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Author Topic: The Perfect Mosque for EVERYONE!!??  (Read 24962 times)
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« on: Dec 18, 2008 11:23 PM »


Salam,

The sisters here are coming up with ideas for our new mosque. What have you seen in mosques that you love and are great ides for a future Islamic center. What would you love to see in a mosque?
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 19, 2008 09:40 AM »

Canteen  Smiley

Parts of mosque or community center I have seen:

Garden Area with benches and flowers

Nursery for small children

Library

Study Area for Saturday School

Computer Room to Teach Free IT/Eng Lang course to women who want to improve their skills

Bookshop/Halal sweet shop Smiley

Baby Changing Area of bathroom

Besides a mosque being a place to worship Allah, the best mosques I have seen are the ones which are utilised for the community. They don't just open their doors once a fortnight and for the 5 prayers, but continually use their space for events, teaching, weddings, celebrations, welcoming new reverts, showing school children about the mosque etc
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 19, 2008 01:29 PM »

Consideration on how many steps in the masjid for older women/men and women with strollers.
Bike rack outside along with some hoops.
A means to communicate a message to the men on the otherside
Doorbell
Security cameras with visable monitors so sisters can see who is outside around them.
Security cameras so the sisters can see what is happening (in case of a terror incident- or to be able to watch their sons) on the mens side in the musella.
Closed Security cameras for the sisters social halls- with strict guidelines on who can see the monitor- IE emergency.
Fire extinguishers
A common area
The doors to the bathrooms and connecting to each side should have walls and open without being able to see inside.
Wudu hoses for those who can't bend too easy.
A sign outside the masjid saying men's side
A dawah rack of good material
Bulletin boards behind glass- one each for the masjid, school, and library. another for business cards-open.
A shoe room designed for flow and not congestion.
Not have the shoe room immediately next to the out going door
Lighted parking lots
Motion Lights
Lot's of light
A janazah room
A pantry
A room for clothes for the needy
A coat room
A kitchen sink on the men's social room side
Storage storage storage- From cupboard- closets- cabinets- all able to be locked.
Gym... pool... community center...
Library- with a means to divide or open between the sexes.
Selfcleaning Bathroom!!!
Windows that open
Great sound system to hear khutbas
An easy way for sisters to access the bros musellas for questions during seminars,
part of the sis musella has a closed two way mirror for the kids who go to the masjid and all of a sudden go into a crying, screaming tantrum
Neon Lights in every language telling the women to be quiet during the khutba- they are automatically started by sound detection.








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« Reply #3 on: Dec 19, 2008 02:30 PM »

Quote
Neon Lights in every language telling the women to be quiet during the khutba- they are automatically started by sound detection.



I'd LOVE something like this.  Especially during Eid khutbas.  There are women who NEVER SHUT UP thru the whole khutba!  Subhanallah!  Don't bother to come if that's what you're going to do!

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« Reply #4 on: Dec 19, 2008 02:46 PM »

salaam

nice ideas. i like the idea of a small masjid honestly.. most of the ideas here are real good.. but I really think we should becareful on becoming extravagant.

about the women being loud I think its because usually the children are with them. One thing I like is if they have some toys in the children room.

They should always have toys in the kids room during tharaweeh.
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 20, 2008 04:01 AM »

Salam
My masjid has two areas for women, one is an upstairs balcony area for women without children. Its great that sisters without children have a quiet place. You can still see the imam and don't feel closed off. I personally hate barriers, but subhanallah that is another post and a controversial one!! Our masjid does have a  seperate room for women with children which is enclosed in glass, off of the mens area. I think it is a two way mirror so we can see out but the men can't see in. I usually have my kiddies with me so I don't have to feel too stressed or guilty when they misbehave (which is usually  Roll Eyes)
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 20, 2008 08:25 AM »

Awesome ideas you guys!!! These are great! I'm going to include them in our ladies' petition thing for our new mosque!!

btw sr. Kathy... why so many security cameras? and doorbell?
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 20, 2008 09:51 AM »

Quote
about the women being loud I think its because usually the children are with them.

Nope.  They just sit there and have a yak-fest.  No kids involved.  While some of the kids make SOME noise, I can overlook that.  But some of the women...
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 20, 2008 02:52 PM »

Quote
about the women being loud I think its because usually the children are with them.

