Thursday, August 9, 2012

Islamic Center of Fairfield (Fairfield, Solano County, CA)

You wouldn't know it, but there's quite a few reasons to visit Fairfield:

1) You're a Budweiser and/or Jelly Belly jellybean fan and want to visit their factories
2) You're on the way to Sacramento and can't wait till you get there to grab some In-N-Out Burger
3) You're a true road warrior and are taking the Lincoln Highway to New York City
4) You're a fan of Cold War relics and want to check out Travis Air Force Base
5) You're on a 30 Mosques trek and are running out of mosques to visit in the Bay Area

Fairfield is a bustling city because it's become quite the bedroom city for San Francisco.  One of the most heavily trafficked bus lines is the one between Solano County and the city.  Personally?  I don't think a marginally bigger and cheaper house is worth being stuck in traffic for two hours, but hey, to each their own. advantage of commuting from Fairfield to San Francisco is technically you travel so far you don't have to fast.  Crafty Fairfield Muslims have it all figured out.

Said Muslims have also built themselves a nice, large mosque.  It's not just a musallah; in addition to having prayer halls, they have space to spread out for community events and such.

I'm getting  a little ahead of myself, though.  To enter to the mosque, you must first have to get through the iron gates which surround the mosque.  The gates at night are also guarded by a security volunteer who I'm guessing is there to stop undesirables from entering the masjid.  Once you're inside the lot, be sure to go through the correct door or else you'll have a lot of trouble finding the restrooms.  Upstairs, you'll find the aforementioned community room.  Sequestered on the far side of the building, where no non-custodial man may tread, you'll find the women's prayer hall.

Taraweeh here begins with a mosque leader translating the chapters of the Quran the imam is about to lead.  It's a nice touch; most people can't understand the Arabic recitation and it's good to see a community which strives to better understand their faith.

Fair warning, though: taraweeh here is long.  For a non-local like me, and even some locals in the congregation, 4 rakat was the limit.

The building inside the compound.

Date Visited: August 8, 2012

1945 Kidder Avenue
Fairfield, CA 94533

Tag-team taraweeh: No

Qirat: Good.

Size of congregation: 30-40

Capacity of center: 100-150

Parking: There's a lot inside the gates and also street parking.

Mihrab: Yes

Minbar: Yes

Shoe shelves: Not enough.  Signs were posted to keep shoes on the racks, but what can people do when you run out of rack space?

Building: Looks like converted housing to me.  Definitely looks like an apartment building from the outside.

Friendliness towards women: Women have their own facilities here.  They are welcome to pray at this masjid.

Friendliness of congregation: The congregation is diverse and therefore welcoming to all ethnicities.

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