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Join the Ummah in Prayer–Prayers at Masjid al-Falah

September 20, 2007 by  


By Nargis Hakim, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)

It’s time to join the ummah in prayer. Tarawih prayers are being held at numerous masjids (mosques) across the nation. Although praying tarawih in the masjid is not obligatory, men pray in large congregations across the world.

Women have the opportunity to pray in the masjids as well. Some cultures do not accept women going to the masjid. Traditionally women are sought to stay at home because of people’s lack of Islamic knowledge. Unlike men, it is not obligatory for women to pray in the masjid however it is not against Islam either.

Al-Falah Masjid is one of those places that welcomes women, despite three surrounding mosque that do not. Conveniently there are Bangla and English lectures that meet the needs of the community. Bangladeshi and African American Muslims are the primary active members of this growing Islamic community.

Samia Abdul-Nur, a stay-at-home mom comes to the masjid to listen to the recitations. “I like the way the Imam recites. Coming to the masjid makes me feel better, peaceful, and you get more blessings”.

Due to better space availability, more and more people are coming to the masjid versus praying at home. Young girls come to masjid, some right after getting out of class and others bringing their homework along. After praying the required 8 rakats, girls sit together and work on assignments until their parents are done praying the full 20 rakats. Sayeda Yasmin, student at Macomb Community College amongst other students, drives for miles to come listen to the duas and meet new people. “You get rewarded even for traveling a few miles to get to the masjid”, says Yasmin.

Going to the masjid is “gives you a chance to pray together with the community and Inshallah become the people of jannah together”, said Sumaiya Azom, senior at Al-Ikhlas Training Academy.

“Ramadan reinforces your connection with Allah”, says Tahura Holly, a freshman at Wayne State University. Students have to balance a busy schedule while still being able to make time for tarawih. Holly feels that “attending prayers at the masjid makes it faster to pray tarawih and praying with people you know makes it that much better”.

Being in the house of Allah makes people concentrate on religion and relate it to themselves. “Shaitan is locked up and you find out who you really are. You can’t blame the shaitan anymore,” said Azom. Daily lectures and discussions are given in order to generate the feelings of peace, self worth, and give incentive for people to give to the needy. During Ramadan the imams and local community members raise money for the masjid as well. Al-Falah Masjid’s imam, Abdul Latif Azom explains, “giving money to the masjid is giving to yourself”. When you give, you get back. It’s important to participate.

Tarawih prayers were prayed by the Prophet Muhammad (sws) during the month of Ramadan. Starting from the night before the first day of fasting, tarawih prayers last until the night before Eid. Depending on the sighting of the moon, there can be 29 to 30 days in Ramadan. Over 800,000 worshippers gather at Masjid-ul-Haram in Mecca for tarawih prayers, the largest congregation during this month in the world.

Al-Falah was expanded last year. Last Ramadan, citizens of Detroit and the bordering city of Hamtramck came together to raise money for the Al-Falah project. A church mirroring the masjid was bought in order to facilitate for the growing Muslim community. Prior to buying the new building, which now has a full time Islamic school and abundant praying space, devoted Muslims prayed outside on days of jummah and Eid prayers due to lack of space.

Across the street from the original Masjid, the new building will now be used for big events such as jummahs, tarawihs, social meetings, and weddings. The Masjid will continue being used for the daily 5 prayers. September 7, 2007 was the first jummah in the hall, held one week before Ramadan in order to get the community familiar with the new location. “Expanding the Masjid has made the area more secure, revived the community, and the Masjid is more busy. There’s even more people coming to Jummah than ever”, explained Imam Azom.

Due to increased security and an interest in renovating the area, people are paying more attention and working together for progress. Security guards are on constant watch of the masjid to prevent crimes. They also help instruct parking space to keep things organized. Local non-muslims participate by keeping an eye on the masjid overnight. These factors have caused the amount of people that attended tarawih prayers last year to double.

Timing could never have been better, for now the community can celebrate one year of hard work that has led up to this success.

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