Nope.  They just sit there and have a yak-fest.  No kids involved.  While some of the kids make SOME noise, I can overlook that.  But some of the women...
 Angry

Maybe its one of the few times in the week they have the opportunity to get out of the house and have human contact with someone aged over 5 and out of diapers/nappies. In that way the mosque serves the social function in providing opportunities for women to gather together regularly outside of their homes.

Perhaps the new mosque could have a special 'social' room for ladies with a 'chai/bebzi' machine.  bebzi (however I think cappuccinos are all the rage now  flowersis)
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 20, 2008 03:20 PM »

even if this is their only social activity - there is no excuse to be yakking during a khutbah.


the biggest thing i think is to accomodate sisters on the ground floor and not three flights up a creaky set of stairs, with no elevator, and with all the muslim men mashaAllah sending all of their kids with their wives to prayer - their elderly moms, strollers and diaper bags included.

there's a really beautiful masjid here - which is just a mosque, no community center included - where they have a huuuuge space for women on the top floor, but then they have accommodated for older women and women with kids on the ground floor. 

so the mosque is a big square with a smaller square on top.  small square is for women, and the rear 1/6th or 1/8th of the bottom is for women as well.  i just think it's designed with intelligence and consideration.
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 20, 2008 05:41 PM »

even if this is their only social activity - there is no excuse to be yakking during a khutbah.


Maybe some sisters are not aware they should not even give salams during khutbahs so perhaps it would be an idea to have a 'sign' in the sisters section of the new mosque with the written words: “It is haraam to talk during the khutbah”

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« Reply #11 on: Dec 20, 2008 06:19 PM »

Alhumdulilah I have been satisfied with most of the masjids I have been to with the womens sections. The space is large enough, they have an area for children, can see through the glass and hear and the kids area you can see and is sound proof. They have all the basics.

Alhumdulilah I go to a large regular sized masjid where many many women come for Jummah prayer and they are not loud. Everyone is quiet during khutbah.  Again children have to go to the children room. And the children room is kewl cause its just behind the womans area with glass doors. So you dont feel out of touch with the rest of the women who dont have kids. Even the kids are good mashAllah.
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 20, 2008 07:26 PM »

blackrose your mosque seems idyllic. but i wonder how women without kids feel about it. i sometimes think mothers are immune to all noise. they've just learned to tune it out or something lol!

totally agreed on the yakfest. it is partly a cultural thing i think. many women don't go to mosques back home so they have no idea and it is the only time they get out of the house and see their friends, which is fine but there's certain times for everything!

we talked about a children's only room, but find it's dangerous to have kids alone in a room together without supervision.

good point about the balcony/walking upstairs for older/handicapped women. right now their plan is to have a balcony for sisters and an area behind the brothers (not marked by anything hah and they think we'll be able to just go and sit there??). and some kind of 'plan' for a multi-purpose kids room one day... it's just ridiculous. this isn't the 70s and we're building this mosque for our kids kids, we want them to stay muslim and include everyone, so alhamdulillah for these ideas!

ws
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 20, 2008 08:49 PM »

While talking about the Perfect Mosque,
what kinds of sisters groups do some of you have or what would you like to see?
I'm really big about helping others
What about a huge kitchen and pantry and sisters signing up to make meal :hungry:s for the elderly, ill
and new mommies. Also for sisters to get together and can veggies, fruits, make jams, etc.
Could have a group that gets together once a month to have a baking or canning fest. hungry

How about a community garden areas, no need for a large piece of ground, one could build raised beds
and sisters can volunteer to do a 12 x 12 area, one sister could do peas, another carrots, etc.
Then divide it amongst the families when harvest time comes.

A sewing group to help sew things for other sisters, blankets for babies, and even take in alterations for
a donation to any of the groups to help keep them going. (Seeds, fabric, baking and canning equipment)

heck, if you all have a mosque that has need for a sister who loves to do all the above and even likes to care for
children, let me know, I'll move there. I'd volunteer my tail off and organize such things.
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 20, 2008 09:00 PM »

Quote
btw sr. Kathy... why so many security cameras? and doorbell?

