TOLEDO, OH–The Masjid Saad of Toledo and its affiliated Islamic school will soon move into a new location. They have acquired a former church for $2.7 million. The building and former school are on a 15 acre site. The building features a 1,500 seat sanctuary, 35 classrooms and offices, a small kitchen, and a large conference room.
Dr. Abed Alo, a member of the mosque;s board of directors , told the Toledo Blade that minimal renovation is required to convert the building into a mosque.
Masjid Saad began as a small Islamic prayer group in the 1980s at the University of Toledo. Members met in homes in the UT area until moving to Secor Road.
Chestnut Ridge mosqueâ€™s parking woes
CHESTNUT RIDGE, NY– The Jerrahi Mosque in Chestnut Ridgeâ€™s popularity among the local Muslims is causing problems, reports the Journal News. The 25 parking spaces of the mosque fill quickly and the congregants have to park on the heavily traveled Route 45 and also in an adjacent school parking lot.
The latter eventually became unavailable, leading congregants to park on Joyce Drive, a road off the west side of the highway and opposite the mosque.
For about 10 years, according to some members, congregants have parked on that street.
So it came as a surprise last week when they found notices on their windshields announcing new parking regulations.
The rules enacted by the village prohibit parking on most of the north side of Joyce Drive, as well as on both sides along a curve in the road. Parking already was prohibited on both sides near Route 45.
â€œWe canâ€™t park on Route 45, so people have been parking on Joyce,â€ said Azra Fasihuddin, a mosque member. â€œWe park on both sides, but weâ€™ve been careful not to block driveways or fire hydrants.â€
Sabbath services on Fridays draw the congregants, who come from New Jersey and Orange County, as well as Rockland.
The prayer services are from 1 to 2 p.m., so congregants arrive about 12:30 and leave about 2:30, said David Lowenthal, another member.
â€œWhen we started, this was plenty,â€ he said, gesturing toward the mosqueâ€™s paved parking lot. â€œBut it grew. More people moved into the area, or those who didnâ€™t know about it, heard about it.â€
Members of the mosque now have permission from the East Ramapo school district to park at the adjacent Chestnut Ridge Middle School through the end of August, but will have to find another spot once classes resume in September.
Lowenthal said the congregation was exploring options that included seeking space in a town of Ramapo commuter park-and-ride lot, south of the mosque off Route 45.
It might also petition residents of Joyce Drive â€œto see if we could ask for a break during those (sabbath) hours,â€ Lowenthal said.
Interfaith seminar in Chino
CHINO, CA–Bait-ul-Hameed Mosque held an interfaith seminar that attracted over 120 participants with more than 50 guests from various churches. The goal of this seminar was to increase mutual awareness between the adherents of Islam and Christianity.
Monas Chaudary, the eventâ€™s moderator, welcomed the audience and Noman Ahmad recited verses of Surah Al-Imran from the Holy Quran with English translation.Reverend Father Kerry Beaulieu, in his remarks, came up with an exposition of the similarities between Islam and Christianity. He began with the doctrine of monotheism as the first common point and then observed that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each share Abraham as their patriarchal figure.
Imam Shamshad Nasir emphasized the importance of mutual peace and love between the worldâ€™s two largest religions.
He included an overview of the fundamental philosophical principles of Islam, such as the concept of Oneness and the universality of Godâ€™s love for mankind.He explained that the meaning of the word Islam is â€œpeaceâ€ and that the goal of Islam is to establish peace in our world. Regarding prayer, he stated that praying five times daily is the route to achieving nearness to God and a source of seeking forgiveness and repentance for our digressions.
Ibrahim Abu Rabi named Islamic studies chair
Edmonton–The University of Alberta has appointed Ibrahim Abu-Rabi as the first holder of the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities Chair in Islamic Studies, the first teaching and research chair of its kind in Canada.
â€œI am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Ibrahim A. Abu-Rabi as the first holder of the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities Chair in Islamic Studies,â€ said Daniel Woolf, dean of Arts.
Abu-Rabi is currently a professor of Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim relations at the Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut.
â€œHe is a prolifically well-published scholar with an outstanding reputation in the field and I am delighted that he has accepted our offer of appointment,â€ said Woolf.
Director of the Program of religious studies Willi Braun said Professor Abu-Rabi is an outstanding research scholar with â€œa very solid international reputation in academic circles and in Muslim communities.â€
â€œIn addition to several important books, he is the editor of the well-known journal The Muslim World. His research and lecture travels to south Asia, central Asia and Turkey have provided him with a productive scholarly network that we expect to be of benefit to the University of Alberta, especially the Faculty of Arts and its program in religious studies, with the attraction of international graduate students, visiting scholars,â€ he said.
â€œProfessor Abu-Rabi is expected to be a leader within the Faculty of Arts in the future development of studies of Islam in all its historical and cultural diversity. I am immensely pleased that Dr. Abu-Rabi will join….â€
Abu-Rabi will take up his appointment on July 1, 2008. The Chair in Islamic Studies was established through a generous donation from the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities.
Mosque expanding in Hamilton
HAMILTON–A lack of parking should not be an issue, once an expansion of the Mosque on Hamiltonâ€™s east mountain is completed.
The city is expected to finalize the sale of a surplus piece of property to the Muslim Association of Hamilton, when it meets tomorrow evening (Wednesday).
The strip of land has a book value of 40 thousand dollars and is being sold for just 10% of that, but Ward 6 Councillor Tom Jackson insists the real value is â€œnegligibleâ€.
He notes that the property is landlocked between the back of Hamilton Mountain Bowl and the Lincoln Alexander Expressway.