, but these people seem very nice [and] don't cause any problems," Barnes said.
But some in the community haven't always been cordial. Last winter, the mosque was at the center of controversy when it wanted to move into a strip mall. After the city council's original vote of no, Muslim residents threatened to sue the city for violating their first amendment right to freedom of religion. Later, council members reconsidered their vote and decided to approve the temporary location.
Now, there are plans to build a permanent mosque at a new location on Pine Mountain Road and there's a fund raising page setup to raise thousands of dollars to build the mosque near a residential community.
"I just don't want any kind of hate crime coming in," said neighbor Rickey Cole. "I think property value could go down because of that, and traffic could be a big issue because we already have horrible traffic on 41."
Jacqueline Waldon's property would also be in the shadow of the planned mosque. She's lived in Kennesaw for six decades and says, like husband's tomato and watermelon garden, the mosque would be a part of good growth for the neighborhood.
"Our church is outgrowing itself and we need a new place and I wouldn't want my neighbors to be offended by us building a church there, so I have no problem with them building the mosque there," Waldon said.
After a request for comment, the president of the mosque said he's talking with the board of directors and would get back to CBS46, but has yet to call us back.
They mayor of Kennesaw told CBS46 that so far, the city hasn't gotten any applications or zoning requests.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 7/15/16 KENNESAW: SUFFA DAWAT MOSQUE OVERFLOW PARKING Another Friday (7/15/16) and another overflow of parking at the Kennesaw Commons strip mall at 2750 Jiles Road. The lot has a few open slots reserved for shoppers at other retail stores but otherwise not only is the parking lot completely full, spill over parking goes to the Publix lot.
KENNESAW: WHAT WILL THE NEW SUFFA DAWAT MOSQUE LOOK LIKE?
The ‘new’ Suffa Dawat Mosque to be built at 6045 Pine Mountain Road. The 3.62 acres (161,000 sq ft) has set aside 200 spaces for parking.
The Mosque land was donated to them by Mr. Kashif Rashid Rana of Kennesaw.
Due to an almost total shortfall in donations for this new center it will be years before any construction could start.
SUFFA DAWAT MOSQUE OVER CROWDING
Initially information was given by the mosque backers that they would have at most 80 worshipers for their main service on Friday afternoon in the 2 rental spaces at the Kennesaw Commons Strip Mall, 2750 Jiles Rd location.
Since then they have expanded their rental to another next door unit which is suppose to be used for the women, bringing the total rented space to 3,300 sq ft.
Photos taken in July 2016 on the “28th Night of Ramadan” at 11 p.m. show only the men’s side, which is the original 2 units (2200 sq ft) and show at least 106 people, considering the remaining area not shown, probably there are 130 (+/-) plus an unknown number of women in the remaining unit.
While the County Fire Dept had initially established the maximum number allowed under their regulations at an unrealistic 315 for the original 2 units, you can see that the facility is well above the actual physical capacity of the rooms and the parking lot during both Ramadan and their normal main service on Friday afternoons.
The original City variance for use of the property as a Mosque for 24 months still has a few months to run but there is no indication that any other facility is being prepared for the expiration of the approved 24 month usage.
A careful look at the photos will show that there are conceptual drawings of the proposed Mosque to be built at 6045 Pine Mountain Road, the design shows 3 minarets and a dome. The 3.62 acres (161,000 sq ft) has set aside 200 spaces for parking.
Whether this new million dollar Mosque is ever built, in the proposed configuration or otherwise, it clearly would be impossible for it to be ready for several years. The donations are very minimal, hardly enough to pay the rent on the current location.
Mosque leadership has been critical of worshipers for their lack of contributions.
This despite their own leadership being composed of several multi millionaires, one of which is Abdul Kareem Amer, who is also in the news recently for being the spokesman for the East Cobb Islamic Centers building of a cemetery for 6-7,000 plots in Powder Springs on MacLand Road.
