The Islamic Center of America, Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah is open every day all day from the Salaah Al-Fajr until after Salaah Al-Ishaa and provides numerous services and activities free of charge for everyone who attends. Among those services and activities are:
The Masjid is open daily for the 5 Salaah without being closed in between those times as many other masaajid do. The number of people who pray these 5 Salaah in congregation in Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah is between 30-75 men and women depending upon the Salaah. Often times the Imam gives a short talk after the Salaah and/or answers the Muslims questions about Islam.
Approximately 450-600 or more Muslim men and women attend the Jumu’ah. The Khutbah usually centers on religious issues and is based upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The minbar of Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah is not a platform for any particular group, religious organization, political party or personal agenda.
As of the last 12 plus years Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah has hosted the Eid Salaah due to in climate weather. Attendance is between 700 and 1000 worshipers. And in the last few years the Muslims of the area have come together on the day of the Eid. There were over 5 masaajid and over 1,350 Muslims who came together for Eid Al-Fitr 1433. On Eid Al-Adhaa 1432 the Imam slaughtered his sacrificial animal right in the parking lot of the Masjid after leading the Salaah and delivering the Eid Khutbah. That was a first for the Muslims in East Orange.
About 50-150 Muslim men, women and children break their fast at Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah in Ramadan. And from 75-120 Muslim men, women and children pray the Salaah At-Taraaweeh. And in the last few years our own Muslim youth have been leading the Taraaweeh Prayers as an encouragement for the Muslim children to give more importance to memorizing the Qur’an.
The Masjid provides Islamic Studies classes in ‘aqeedah, tafseer, fiqh, Qur’anic memorization, Arabic for non-Arabs, women issues, Islamic etiquettes and manners and more. The Imam usually has 2-4 classes per week; he has 8 classes per week now. Attendance is generally around 8-15 men and women. Other Muslim men and women teach classes as well. We plan on mentioning them and their classes in future editions of this brochure, Inshaa Allah.
The Masjid has provided and plans on many more Islamic demonstrative workshops like: Wudoo, Salaah, Janaazah, Hajj, ‘Umrah and Cupping.
Because we are a community-based Islamic Center, and our educational efforts are more on-going than seasonal, conferences are not our focus. However, we have had conferences in the past. At the request of some of the Muslims we pray that we will have more conferences in the near future. Titles of past conferences: Virtue of the Qur’an, Belief of the Imams of Islam, the Importance of Arabic, Giving Da’wah and Youth conferences.
The Masjid has two Islamic bookstores, one for the men and one for the women. They have many books and lectures available for sale on a wide variety of subjects; from Tafseer and Hadeeth, to Aqeedah and Fiqh and Purification of the Soul.
We distribute free literature on Islam and English translations of the Qur’an regularly to those interested in Islam or have newly embraced Islam. We also distribute some of our own brochures on topics like: Salaah, Jumu’ah, ‘Eid, Zakaah Al-Fitr, ‘Aashooraa, Etiquettes of Spreading the Salaams, Ramadan, Hajj and more. This literature has reached thousands of non-Muslims and hundreds and hundreds of Muslims.
We have a Masjid library which consists of bookshelves and books thus far. It is available to the men only from Fajr until Ishaa, with both Arabic and English books on Islam. We have hundreds of books already and we plan to expand by building and constructing a library that will cater to both – men and women, as well as the Muslim youth.
The Imam has translated and composed many books and booklets for the Masjid’s bookstore as well as for Ahlus Sunnah School. These books and booklets are from the publication of Maktabatu Ahlis Sunnah and number more than 30 now and the number is still growing. Some of these books have been used for classes taught in the Masjid as well as the school.
Zakaah and Sadaqah
Zakaah is collected here in Ramadan and throughout the year and distributed in STRICT ACCORDANCE with the Qur’anic verse: “Zakaah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakaah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” Soorah At-Towbah, the Repentance 9:60.
We provide for sale, collect and distribute Zakaah Al-Fitr here at Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah. We only accept one saa’ of food or one saa’ of barley or one saa’ of dates, or one saa’ of aqitt (dried yogurt or cottage cheese) or one saa’ of raisins as Zakaah Al-Fitr. “Food” refers to the common dry foodstuffs of the land (country, state, county, city, etc.); like rice, beans and the like. This is the position of the majority. Allah knows best. Imam An-Nawawee, may Allaah have mercy on him said, ‘The Scholars in general DO NOT ALLOW THE ZAKAAH AL-FITR TO BE PAID IN MONEY, but Abu Haneefah views it to be permissible.’ However, the position of Abu Haneefah, may Allah have mercy on him, is unacceptable and refuted by the hadeeth of the Prophet and that which the Companions were upon.
Sadaqah or a general donation which is not Zakaah is mainly used to cover the operating expenses of the Islamic Center of America, Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah. We also use sadaqah to help the poor and needy if there is no Zakaah money available.
Social Services and other Activities
We help Muslims to get married, perform marriage ceremonies and provide official marriage certificates. We also provide marriage, divorce and family counseling. We perform, on average, 4-7 marriages per year.
We provide Janaazah (funeral) services for the Muslims. We help with the washing, shrouding, Janaazah salaah and burial arrangements through a Muslim funeral home. We provide, on average, 6-10 Janaazah services per year.
We have a weekend Martial Arts Program School of the Fighting Arts, conducted by Shihan Mustafa Abdullah (7th Degree Black Belt, Ninjitsu). The Programs purpose is to teach children and adults, 5 years and older, discipline, respect and the importance of self-defense. Physical Fitness and conditioning are also part of its aim. There are Thirty (30) active students at present; Shihan Mustafa has taught hundreds over the years, since 1997.
We have a food pantry that is a source of non-perishable food items for any Muslim or non-Muslim that requires temporary assistance.
We organize summer picnics in parks in our area during the summer months. We call them family days. This is another event where Muslims can come together as men, women and children and get to know one another; an important aspect of living in a non-Muslim country.
We host many fundraising programs like bake sales, dinners, the women’s luncheon, the men’s dinner, ladies night out and other activities to raise funds for the on-going expenses of the Masjid and the School.
For recreation and relaxation, we have a full operating restaurant, lounges to accommodate men and women, a weight room for the men and exercise rooms for the women.