About us | Contact us | Post your views    

  Updated: May 15, 2005

Largest US mosque opens in Michigan

By: Mohamed Ali

DEARBORN, Michigan: A grand-opening ceremony of the new Islamic Center of America was held in Dearborn, Michigan, Thursday attended by hundreds of devotees and US officials.

The center has a gold-domed mosque flanked by two minarets helping to make the 70,000 square-foot facility one of the largest Islamic centers in North America. The main prayer hall accommodates 1,000 people, including 700 men in one area and 300 women in the balcony.

Hundreds of worshipers gathered on Friday for the first prayer session at the gilded new mosque that is yet another facility to serve the large Muslim population around Detroit. The mosque is the largest in the United States.

Over 40 years of dedicated services, the Islamic Center of America is one of North America’s oldest institutions. Established in 1963, the Islamic Center has been serving the needs of Muslims in the greater Detroit area as well as throughout the United States.

The mosque will serve as a spiritual home for metro Detroit's Arab-American population, according to officials of the Islamic Center of America. The mosque -- located at Ford and Evergreen roads -- features a spacious room for prayer, a banquet room and administrative offices.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm was expected to appear as a guest speaker for the grand-opening celebration. Officials of the Islamic Center of America said prior to the celebration that the governor will be joined by local, national and international dignitaries to help celebrate the official opening of the largest mosque in the United States.

The mosque and a banquet hall were part of a $14 million expansion project to a Muslim school that, taken together, is now the Islamic Center of America. When a 700-seat auditorium and a two-story library and school are also completed, it will likely become the largest Islamic center in North America, officials said.

"The center is a symbol of the sharp growth and advancement of our Muslim community," Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini, the spiritual leader of the Center, told. Al-Qazwini was born in the holy city of Karbala that houses the holy shrines of Imam Hussein (AS) and his brother Hazrat Abbas (AS).

Builders imported doors from Turkey, wood from the Philippines, granite from India and Brazil, and chandeliers from Egypt, said Alan Abbas, who built the center.

"It has been a labor of love," said Abbas, an immigrant from Lebanon.

The mosque is only a few miles from the new Arab American National Museum, the first museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to Arab Americans. It also opened its doors this month.

Al-Qazwini said a major goal of the new mosque will be to reach out to non-Muslims to educate people about Islam. "There are many misconceptions existing in the mind of non-Muslims in this country about Islam, unfortunately."

  "Knowledge is better than wealth because it protects you while you have to guard wealth. it decreases if you keep on spending it but the more you make use of knowledge ,the more it increases . what you get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you."MORE ..  


© 2005.Jafariya News Network. All rights reserved.