Wednesday, August 8, 2012

American Muslim Society (Napa, Napa County, CA)

Small mosque, small post.

You best keep your eyes peeled when you're looking for this mosque.  Fortunately, you'll have kept your eyes peeled as soon as you got off the freeway because the highways leading to Napa are very scenic.  Sure, vineyards may be instruments of haram, but they sure are nice to look at.  After the second coming of Christ and the world becomes Muslim, I'm sure he'll make this the largest juice-producing part of the state.

Actually, the first thing I noticed was how developed the city of Napa was.  I don't think I'd ever been here, or if I had, I was too young and too bored to pay attention.  The development and the fact that there's only a four-lane highway leading here (interstate's that-a-ways, son) means it takes quite a while to get here despite being a relatively short distance from Richmond.

I should be thankful that it was so developed.  At the podunk towns in California you're lucky if you can get anything to eat after 9 because small-towners need to go to bed or something ridiculous like that.  No, I have the massive amounts of tourism to thank for that; all the visitors who come from all over the world have helped develop this town into quite the bustling city.

Ah yes, tourism is the lifeblood of this town, and it's the industry of choice for the Muslims here.  There were a handful of Muslims in the masjid, but no less than two livery vehicles parked outside the masjid.  If the Great Recession hit the South Bay hard, it hit these guys even harder.

The community seems to be doing fine, though.  Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming.  Their facility is small, but they've done their best to transform this tiny warehouse into a comfortable place to pray. Pairsian carpets line the floor, somewhat blemished by the tape they've laid down to create prayer lines.  Decorative ceramic pieces also hang on the walls; if you ignored the concrete blocks which compose of the walls, you'd think you were in someone's living room.

Ain't no hafizes here.  The community takes turns leading taraweeh by using a Quran.  Despite there being no huffaz in the area, they are still striving to finish the Quran at night by reading a juz or more a night.  Much respect to them for trying to achieve this.

The only entrance to the mosque. Evidence of living-room-ness can be seen from the outside.

Date Visited: August 8, 2012

3149 California Boulevard #B
Napa, CA 94558

Tag-team taraweeh: No, but the congregants trade off on taraweeh duties

Qirat: Good

Size of congregation: 8-10

Capacity of center: 15-20

Parking: There is lot parking, but it's cramped.

Mihrab: No

Minbar: No

Shoe shelves: Small one at the front

Building: A unit in a small warehouse complex

Friendliness towards women: There is a woman's section delineated by curtains behind the main section.  However, there were no women there last night, and there's only one restroom.  Additionally, the only sink in which to do wudu is on the wrong side of the bathroom door.  It is nestled in a small passage, so there's probably enough privacy for a woman to do wudu, but hijabis, it may be best to do your voodoo before you come.

Friendliness of congregation: Extremely friendly.  They were wondering what this big shot from Santa Clara was doing in their neck of the vineyards.

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