Our masjid is in a rough area. Within a couple of blocks there is a huge drug den. So many times the bros forget to lock the doors- and the street guys will often hang out in the musella/bathroom use- when they find the door open. So I like to be able to check out the bros side to see if any druggies are there- or strange men or bros straight out of jail who invite anyone- which often use the masjid as a cover. I had no clue how much traffic was going on- until we got security cameras. It is shocking. I can't tell you how many times i have had to go and confront someone- or make a quick phone call to the Imam.
After one incident- bad graffiti on the sides of the masjid- just punk 12-13 year olds- they installed cameras so I can see what is happening all around the masjid. It is unbelievable! All these years of being alone in the masjid's library- I had no idea what kind of danger lurked out there. So it is real nice that i can check out the cameras before i go out to my car. Especially at night!
and lol... we have caught a few of our own kids fighting and now know who started it!
Just love knowing what is going around me when i am alone or alone with a couple of sisters for a class.

Doorbell. Bottom line if a sis or neighbor comes to the masjid- they don't or can't (locked) walk in. No one knows they are there. Especially if the Imam is on the bro side and she is coming to talk to him- he has no clue she is there. I like it- if I am there in the library and someone wants to come (off hours). it is so far from the front door- i would never hear them knock.

"Allah surely knows the warmth of every teardrop... " Jaihoon
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 20, 2008 09:03 PM »

Quote
huge kitchen and pantry

Oh.. this reminds me.
If you install a kitchen- do it with state codes in mind. IE- 3 basin sink.
before you know it- I am sure the church, synagogue and Masjids will have to be compliant. Also you would be ready if you did want to open a soup kitchen.

"Allah surely knows the warmth of every teardrop... " Jaihoon
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 20, 2008 09:36 PM »

Sr. Kathy, this varies from state to state and sometimes even county to county.
One would need to call their local health dept to find out.
Here they have a 'food handlers' permit for $10, you watch a video and read materials on the pc
take a test and they give you a card, things such as fridge temps and food temps and sanitary stuff.
In most states things like kitchens and day care don't have to go through the state due to it being a private religious
organization but some have approved kitchens.
I was going to do a custom cheesecake business and called around and found all this out.
Then I called churches and groups to see who would rent their kitchens out once or twice a month.
Some couldn't cause they were not approved and for members only.
Others had approved kitchens and would rent them out to groups but not private businesses.
I know when I volunteered at a soup kitchen they asked I got my food handlers permit.
To make things and sell is another issue and one needs an approved kitchen.
Now if you're making dinners for members, etc, just check with your local health dept and the state.
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 22, 2008 02:29 AM »

salam,

Thanks for the information about the kitchen stuff. That is so true! We always end up using the kitchen for events and things and most mosques don't even think to put one in! To make it industrial sized would be awesome and with the things we need most... like storage space, warmers, big fridges, many sinks, etc
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« Reply #18 on: Feb 01, 2009 09:48 PM »

This is from a sister in Australia:

The Ideal Mosque

What then, is the ideal mosque for the Muslim female converts interviewed for this research? When asked about the mosque of their dreams, information around the following motifs emerged: 1. Architectural surrounds. 2. Internal structure. 3. Services and programmes. 4. Miscellaneous collection of requests (see list below). Because at times, converts valued different elements, the “wish list” does appear to contradict some of the themes noted in the preceding sections. However, it is revealing to survey the range of ideas given by the informants. In the dream mosque, there are no financial restraints, no cultural barriers and no gender issues with which to contend.
Architectural surrounds

    * Somewhere leafy and green
    * Pretty architecture with beautiful shapes
    * Islamic looking but also Aussie and practical
    * A beautiful garden with fountains
    * A big car park so the neighbours aren’t annoyed
    * A basketball court
    * A children’s playground out the back
    * A halal café with lots of books to read
    * No chandeliers or kitsch calligraphy of “Allah (SWT)” and “Muhammad”

Internal structure

    * Easy access and clear directions to the women’s side
    * A big open space for women to pray at the same level as men
    * Equal space for prayer for men and women
    * No barriers or partitions, sight to imam unobstructed
    * Equal ablution facilities
    * A child-friendly area with lots of toys
    * Feeding area for mothers
    * A relaxation area
    * A youth hall
    * A place for classes
    * Space for religious classes for adults and children
    * Space for mothers’ playgroups

Services and programmes

    * Leadership team of home-grown trained male and female imams
    * Counsellors
    * A Muslim youth worker
    * A women’s officer
    * Ability to hear khutba in English (directly or through translation)
    * Lectures appropriate to both men and women
    * Childcare
    * Outreach programme for converts
    * Information centre for non-Muslims
    * Regular social gatherings open to everyone
    * Variety of programmes and courses e.g. parenting programmes, youth counselling, marriage & family counselling, leadership courses, youth programmes, non-religious programmes (e.g. sports, sewing clubs), health and financial services
    * Community market
    * Well-stocked library including English language Islamic texts
    * Mosque open for use by non-Muslims too

Miscellaneous

    * Access to knowledgeable people
    * Free food if money is no object
    * Welcoming atmosphere
    * No prohibition on male and female conversation
    * Mosque should be place to “hang out”
    * Men and women should be able to nap
    * Lots of play equipment for children
    * Children allowed to enjoy themselves
    * Ethnically mixed mosque administration board
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« Reply #19 on: Feb 02, 2009 12:55 AM »

As-salaamu alaykum, great thread!

