Saturday, August 11, 2012

Islamic Center of Alameda (Alameda, Alameda County, CA)

This is a relatively small mosque located in a relatively small city of the Bay Area.  However, the mosque may be small, but the community is rapidly growing.  On Sunday, the same night I attended Lighthouse Masjid, or Imam Zaid's masjid, this mosque had a fundraiser which featured Imam Zaid, amongst other luminaries.  It's pretty clear that while this space may be cramped, the community is taking steps to expand its facilities.

Unfortunately, on the island of Alameda there is very little room to expand, if any.  At this point, there's no chance there's an empty parcel of land here so they'll have to redevelop an existing property.  They have already expanded over to the next block; the masjid is on one corner and a community center is just opposite, leaving them with plenty of room for spillover and community events.  It'll be interesting to see where this mosque is in five years.  I do hope they have expanded their facilities, because as of right now, they're woefully inadequate.

The imam who leads taraweeh here is very talented.  It's easy to get lost in his sonorous recitation, which you can hear from the sidewalk.  For the neighbors' benefit, however, they didn't have any speakers outside.  It is located in a relatively quiet part of Alameda, and it's good to see that they're being considerate.  Seriously, though, very nice recitation.

The crowd was substantial, but it wasn't as crowded as I remember it being in years past.  The parking lot was jammed; if you come here for taraweeh and decide to park here, you'd better plan on staying till the end, because chances are someone will block you in.  I can't decide if it's better for Muslims to double or triple park in the masjid parking lot or take away street parking slots from local residents.  You annoy someone either way, but I suppose it's better than Muslims be annoyed than innocent neighbors.

Date Visited: August 10, 2012

901 Santa Clara Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501

Tag-team taraweeh: No

Qirat: Great!

Size of congregation: 30-40

Capacity of center: 75-80 if you spilled over to the community center

Parking: Limited off-street parking

Mihrab: Yes

Minbar: Yes

Shoe shelves: No

Building: Tiny one-story facility, with a community center across the street.  The community center used to be a liquor store, judging by the style of the sign hanging outside the door.

Friendliness towards women: Women have adequate facilities in which to pray

Friendliness of congregation: This is a very diverse community, anyone is welcome to pray here.

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