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Strategic Planning: A Must for Masjids by Ihsan Bagby

Strategic Planning: A Must for Masjids  by Ihsan Bagby


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 on the masjid’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats; (2) looking at or developing the masjid’s vision and mission statement, (3) identify the short-term and/or long-term goals and priorities of the masjid, (4) developing objectives to realize the goals, and (5) setting down a short-term operational plan.

To involve the entire community in the process, Masjid Bilal held a strategic planning session at their monthly family night.  Community members did a partial SWOT analysis and then discussed and voted on top priorities for the masjid.  The results of the community gathering were shared with the strategic planning team which included the Board of Trustees, Executive Committee and other stakeholders.  The planning team then held their own all-day strategic planning session.  To save time they reviewed the SWOT analysis and they reviewed the mission and vision statement which had been formulated earlier.   They focused most of their time on re-assessing the goals and priorities of the masjid.  After voting to rank the goals, they divided into break-out groups to develop objectives for the top goals.  They then came back together to discuss the objectives as a group.  The resulting document will then be given to a committee to develop an operational plan.


Taken from Dr. Rafiq Beekun’s Strategic Planning and Implementation for Islamic Organizations

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is the process by which an organization and its decision makers determine its self- concept, where the organization is heading, what its priorities are and how it will achieve them.

Vision Statement

An idealized expression of what the organization seeks to become.

Mission Statement

A statement reflecting what the organization seeks to do to realize its vision; it answers, what is it that we do.


The priority areas where the organization intends to focus its attention and resources.


Objectives are tied to specific goals and represent a managerial commitment to producing specified results in a specified time frame.  Objectives should meet the SMART criteria: Specific, Measureable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time Bound.

Operational Plan

A strategic plan must be translated into an operational plan to facilitate implementation.





One Comment

  1. Excellent approach to keeping Masjid and Islamic Centers up to date and more relevant to their community and the betterment of current and future generations. This sort of strategic planning can attract young members that can bring the true pros and cons of the evelving generations. Experience architects that are involved with planning design and construction of Masjids and IC can be great resource and good facilitators for leading the effort and periodic follow up. Mazen

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