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*charisma*
10-15-2010, 04:28 AM
Assalamu Alaikum

There's an Islamic community center in my very small town, which seems to often be somewhat empty. I had never been to til 2 years ago during ramadan because (1.) I never even knew we had one (2.) when I did find out we had one I heard that only men attended, and (3.) there aren't many muslims in the community (or so it seems), therefore I assumed there probably werent many muslims who attended there anyway.

In my town, the only muslims I know of is my family and only like two of my uncles go there usually during ramadan for taraweeh..I decided to go one day after asking if any Muslim women attended at all, and my uncle told me there were like 2 of them who came sometimes, so I went hoping I could maybe meet them and maybe get an islamic sisterhood club going or something, haha ok not really lol but yeah...anyways, when I got there I was really shocked to see this was what was being used as a form of a community center/mosque. It was very small, there wasn't a section for the women (they had to pray behind the men), there were only like 4 people! 4!! for taraweeh! I mean, ok sure the town is small, but come on...and worst of all, it had an imam but he wasn't even there..in fact, I believe a child hafiz comes once in a while to lead taraweeh during ramadan, but when he's not there, just a random person leads prayer. There weren't any muslim women at all, there were like 3 reverts, 1 desi muslim, and then it was us.

I didn't feel the islamic spirit there, no no..I had not been there since then (2 years ago), but it's always in the back of my head that I need to do something and I can't really brush it away cuz I don't think anyone is doing anything. I would love to have an Islamic community here, for dawah purposes or just to allow muslims to come to a place where they can be closer...I would have loved to have someplace to go to to learn Quran or Arabic, or hear a khutbah, etc..but instead i do all that stuff online or read books cuz I don't have any other resources. I feel now that me and my family's iman is getting better Alhemdulilah, I would like to apply my knowledge in helping and guiding others inshallah..I just don't know how..I feel bad that there are reverts who probably don't have anyone to help them much, I've been in their shoes and it's a challenge..most of all I feel that there may be more muslims around but they're just muslim by name cuz they don't have anyone to teach them and so maybe theyre ashamed to show that they're muslim? I don't know but there has to be more muslims around than 4 people..I've passed some a few times tht I had never seen before or at the mosque.

What are some ideas or ways I can renovate this place and make it more lively so that people, even nonMuslims can feel welcome and join? Obviously this would have to be a community effort, but baby steps baby steps :p

I don't have any idea on how Islamic community centers run and I'm guessing my first step would be to just call the imam himself and talk to him about it, but what are some actions that could be applied?

Any suggestions would be great! and sorry for the super long post (:

Jazakum Allahu Khair in advance!

fi aman Allah
w'salaam
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Ummu Sufyaan
10-15-2010, 08:46 AM
wa alaykum us-Salaam
they say the best type of advertising is by word of mouth...so in this case, you should start small and try build a good reputation (not in a showing off way, but in away where people know where to go to and whats available there). start with small projects. maybe not so much Islamic ones to begin with, but merely where you tell sisters/Muslim that such and such event is happening at such and such Islamic center.

once everyone knows what is held at the center and who operates there, then start getting people/speakers from other places, but first i think you need to build the brotherhood/strengthen the ties among yourselves first.
dont get all hyped, then fall back on nothing =). have a plan. if you do invite speakers, etc right away, know what you want to do after that...community work needs dedication.

you also need to attract people and let them know that there is something there that is of interest. places like this need to cater for everyone, so ensure everyone has something there for them...you can do this by getting about and about and asking people what they would like to see. make it a dawah center where you have pamphlets about certain topics in Islam. also someone/their contact details if any non-Muslims want to ask about Islam, should also be available.

perhaps a child playgroup for mothers and their children...

a segregated gym

youth groups come to mind as-well. i know at our musallah, there were weekly video lecture where teams were organized and teams with the highest point count were treated somewhere. (point count was based on a quiz about the video lecture).

how about counseling in the sense that people have somewhere to go concerning their iman without getting judged for it. ensure that this counselor can speak the language of the locals and has a good understanding and that he/she can relate to the community. sometimes our mashayikh can be abit innocent.

try speaking with the local imam and see if you can organize weekly classes.

one really important point is make sure there is someone who can speak the language of the locals.

basically Muslims (especially the young) need to know that they have something for them available.

i must say as-well, is to be careful of ikhtilaaf and know how to deal with it. people can sometimes get egotistical and ruin something really good because of their own petty ends. and just generally know how to deal with people...you'll get all sorts of people who are extremely different so be well prepared, especially when they greatly differ with your ideas.

also, if you are in charge, be as understanding and kind to everyone (which im sure you are anyway). being in a position of charge carries its responsibilities.

may Allah make your cause successful.
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Tyrion
10-16-2010, 02:54 AM
Originally Posted by Ummu Sufyaan
wa alaykum us-Salaam
they say the best type of advertising is by word of mouth...so in this case, you should start small and try build a good reputation (not in a showing off way, but in away where people know where to go to and whats available there). start with small projects. maybe not so much Islamic ones to begin with, but merely where you tell sisters/Muslim that such and such event is happening at such and such Islamic center.

once everyone knows what is held at the center and who operates there, then start getting people/speakers from other places, but first i think you need to build the brotherhood/strengthen the ties among yourselves first.
dont get all hyped, then fall back on nothing =). have a plan. if you do invite speakers, etc right away, know what you want to do after that...community work needs dedication.

you also need to attract people and let them know that there is something there that is of interest. places like this need to cater for everyone, so ensure everyone has something there for them...you can do this by getting about and about and asking people what they would like to see. make it a dawah center where you have pamphlets about certain topics in Islam. also someone/their contact details if any non-Muslims want to ask about Islam, should also be available.

perhaps a child playgroup for mothers and their children...

a segregated gym

youth groups come to mind as-well. i know at our musallah, there were weekly video lecture where teams were organized and teams with the highest point count were treated somewhere. (point count was based on a quiz about the video lecture).

how about counseling in the sense that people have somewhere to go concerning their iman without getting judged for it. ensure that this counselor can speak the language of the locals and has a good understanding and that he/she can relate to the community. sometimes our mashayikh can be abit innocent.

try speaking with the local imam and see if you can organize weekly classes.

one really important point is make sure there is someone who can speak the language of the locals.

basically Muslims (especially the young) need to know that they have something for them available.

i must say as-well, is to be careful of ikhtilaaf and know how to deal with it. people can sometimes get egotistical and ruin something really good because of their own petty ends. and just generally know how to deal with people...you'll get all sorts of people who are extremely different so be well prepared, especially when they greatly differ with your ideas.

also, if you are in charge, be as understanding and kind to everyone (which im sure you are anyway). being in a position of charge carries its responsibilities.

may Allah make your cause successful.
Very good suggestions sister... I feel like any community center should place the youth as their priority... Perhaps a basketball court would be a good idea as well? (although that probably falls under the gym idea. :p)
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