We are pleased to launch this new video series addressing issues of masjid leadership from MuslimSI.com. The intent behind this series is to provide a frank discussion about issues of concern to our communities. Problems such as leadership, board politics, and youth involvement are not unique to any one masjid.

Our Muslim community first faced a crisis of survival – when the first wave of immigrants rose to the challenge and established institutions such as Masjids, community centers, and Islamic schools. The new crisis we face is one of relevancy. Our comm
unities are struggling to take the next step to make sure our community infrastructure is ready to meet the demands of the coming generation.

It is with this in mind that we are launching this important series of interviews with Shaykh AbdulNasir Jangda. We hope to cover more topics and also involve other speakers as well.

The first video is entitled, 'Role of the masjid'.

This video covers a number of issues, among them:

  • What is the true role and purpose of the masjid? (Refer to this MuslimSI article on an organization's true purpose)
  • How does a community balance competing objectives with limited resources? Specifically, how to balance between the demands of Islamic schools, Sunday schools, and Friday prayer.
  • How to make women's prayer space?
  • What is most pressing when embarking on a new masjid project?

Enjoy the first video below. The next video will cover how to find the right imam.

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11 Responses

  1. Muslimah

    Ma sha Allah. Great Naseeha.

    I particularly appreciate two pieces of Hikmah:

    1) Take it upon ourselves to make everyone feel welcome and connected at the Masjid.

    2) Have a shared community space for brothers and sisters.

    I am one Sister who appreciates the Sunnah of Brothers and Sisters praying together in one room.

    I look forward to more Muslim Strategic Initiatives, in sha Allah.

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    • Fulan

      I would also appreciate the Sunnah of Brothers and Sisters praying in one room (I believe you mean w/o a barrier)… AS LONG AS the Brothers and Sisters follow the other Sunnah’s involved with this (to avoid mixing):

      -That Brothers wait after tasleem, facing forward, and give Sisters a chance to leave
      -That Sisters get up and leave shortly after tasleem
      -That Sisters dress modestly (jilbab/abayah)
      -(during Ramadan, not a mixing issue) That Sisters remain quiet between rak’as
      -That there are different doors for Brothers and Sisters that are always open and strictly enforced (to avoid entering from the other genders’ entrance)

      Unfortunately, it is rare that an entire community conforms to these standards. So, IMHO, since avoiding an evil (mixing) is of a higher priority than practicing a Sunnah (no barrier between men and women), I believe it is better if the sections are separated (best if it’s a one way glass separation).

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  2. Ify Okoye

    Interesting initiative. Building welcoming communities with meaningful inclusion and guarding the “back door” is critical along with creating and finding innovative space solutions. Hope these conversations will include women’s voices as well.

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  3. ahmed

    as salamu alaikum,

    Lots of good info, please keep it coming! MashaAllah, MSI is doing good work by making this material easily accessible and relevant.

    Unfortunately much of this information has been learned the hard way and it seems we are constantly reinventing the wheel. I remember watching a videotape maybe 10-15 years ago where a daee was mentioning having jumuah in the multipurpose hall, using those hotel-style conference room dividers to create classrooms as needed, etc. To me, that means that either we have no institutional memory or that good ideas like these never get off the ground.

    In future videos / blog posts, can MSI address issues such as:
    – Paying people competitive full-time rates to keep the back door closed, as opposed to burdening volunteers
    – The phenomenon of burnout in volunteers, which leads to them not getting involved again and eventually disappearing
    – People get excited over raising millions of dollars for an expansion project, but there is no excitement for paying people to actually do the activities. (capex vs opex)
    – No doubt that the ones who have money or can raise money are the ones making the substantive decisions. How can a person get involved (or should they even get involved) when the big donors make the decisions re 8k sq ft musalla vs 3k sq ft multipurpose areas?
    – How open should the masjid be? The shaikh mentioned being open-minded to the brother wearing shorts or smoking outside, or talking in the musalla. But what about being open to a khateeb who discusses taboo or political topics? What if someone with a very strange aqeeda wants to teach in the sunday school? Where does one draw the line?

    jazakum Allahu khairan again for all your hard work

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    • ibnabeeomar

      jazakallahu khayr, definitely good input and along the lines of what we hope to include in future videos.

      do you know who that videotape was from by any chance?

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      • ahmed

        I believe it was from Dr Maher Hathout

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  4. Hosny Aowad

    Excellent discussion on a very important subject. Here’s my two cents worth based on the experience that Allah allowed me. A Masajid (or Jamah …. I like this term) should have a leadership that should have the following skills, which could be developed.

    1. Stakeholders and Interface Management
    2. Baseline the “starting” point to determine where to go, the roadmap to get there and how to measure progress.
    3. Risk Assessment and Management

    These are essential skills to manage/lead such a challenging institute like “Jamah”

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  5. Safia Farole

    Mashallah, this is great! I like this open forum format because we can hear from our community leaders about pressing issues in a focused in. Interviews are different from lectures and khutbah’s, allowing for issues to be explored deeper. I can’t wait for more videos!

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  6. ibnabeeomar

    jazakallahu khayr for the comments. the next vid, “how to find the right imam for your masjid” will be released by the end of this month iA

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