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Over 500 Signatures on “Inclusion of Women in Masjids” Statement, Representing 250 Masjids

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Blog, Women | 0 comments

Since the “Statement on the Inclusion of Women in Masjids” was launched at ISNA’s 51st Convention, 349 people have signed the online “Statement” and another 180 have signed the “Statement” at the Convention and at the Masjid Forum.  These signatures represent 260 masjids.  What’s the next step?  How do we move the agenda? Let’s look at our masjid and ask, how well are we living up to the Statement: (1) do you have women serving on the masjid board, executive committee and other leadership positions; (2) can women sit in the main musalla for regular salah, Jum’ah Prayer and lectures; (3) is the women’s area adequate and pleasing; (4) is there programming for women.  If your masjid has not yet met these standards, then the issue must be put in front of the community. Other ways to push agenda: (1)    Invite outside speakers to address the issue, including women and scholars.  Possible women speakers include Hind Makki, Aisha al-Adawiya, Dr. Sarah Sayeed, etc.  Possible scholars include Dr. Zainab Alwani, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Imam Omar Suleiman, etc.  You can email ihsanbagby@gmail.com to help arrange a speaker. (2)    Arrange a khutbah to support the goals of the Statement. (3)    Organize a panel of masjid members to discuss the issue. (4)    Organize a town...

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Strategic Planning: A Must for Masjids by Ihsan Bagby

Posted by on Feb 20, 2016 in Blog, Finances | 1 comment

  When was the last time that your masjid did strategic planning?   Never?  5 years ago?  A masjid should do strategic planning at least every five years.  Strategic planning is absolutely necessary because periodically any organization needs to step back and re-assess itself and re-formulate its direction and priorities.  The Prophet Muhammad (saaws) said, “Allah loves, when one of you does something, that it is done with excellence.”  Excellence for a masjid entails good planning.  The beginning of the year is a good time to consider arranging to do strategic planning for your masjid.  To get a firmer grasp of strategic planning and its intricacies, everyone is recommended to read Dr. Rafik Beekun’s Strategic Planning and Implementation for Islamic Organizations. The best way to go about strategic planning is to hire a Muslim facilitator, who is outside your community, to lead you through the steps of strategic planning.  At this point in time the Muslim community does not have a large number of Muslim facilitators so an alternative path might be needed. Masjid Bilal in Lexington, KY went through a strategic planning process in January 2016, and their experience can serve as an example for other masjids.  An outline of a typical strategic planning process includes (1) a SWOT analysis, which means brain storming...

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Faith groups have responsibility to protect planet by Saiyid Masroor Shah

Posted by on Feb 20, 2016 in Blog, General | 0 comments

  (Printed in Evansville Courier and Press)  Feb 6, 2016 Saiyid Masroor Shah is a member of the Tri-State Islamic Center) The Quran says “He (Almighty God) is the one who made you the guardians in the earth,”translation 35:30. Similarly, all religions, in their own ways, believe and profess that human beings have been ordained as the caretakers of earth by almighty God, implying that it is our responsibility to protect our natural resources and the environment on the...

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Prepare for 2016 Green Ramadan by Green Masjid Task Force

Posted by on Feb 20, 2016 in Blog, General | 0 comments

  Last Ramadan, 37 masjids joined ISNA’s Green Ramadan Campaign, and this year ISNA and the Masjid Development Initiative hope for many more masjids to join the effort.  The time is now to plan.  Here’s some steps that need to be started now.   Purchase your blue recycling bins and distribute them in the masjid.  Make regular announcements about using the recycling bins. Find out the regulations for the company who does your recycling; pass on those regulations to...

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Imam Zaid Shakir on Black History Month

Posted by on Feb 20, 2016 in Blog, General | 0 comments

  American masjids are slowly embracing Black History Month, because Muslims must support the struggle of African Americans to achieve justice and equality in America, and because African American Muslims are intricately involved in the history of America and African Americans.  Some masjids like the Islamic Center of Long Island organized an entire afternoon program devoted the topic, hosting local African American Muslim leaders and other activists in the struggle.  Some masjids like the Guiding Light Islamic Center hosted...

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Obama Visits Masjid

Posted by on Feb 20, 2016 in Blog, General | 0 comments

Obama to Muslim Americans: ‘You’re Right Where You Belong’ David Graham (from The Atlantic) Amid what Muslim American leaders describe as the tensest moment in their community’s history, President Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Wednesday and delivered some of the most in-depth comments any American leader has made on Islam in the United States. Obama’s comments were aimed at a triple audience. He placed greatest emphasis on making an impassioned case to the entire American population...

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CAIR: Vandalism and Harassment at Mosques Reach Record High by Daniel Burke

Posted by on Feb 20, 2016 in Blog, General | 0 comments

  (from CNN) Gunshots fired into a mosque in Connecticut. Armed men protesting the “Islamization of America” outside Islamic centers in Texas. Death threats called in to mosques in Florida, Maryland and Virginia. Anecdotal evidence suggests 2015, a year bookended by murderous attacks carried out in the name of Islam, has been one of the most intensely anti-Muslim periods in American history. A new study shared with CNN puts statistical heft behind that suspicion. Through December 8, American mosques and...

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