The immediate Kennesaw concern is that their Friday service exceeds the available strip mall parking.
Near term concerns are for what happens when both their lease and agreement with the City of Kennesaw for the 24 month variance runs out.
Long term concerns are for construction of the new Suffa Dawat Mosque on the land donated to them by Mr. Kashif Rashid Rana of Kennesaw.
Previous dealings with this Mosque have not been satisfactory and have cost the City $18,000, a Federal lawsuit and an international black eye.
With 5 of the 6 elected City posts now held by newly elected representatives perhaps some clearer thinking will emerge on how to deal with the referenced issues.
If not then it will be another round fought out in the press and probably the courts.
Remember how it was 'claimed' that their main Friday afternoon service might draw at most 80 people?
The 7/8/16 main service totally filled the parking area at this strip mall.
Parking monitors direct members to open spots and several slots are reserved by them for use of shoppers at other mall stores.
MORE KENNESAW MOSQUE BULLSHIT
KENNESAW MOSQUE THRIVING AFTER BUMPY BEGINNING
Emily Selby MDJ 7/5/16 It’s been about a year and a half since the Kennesaw City Council balked at allowing a mosque to open in a strip mall, and since that time, mosque leaders say everything is “going great. “It is so convenient,” said Dr. Nayyer Islam, president of the mosque, the Masjid Suffah of Kennesaw. “It’s a great place for everyone to come together and meet each other. There are some people I didn’t even know were in the area that are coming here now.” In December of 2014, the Kennesaw City Council voted 4-1 to deny a permit that would have allowed worshippers to open a Muslim prayer center in a strip mall on Jiles Road behind a Publix grocery store. Protestors attended numerous council meetings about the mosque, carrying signs saying “Ban Islam” and “No Mosque,” and voiced concerns about the mosque spreading Shariah law.
After Doug Dillard, the attorney representing mosque members, threatened to sue the council for violating the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, council members reversed their decision and granted a 24-month permit. Former Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh was the only council member to approve the permit in the initial vote. She said she voted to approve the mosque because it was their “constitutional right to be there. “The (mosque members) who came to that City Council meeting, they have been members of this community for 20, 30 years,” Eaton-Welsh said “They are your radiologists, your doctors, your dentists … I’m glad they have a safe space to worship. I don’t think it’s any different than a synagogue or chapel.” Former Councilwoman Debra Williams, who initially voted against the mosque, said her opposition was based on the location. “It was going in a retail space that had active businesses, and a worship center takes away from that. We need to put in businesses that complement each other,” she said. However, Islam said the shopping mall is now thriving. “The (shopping) complex where the mosque is located had one or two businesses back then, and as I was promising the city at the time, now the whole complex is flourishing,” Islam said. Dream Body Inc, a personal training studio, moved into the strip-mall in May, and owner Seth Carver said that while parking had been an initial concern, business is good and the studio has about 150 sessions per week. “They are very courteous, they come over and put cones in front of our space so that nobody parks in front of our business so that way there’s parking for our clients,” Carver said.
Before the mosque opened, many Muslims in the area had to travel to other communities to worship. Mosque board member Naser Omer, of Kennesaw, said “we were going and coming 10 miles each way, so that’s 20 miles, and some of the prayers are only ten minutes.” He called the mosque a great facility. Nayyer Islam’s daughter, 18-year old Maha Islam, said before the mosque opened, her family traveled to Canton to a different Muslim community. “It’s so nice having the mosque here. I didn’t know all the Muslims in this area and now I do,” she said. Another mosque on Barrett Parkway in west Cobb is scheduled to open in about four to six months. The Masjid Suffah, which sees about 80 to 100 members on its busiest day, is collecting funds to move to a permanent location behind the Walgreen’s pharmacy and Bank of America on Pine Mountain Road near Cobb Parkway.
