By Adil James, MMNS
Farmington Hills–December 9–The Tawheed Center is a beehive of activity despite the cold.
This weekend the mosque held a blanket drive. One of the mosqueâ€™s trustees, Mr. Asim Khan, explained that the blanket drive will continue through the end of the month.
Construction of the mosqueâ€™s extended prayer and gymnasium areas has temporarily halted. Mr. Khan explained that by waiting until winter ends, the mosque can save about $25,000 off the necessary cost of some necessary demolition that must happen for the construction to continue. The plumbing, one wall, a roof, and the innards of the newly constructed area have yet to be built.
As for Tawheed Center activities, Imam Sohel is conducting an extremely active youth training program, with a full-time hifz school whose leading student has memorized 22 juz of Qur`an.
â€œWe donâ€™t tell them how much to learn,â€ says Imam Sohel. â€œHifz is with your own love for it–if you want, you do it.â€
The initial stage of the program and all of the Qur`an programs for children at the mosque is to teach the rules of correct tajweed. This may take 6 months or a year, but Imam Sohel does not believe in teaching students to memorize Qur`an and then after several juz for them to realize they are making mistakes in pronunciation.
There is also a Sunday school, and Imam Sohel also makes himself available to teach some more dedicated students 3 times a week after their full-time schooling.
In speaking of the 2nd generation Muslims, he explains that the atmosphere at home is very important. â€œParents should sit with their children–if not, itâ€™s a waste of time for us.â€ They need to have an Islamic atmosphere at home, he says.
â€œIf parents do not pay attention to their children,â€ he explains, they â€œslowly slowly deteriorate.â€
If the atmosphere at home is wrong, he says, there is no way to make them correct even in a full-time Islamic school. â€œIf the home atmosphere is wrong, the good students will be contaminated [by the bad students]–there will be swearing, they will not respect their elders.â€
Explains Imam Sohel, â€œthis year I plan to take them skiing, go-carting, putt putt golf, laser tag, and talk to them about marriage, drugs, and motivate them away fromâ€ [bad influences].