Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ibrahim Khalilullah Islamic Center

Date visited: August 28, 2010

Location: Fremont, CA
43140 Osgood Road
Fremont, CA 94539

Tag-team Taraweeh: No

Qirat: Good

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.

Mihrab: Yes

Minbar: Yes

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.

4 comments:

  1. salams,
    hi zuhair- this is reza- i saw you enter that night and come to IKIC, I have read your posts for most masjids and well your analysis of this masjid is highly flawed and incorrect. In my honest opinion this has to be one of the best masjids in the bay area hands down. First, never choose to rate a masjid on the night of its khatm- it is totally an unfair merit to base thison.

    1- they have multiple people leading, and their qiraat is off the chain. The imam is cousins with maulana siraj of iseb. he speaks in only urdu.

    2- this place is VERY ORGANIZED all the time and works like clock work. you well NEVER EVER see kids or HEAR KIDS talking/doing bathameezi in middle of taraweeh ever. Everyone there is very respectful.

    3- It is basically welcomign to afghans and pakis. If you speak farsi you can understand the speeches and understand the Imam's urdu. If you know urdu and can actively think, you can understand the farsi speeches. Every jummah they switch off b/t urdu and farsi khutbahs.

    4- Women area is big, also the men's prayer area is big. Day of khatm worked well. The huge aisle way was MADE for people to pray in, and they prayed there. The last 2 rows were empty. Late comer's in general shouldnt complain about where they have to pray. A person comes late and prays on first open spot they find not going all the way to the back to see the last 2 open rows. The shoe area is actually very orderly and a lot of racks. Only on the khatm were there many shoes on the floor.



    This is one of the only masjids in the bay area that does qiyaam in ramadan- a huge huge huge pro.




    This is the only masjid I have read taraweeh in, where there are ZERO DISTRACTIONS- like PINDROP SILENT THE ENTIRE TIME. mA mA mA mA




    zuhair- hope this helps clarify things- cause really this is an amazing masjid.

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  2. I'm not bashing the masjid. Also, nothing is in this post is an analysis, they're all true observations. There were kids goofing off outside, everything was being said in Farsi, and space was a huge issue, but I do note that the men's area holds 300 people.

    You can't blame me for being surprised when I found out after the fact that it was their khatam. August 28th by my calendar was the night of the 19th. If these guys went by moonsighting, then it was their night of the 18th. I've never seen a masjid do their khatam so early, so yes, I thought crowding was normal there.

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  3. Are yo sure he's siraj ahmad's cousin? are you talking about the really old guy ?

    I don't know, I remember there was a boy in his twenties and has very soft and high pitch voice who was there sometimes. ithink his name is ibrahim and maybe he has a twin brother. Is that who you are talking about?

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  4. I went to this masjid in on Auto Mall Parkway in Fremont in the bay area, California a few times. This mosque is in a convenient location for Muslims to go and pray. This is a mostly afghan mosque as they give a talk in persian, nice size and high ceiling with sound echoes, nice!

    I noticed that the restrooms and wudu area are always very clean so I’m not sure who the imam is, but I attended Juma and the person who talked was a very old one. I didn’t understand much of what he said, but he really made lot of duas at the end of Juma for a long time.

    Another time it was a very soft-voiced young boy, I’m guessing a hafiz student as he had little facial hair, ibraheem or Ibrahim, but I think he’s indian not afghan. He sounded nervous but he has a twin brother who looks exactly like him and must be a hafiz student too as I watched him from the office glass doors with the older person teaching him. I don’t know if they have other young brothers as I saw four of them in a car in their way from the mosque with their father and someone else in the fornt seat. I happened to be driving by in the area.

    There is a window enclosed area for sisters where they can watch Juma and see clearly and they have their own sister-only entrance with parking spaces right behind it, so it’s convenient for the sisters. This mosque is in a convenient location for Muslims to go and pray.

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