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Community Development

Overview

Developing the community moral and spiritually, and empowering its members through knowledge and involvement so that they can live contribute to the improvement of life conditions around them, is the paramount mission of the Islamic center. As the Qur’an makes it clear, a true Muslim is a person who purifies his/her soul and refines his/her character, through knowledge and service. “Who is better in speech than one who calls to Allah works righteousness and says:I am of those who bow in Islam?” (41:33) “and say: O my Lord! advance me in knowledge.” (20:114)

The masjid is the center of moral and spiritual growth, and must provide an environment conducive to learning and experiencing the spirit of Islam. Masjid leaders should, therefore, make it a priority to provide members of their community with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of Islam and engage in spiritual uplifting practices. They must also attend to the needs of new Muslims to learn the faith and receive the support they need to adjust to the new life as converts to Islam.

Equally important is the issue of family counseling. The community should always have trained volunteered to help resolve issues relating to family disputes whenever the need arises. It would be also important to identify professionals who are familiar with Muslim practices to help in such occurrences.

Guidelines

  • Islamic centers should provide community members with regular opportunities to learn about Islam and to be informed about issues of concern to the community.
  • Islamic centers should organize panels on Islam that help enlighten the community and reflect diverse views and approaches. This can be best done by inviting nationally recognized Muslim scholars to speak on issues.
  • Islamic centers should organize awareness programs to inform community members on internal and external challenges facing American Muslims.
  • Islamic centers should organize training programs to help community members develop organizational skills and empower them to undertake community projects.
  • Islamic centers should establish family and marriage counseling, and periodically sponsor parenting courses.
  • Islamic centers should provide special classes to new Muslims and develop support system to help them overcome challenges the face as the result of going through major transformation in their lives.