Nayyer Islam said an architect, who is a member of the mosque, has already drawn up the plans for an 8,500-square-foot space with a larger worship area and multi-purpose space for kids to play. The property, which was donated to the mosque by a member, is about 3.5 acres and the new development will include about 200 parking spaces. Kennesaw resident Eileen Alberstadt, who opposed the mosque’s opening in 2014 citing traffic congestion, said she is still concerned about traffic when the Pine Mountain Road location opens. “I live on Pine Mountain and it’s a nightmare to get out of the subdivision,” Alberstadt said. “The traffic will be hell; it’s already hell now.” Alberstadt and Williams also said mosque members tried to demolish a house on the Pine Mountain Road property, but did not have the permit and were forced to stop.
Because the project is privately-funded, it is difficult to pinpoint when it will be finished, Nayyer Islam said. “If you wrote me a check today, I could start working tomorrow,” he said, laughing. According to Nayyer Islam, the property already has the needed zoning and the final architectural designs will be submitted to the city for approval. The estimated cost for the Pine Mountain Road mosque is $1.4 million.
The mosque has a 24-month leasing period for the strip mall location which ends in about nine months. “We told them at the time that this is a temporary thing and our permission is for two years, so we are going to obey our promise,” he said. “We are going to keep striving towards building the other mosque so it becomes a permanent thing where people can go.”
Nayyer Islam is hopeful to have more funds for the permanent mosque after Ramadan, a religious month for Muslims. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and practice self-restraint and self-reflection. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is celebrated as the month Muhammad received the revelations that became the Quran.
Each night during the holy month, the Masjid Suffah serves about 150 people with a four-course meal at sunset that is followed by prayer. “Ramadan is about restricting ourselves from what is normally available. We restrict in everything, including lying and cussing,” Nayyer Islam said. “Those things happen from impulse and the purpose of Ramadan is to calm those impulsivities … the training for this month allows us to remember these things in the next 11 months. It trains us on how to be a good citizen.” Food served varies night to night but often includes dates, meats, rice, bread and desserts. “It’s a cool thing here because we have different Muslims from a lot of different countries. Everyone signs up to bring in food for Ramadan so we have a lot of different flavors,” said Maha Islam. The end of Ramadan is called Eid and is a time for celebration. People dress up in colorful outfits and donate to the community. Humaira Qhan, a member of the mosque who has lived in Kennesaw for 12 years, said. “We give alms to the poor and to the underserved so they can celebrate Eid with us.” This year, funds donated to the mosque will be given to the community of Clarkesville, according to Nayyer Islam. Also new this year for Eid, the Masjid Suffah gathered with other mosques in the area at Pine Mountain Middle School to pray and celebrate the end of Ramadan.
WEST COBB — When Amjad Taufique first moved to Cobb from Houston, the entire observant Muslim population of the county could fit in the small office they rented for prayer services.
More than 25 years later, the community is preparing to celebrate the opening of the first mosque constructed in Cobb County.
There are five mosques already throughout the county, but all of them are in repurposed buildings, said Taufique, an active community leader who owns a repair management company.
Named Masjid Al Furqan, the about 45,000-square-foot mosque off Barrett Parkway, not far from the intersection with Dallas Highway, is expected to open early next year.
“The county is growing,” said Taufique. “It’s a good place to live, good for businesses. We’ve got a lot of Muslims who have businesses around here, doctors, we have a lot of them, so that kind of attracts a crowd.”
Fadi Ali, a management consultant who moved to Cobb County from Florida with his wife, a surgeon, and children two years ago, recently bought a house near the new mosque in order to attend prayers there.
Ali said being able to build a place of worship from the ground up is significant for the Muslim community.
“I think it makes a huge difference,” he said. “This is significant especially for me because I can take my children, my wife, my extended family and show them how we put this window here and that there.”
Ali also said it was important to him that the mosque be a resource not just for Muslims, but for the entire Cobb community, and talked about offering classes and activities.
