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Getting Affordable Housing Is Hard, So Utah Muslims Build Home for Imam

Commuting for three hours to get to work is a difficult daily routine for anyone. This is the ordeal imam Habib Sarfraz faces as he commutes daily to perform his duties.

“The imam has so many responsibilities, as you know, he has to be here for five daily prayers,” imam Sarfraz told FOX 13 News in an interview at the Khadeeja mosque.

“Me, specifically, I’m living far from here in Lehi.”

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Seeking to help their imam back, the Utah Muslim community has started constructing a house for the imam amid skyrocketing cost of housing.

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“The cost of housing as we know is skyrocketing,” said Aden Batar, the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake. “Easily over $2,000 rent which is really, our society cannot pay that much. We’re a small community.”

‘Let’s Build A House’

To keep the imam closer to the community, Society trustee Ghulam Patel said they came up with an idea: “Let’s just build a house.”

The Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake has so far raised over $100,000 to help pay for the home. The entire project will cost about $400,000. They are fundraising and asking for community donations to help pay for the remainder of the costs. 

The imam was touched by the nice gesture from his community.

“This is a nice gesture from the community to say that ‘Hey, we’re here to support you,'” Sarfraz said.

This large increase in mosques over the past fifty years is a testament to the growth of Utah’s Muslim population.

According to Society trustee Ghulam Patel, the Muslim population in Utah grew from 120 in the 1980s to around 100,000 now.