Date visited: August 28, 2010
Location: Fremont, CA
43140 Osgood Road
Fremont, CA 94539
Tag-team Taraweeh: No
Size of congregation: Large. The men's section was holding about 300 people
Capacity of center: Not large enough. There were people praying in the aisles.
Parking: Shared with local businesses. Enough.
Shoe shelves: Not enough. Lots of shoes on the floor.
Building: A converted office building.
Friendliness towards women: There was a strong female presence.
Friendliness of congregation: There were lots of worshippers in a crowded space. Not too much opportunity for niceties.
The best way to find this mosque is to look for the one office park which has a full parking lot. Otherwise, you just have to keep your eyes peeled for the small sign they have out front.
I really like what they've done with the place. The mihrab is massive and made of marble. It's decorated with calligraphy on top and they've made sure the paint on the walls matches the structure's red and beige shades.
There's a few things I noticed right away about this place.
Space is a huge issue. In fact, as I was coming in, I heard a volunteer tell someone to go to another mosque in Fremont because they're all pretty close together. Yes, it may have been very crowded, and there is no dearth of masajid in Fremont, but is that an appropriate thing to say? I'm unsure.
Most of the volunteers were in uniforms. The young men were decked out in white button-down shirts and black pants, and some were wearing ties. I have no idea of why they chose to do that, but it was a little unsettling. Granted, a couple were not in uniform and I'm guessing they chose to do so because it was a fundraising night, but if they wear the same stuff every night that's a little weird.
Everything was said in Afghan first, and then English. Now that's hardcore immigrant-status. It's funny too, because due to sheer size of the crowd it was easy for me to see that there was plenty of diversity in this congregation. That said, Ramadan always attracts folks who don't normally come to the masjid so I'm sure they do this because their regular attendees are mostly Afghan.
There were plenty of guys goofing off outside when I came outside after prayer. That's the problem with building a masjid in a business park; there's nothing to distract the kids so they waste time by crowding the hallways. MCA tries to take care of this problem by having lectures after 8 rakat, but these kids probably didn't even pray taraweeh so that wouldn't do anything for them. SBIA has a basketball hoop outside their building; sure, it may piss some people off that these damn kids are playing ball during prayer but at least they're at the masjid, right?
Zaid Shakir was leading the fundraising tonight, which means there are some influential people behind this mosque. I found it hilarious that Zaid Shakir (obviously) gave a speech in English and then the MC started speaking in Dari to get the congregation ready for prayer. If there really are that many people in the crowd who cannot speak English I hope someone was translating the entire speech for the Afghans.