What Makes a Good Masjid?


A few years back, while reading through leadership books, a friend and I began discussing how amazing it would be if Islamic organizations could adopt the simple (but profoundly effective) principles we were learning.

These casual discussions led to the launch of Muslim Strategic Initiative (muslimsi.com). Alhamdulillah the site has grown to a niche following of over 2,000 people. We've been able to blog about things such as individual development, organizational development, volunteer management, fundraising, masjid politics, and even Imam salaries.

By the grace of Allah (swt) we were able to do an interview with Sh. AbdulNasir Jangda on how Masjids can hire the right imam. We received feedback from a number of masjid boards that they watched this together and changed their approach to hiring an Imam for their communities.

The Idea

One of our dreams in starting MuslimSI was to be able to document what masjids do RIGHT. Everyone has a story of how they've been mistreated or what goes wrong, but it's very difficult to actually point to someone else and say - "see, that's how it's done."

The institution of the masjid is at a critical juncture in this country. We are facing a big transition from the elder generation to the next one. We're also facing a transition from the establishment of the institutions to now growing and managing them.

It's our hope to be able to provide an in-depth look at successful communities and deconstruct specifically what they do. We want to then make this available online for any masjid to look at as a model, or even a reference of some best-practices.

There's a lot of masjids that do get it right. This includes not just the administrative nuts and bolts of running it, but also of catering to and including sisters, youth, and all segments of the community.

The Project

We're raising funds to travel to about 5 different masjids across the USA. At each masjid we'll be interviewing masjid leaders and community members to paint a full picture of how it runs, and what they do well.

Each masjid visit will result in a professionally done video and in-depth write up on MuslimSI.com.

The funds are being primarily raised to cover the travel costs of this project, and minimal video editing costs (the majority of video recording and production is being graciously donated by Salam Studios).

If we exceed our funding goal, we will simply add more masjids to travel to and document. Any smaller leftover amounts will be donated to the masjids we visit.

Just to be clear, we won't be pocketing any of the funds raised.

We hope that you will help us to produce something that highlights the positives in our community - both to celebrate those who have put in the tireless and thankless work to make it happen, and to provide an inspiration to other communities.

This is an ALL OR NOTHING project. If we don't hit the goal within the allotted time, no funds are collected.


How are you selecting the masjids?

This is based on our experiences and experiences of shuyookh we are consulting with. We want to highlight different types of masjids and focus on good things others can model. No masjid is perfect, but one masjid might have an amazing youth program, or sisters program, or education, or community atmosphere, etc. If you'd like to suggest a location, please leave a comment below with the location and why you think it makes a good place.
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Omar Usman 
Arlington, TX
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