When finished, Al Furqan will occupy a six-acre site that includes two existing houses, one of which will become administrative offices and the other will be available as the residence for the imam, who leads the congregation in prayer. The grounds will be encircled by a landscaped buffer and walking trail, which Taufique said would be open to the public.
The mosque is being built with funds donated by the community and is expected to serve a congregation of up to 300 people. Construction is estimated to cost $1.2 million, Taufique said, adding that the building was designed to blend in with the surrounding neighborhood, with a few nods to Islamic architecture, such as arches in the entranceway.
The property was previously owned by a church and already zoned to allow a religious institution. “We are going to stick to the code like nobody ever did,” said Taufique. “We know where we are, we know our position.”
Taufique is hoping Al Furqan will be open for services by February or March of next year, and encouraged members of the public who were curious to reach out to arrange a tour.
“We would love for our neighbors to say, ‘Hey I just want to stop by,’” he said.
Construction of the mosque follows on the heels of a heated confrontation in Kennesaw in December that saw protests over a proposed storefront prayer hall in a shopping center. The Kennesaw City Council eventually reversed its vote not to allow the prayer hall after being threatened with legal action.
By contrast, both Ali and Taufique said they were not aware of any negative responses to the new mosque in west Cobb. In fact, they said, all of the neighbors have been very welcoming.
A handful of people have expressed alarm to the local county commissioner, Bob Weatherford, however.
Weatherford said he has received calls from “five or 10” constituents who called to complain.
“You get some that are far out there,” Weatherford said. “I don’t discriminate based on anything as long as it’s legal.”
He went on to say he supported freedom of worship as long as it did not infringe on the rights of others and it was done “peacefully.”
“My opinion of that particular religion is that they have a propensity not to be peaceful,” Weatherford said, adding he was speaking in general terms and not about the Muslim community of Cobb County.
Ali said he was not concerned about the kind of anti-Muslim sentiment that was on display in Kennesaw last year, where protesters held signs that read “ban Islam” and “Islam wants no peace.” “I believe in our justice system and elected officials,” Ali said.
As a community leader, Taufique has often found himself in the role of ambassador of his faith, especially since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Several years after the attacks, he recalled reading an article about a young Muslim couple who were interrogated by the FBI after their neighbors reported “suspicious” behavior, which, it turned out, included fixing their washing machine and cooking biryani, a popular South Asian and Middle Eastern rice dish.
“It made me start to think that the neighbors really don’t even know you. They’re just scared (for) no reason, so what can we do to change that?” he asked.
Taufique decided to invite his entire neighborhood association, representing more than 140 houses, to an open house at his home.
“We said, ‘Hey, we understand maybe you guys are a little concerned about who we are, what we are, so come in and see,’” he said.
About 100 neighbors showed up, many of them meeting for the first time in Taufique’s home.
Taufique calls the extra efforts made by Muslims to assuage their neighbors’ fears “the price we pay,” and takes it in stride. Since 9/11, he has built strong connections with local Jewish, Christian and other religious leaders and helps organize an annual interfaith Thanksgiving dinner.
“I built up good relationships with many people after that just because they called and we had lunch together,” he said. “It’s a process of education that we have to really put out there for the community to see who we are.”
During the past week signage for the Mosque has been added to their 2750 Jiles Road location. Although a donation of land was made less than half a mile away it is unlikely that the proposed $800,000 new Mosque will be built there.
The current facility has had a hard time getting donations to keep it afloat.
Several of the founding Mosque members are multi Millionaires and could easily afford to build the new Mosque but they didn't get to be multi Millionaires by spending their own money.
So unless those running the Mosque can find a few suckers to donate money, it is likely that they will remain where they are and may well spend some funds to expand to an adjacent unused space next to the Mosque.
8/28/15 The Friday mid day service of the Suffa Dawat Mosque attracts far more people than any of the other services and nearly fills the strip mall parking lot.
Welcome to the new Kennesaw Mosque, a new one costing $800,000 is coming.
