- New Jersey Muslim community celebrates completion of a mosque after 40 years.
- The mosque has a three-story building with a green dome and a large prayer room.
- The mosque will host thousands of worshippers and serve as a center for education and social welfare.
Forty years seems a very long period to achieve a dream. That might be the reason for the jubilant atmosphere filling the New Jersey Muslim community as they put the final touches on their long-awaited mosque.
“I think that is to have a community’s dream come true,” Dr. Arshad Chatha, the president of the Jersey City-based Muslim Federation of New Jersey, told NJ.com.
As workers finalize the mosque dome and fencing, Muslims are celebrating a moment that took 40 years in the making to finish a house of worship that would soon host thousands of worshippers.
For years, the thriving Muslim community has prayed in a converted Chinese restaurant and bar. Today, they have a three-story mosque with a green dome glinting in the sun on that very site.
“When people drive by, and they see this is a mosque, it’s taking up space,” said Dina Sayedahmed, a longtime community member in Bayonne’s mosque and now communications director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, New Jersey.
“That’s important for us to do, to take up space and to do it unapologetically. For so long, we’ve been in mosques in church basements, on top of storage facilities, and on top of apartments.”
The mosque construction will be finalized in September or October, and the large prayer room will fit more than 2,000 people.
Saad Admani, 28, believes the new building will motivate younger Muslims to join youth programming.
“When you reflect on how much our elders have contributed, it’s sort of amazing because they’re immigrants,” Admani said.
“They came here. They established a mosque in very trying times and have mobilized the community to build a purpose mosque. It’s sort of remarkable.”
Mosques are the beating heart of Muslim communities and stand as a physical example of the Islamic faith.
They serve for prayers, and events during Ramadan, and as centers for education and information. They also serve as places for social welfare.