The Reasons I keep coming back to IslamInSpanish Centro Islamico
The IslamInSpanish Center is the only Islamic Center and Mosque in the United States that is built by reverts to Islam of Latin American origin. It is located in a building that used to be a Chase Bank and has been beautifully and thoughtfully renovated in order to serve its current purpose. I myself was born into a Muslim family and my origins are from the Indian subcontinent. I still find myself gravitating towards this Center more than I do to the multitude of other masajid in the city and I’ll tell you why. These are the reasons that I keep coming back.
1. Welcoming and Friendly Faces- When you enter the center, you are warmly greeted and welcomed. In some of the bigger masajid there is the tendency to stay with one’s own social group and it is possible for a newcomer to have left without having had the pleasure of exchanging greetings with another.
2. Judgement Free Zone- The center is designed to be welcoming to those who are not Muslim and are interested in finding out about Islam. They come from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles and yet they are welcomed in without judgement. This attitude also extends to those who are Muslim but come from diverse unconventional backgrounds. There are Muslims who are single parents, and others who have children with disabilities, and yet others who come with mixed race families. We can all come in and feel comfortable walking into the Center. I am divorced with a young child, and I feel like I can breathe over here and not as if I’m hiding some awful secret.
3. Barrier Free Prayer Hall- In many other masajid, as soon as you enter, you are sequestered into the men’s side or the women’s side where you feel that you must remain. During jumuah prayers , women may end up listening to the khutba from a speaker system and that can be a disconnecting experience. For me to take my little son to the center is rewarding because he can be with me and at the same time we both experience the jumuah prayer as a whole and he gets to see and understand the men’s side as well. If he fidgets a little bit, I know he will not be subject to the aunty stares and shushes.
4. Kids Free Zone- There is a small children’s area with toys and child size furniture and children are not treated as nuisance. Your children will feel like they are part of the community and feel nurtured by the affection and attention of others at the center.
5. Feeling spiritually renewed. The thing about being around reverts to Islam, is that their enthusiasm is contagious. They are undoubtedly passionate about learning about Islam and doing right by others and following the Sunnah. Being around them acts as motivation to be better ourselves.
6. Special Events- There is always fun stuff going on at the Center. Monthly Potlucks, Kung Fu Classes, and Spanish classes, to name a few. Plus you can even munch on some pretty decent Tamales.
by- an anonymous visitor