If it's just a masjid: some privacy for sisters, plus the option of a (less private, more approachable) space to communicate with the Imam. The balcony + musalla = good thing.

If it's a community center (which American Muslims desperately need, since we rarely get to socialize outside of our homes as a community, and the youth need options, too):

-Instead of the standard chandelier we see in some new masjids, I'd like to see some water fountains. Not necessary, but would be a nice tribute to Andalucia or something.
-swimming pool (with privacy for women's timings)
-basketball court (you *know* I can't turn down a game of ball).
-Fitness center (back in MD, there were sisters with black belts teaching classes for sisters...)
-cafe and bookstore (would *have* to be decorated well, and contain all the basics, best of Islamic literature, resources, and goods. Not to mention, some mocha).
-Muslim cemetery close by (you *know* I need to reserve my spot)
-Retirement home complexes (you *know* some of the aunties&uncles will refuse the help of their own children and would rather have a Muslim retirement condo where they can socialize, relax, volunteer, etc).
-SOCIAL SERVICES: temp women's shelter, temp men's shelter, soup kitchen, (marriage, youth, etc) counseling services, janaazah services, skills training, health clinic.
-YOUTH SERVICES DIRECTOR: You know, a Rami Nashashibi-like bro for the young boys, and ___-like sister (don't know of any well-known ones, but know plenty of personal-friend examples) for the young sisters. Plus, I'd love to see some Muslim Scouts clubs ("Gotta get my Ummah badge..."). Someone's gotta organize all this, and that someone should be "cool."

More to come, maybe...
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« Reply #20 on: Feb 04, 2009 12:08 PM »


as salaamu alaykum,

a simple thing I would appreciate is if the bathroom was designed so that no one can see you making wudu/without hijab if the door opens!



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« Reply #21 on: Feb 04, 2009 01:05 PM »

Ameen!

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« Reply #22 on: Feb 05, 2009 03:02 AM »

Assalamu'alaikum,

A waiting area for sisters to wait for their husbands and vice-versa. It should be made out of glass for better visibility with seats and heat. It should be situated where the couple can easily meet either straight from the musolla or where the sister can see their car coming and would know when to leave.

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« Reply #23 on: Feb 09, 2009 06:38 PM »

Welcome bro... We're in the process of building our new mosque. Unfortunately all the nice suggestions from the sisters have been taken as "well we don't even have any money to build a musalla yet how are we going to pay for all you sister's fancy stuff"  Roll Eyes great just great...

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« Reply #24 on: Feb 09, 2009 07:58 PM »

As-salam-mu-alaikum Jannah,

A mosque is nothing but 4 walls and a roof. It’s the participants who attend it and programs offered that makes the difference...

Are we setting up mosque / Islamic projects to fail on the onset? The fundamental first step of a project (scope) initiation is to consult with ALL your stakeholders and to develop a project plan addressing all these issues and concerns.

A great Sheikh made a good observation in the 1990's about the state of mosques; He said that 75% of the Ummah are either women and/or youth, so why do mosques have 100% of the space dedicated to men? With no services for women or youth, why do we wonder why our children go astray?

North American society has changed, and we must change with it - no longer do super sized - air craft carrier sized mosques meet the needs of the society.  Mosques need to be sized to the needs of the local community.

If your community wants the support of 75% of Ummah to build the mosque, it should have things that 75% of the community wants/needs.

Finally,

Why can’t kids be involved in the fundraising? We do it for Girl Guide cookies, etc… why not this?

Imagine a dedicated place to play basketball in the parking lot - You’ll be surprised how much money kids would be able to raise – and in return they would get a $100-200 basketball net installed …

You need to provide the facts – size the mosque accordingly and provided services inclusive to the majority of the community.

As-salam-mu-alaikum.









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