MUSLIM ACTIVIST AND MULTI MILLIONAIRE, ABDUL KAREEM AMER is at it again.
This time he is pushing for a Fall opening of his 6-7,000 plot, 13.5 acer Muslim cemetery on Macland Road in Powder Springs and local members of that heavily black community are up in arms about how it was snuck in with no notice to area residents.
Well Kennesaw residents already know that Mr. Amer is a pretty sneaky guy. Perhaps you remember him from the Suffa Dawat Mosque problem in the down market Kennesaw strip mall at 2750 Jiles Road?
Mr Amer is called 'the engineer' and was the self described man behind the new Kennesaw Mosque. He and a few others decided they wanted their own boutique mosque in Kennesaw.
This is the guy who got Kennesaw resident, Mr. Mufti Fakhir Islam, to put in the application for a 24 month waiver of the Kennesaw zoning regulations so a store front Mosque could be put into a down market strip mall behind the Publix store on Cobb Parkway.
Mr. Mufti Fakhir Islam put in writing the bogus Suffa Dawat claim that there were no other Mosques within a 20 mile radius when there are at least 7, one as close as 8 miles away. This claim later got an apology from Mosque attorney Dillard, but you won't likely have heard about the apology as it was given in an (illegally) closed session before the start of the Dec. 1st regular Council meeting.
Let's look a bit closer at Mr. Abdul. Kareem Amer:
He is a multi millionaire. He lives in a gated estate at 2467 Sewell Mill Rd, in Marietta with a Fair Market Value, last year, of $795,000. This residence is just a 2 minute drive from the East Cobb Iislamic Center, which is now behind establishing the new Muslim cemetery on Mackland Road.
Abdul Amer is listed in Cobb County Tax records as having a boat with a FMV (Fair Market Value) of $728,640 and an airplane with a FMV of $66,640 and just in Cobb County the Georgia Secretary of State site says that he owns 4 companies:
A&R ENGINEERING INC.,
LILY ESTATES, LLC,
ROBINSON ESTATES, LLC
THE SHOPS AT HICKORY GROVE, LLC.,
an 11 unit strip mall at 2639 Hickory Grove Rd, Acworth, Ga. 30101, FMV of $2,074,900.
Just over 2 years ago Amer was butting heads with Kennesaw for his boutique mosque, today he is spear heading the 7,000 burial sites in his Powder Springs Muslim cemetery.
What will he be up to next year?
That snowball has already starting to roll downhill for Kennesaw with a proposed $1,000,000 mosque on an oddly shaped 3.62 acer plot (161,000 sq ft) at 6045 Pine Mountain Road, which is near North Cobb Parkway and is about half-a-mile away from the Kennesaw Commons shopping center where the Suffa Dawat mosque is now.
This heavily wooded property recently sold for $95,000, with it going from the estate of Mary Estelle Holcombe, who had owned it and its 6 room 1,484 sq ft, dilapidated ranch style house (built in 1900), to the new owner Kashif Rashid Rana of Kennesaw. (Parcel ID is 20027902450).
It was in turn donated to the Suffa Dawat Mosque for its future location.
Neighbors of this property, directly abutting the new Mosque, will be some of the owners at The Village at Pine Mountain, with 17 of their homes affected and the Cedar Creek Professional Center at Pine Mountain and Cobb Pkwy.
When Amer is finished with his cemetery project Kennesaw will be seeing him again.
Suffa Dawat Construction Drawings 5/27/15 for 2750 Jiles Rd #111 Plans by: A and R Engineering, Inc, 2160 Kingston Ct, Marietta, 30068. Contact Person: Naser Omer. This is one of at least 4 firms owned by Abdul Kareem Amer of Marietta. Men's Prayer Hall, 1311 sq ft, Maximum Occupancy 187 Women's Prayer Hall, 468 sq ft, Max Occupancy 67 See the below construction drawings at: http://www.masjidsuffah.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Suffa-Dawat-Center-6-03-15.pdf