Saturday, August 27, 2011

Setting the record straight: questions about Toledo Masjid Al-Islam


As salaamu 'alaikum, Toledo Masjid Al-Islam, since moving to its current location last year at 722 East Bancroft street [in the heart of downtown Toledo], has experienced tremendous growth as well as the support and generosity, both financial and moral, of the wider Muslim and Non Muslim community alike. For which, we are humbled and grateful. We have, I dare say, had a tremendous impact on the area and on the Muslim community. Many have been introduced and have actually accepted Islam at our location. We have been a source of charity, assistance, and support for the wider community. The religious and cultural needs of the Muslim community also find expression in the Masjid, with Friday prayers, Taraweeh [Ramadan evening prayers], Islamic lectures, seminars and educational conferences. Our congregation is a diverse one in terms of particular orientations within the Islamic tradition, sects, nationalities and educational and economic backgrounds. Despite the above facts, there still remains a variety of misconceptions and accusations directed against the Mosque and individuals associated with it. Therefore, it is our hope to correct some of those notions at this time. We will make sure this information is also posted in the Masjid itself, and pray that it will be sufficient, to put these controversies to rest. Any questions about the Masjid can be directed either to this blog, or, for more privacy, to


[1] What ideology does the Masjid follow?

Toledo Masjid Al-Islam is an organization of people who are followers of the Qur'an, the last scripture, as revealed to Muhammad, the Final Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him. in terms of both leadership and direction, it is the foundation of Islam itself that serves as the platform by which we have operated and intend to operate.

[2] Who owns the building at 722 East Bancroft street?

Toledo Masjid Al-Islam owns this building. We pay the maintenance, engage in the upkeep and all such expenses associated with it. There is a rumor that one or two individuals [such as myself] are the actual owner[s], but this rumor is not true. Any local people wishing to see the documentation, please make an appointment with us, and we will be happy to show it to you. To re-emphasis, NO SINGLE INDIVIDUAL OWNS THE MASJID OR THE MASJID PROPERTY!

[3] What about the scandals?

There are a variety of rumors centered around one individual associated with the Masjid. That individual can speak for himself, if and when he so chooses, but we would like to remind the reader of two things [A] From a Deeni perspective, rumors such as those that are circulating need evidence and witnesses, which leads us to point "b." [B] This is also the requirement from the legal system in our state, nation, and indeed all nations in the world. If there has been no evidence of any wrongdoing, the worst is not to be assumed. A person not prosecuted for a crime should show, at least for our context, that a crime or wrong act has not been committed.

The Qur'an repeatedly speaks of the errors of gossip and back biting! Moreover, the Muslim scholars have rightly coined the phrase Husnudh-Dhann, or positive conjecture. Meaning, assume the best before the worst is assumed.

[4] Agenda of the Masjid

Our main agenda was articulated in the inaugural Friday prayer service ["The Divine Purpose of Life", June 16, 2010, available on DVD, for which email]. To summarize, it is [A] To be a place where believers are comfortable, wherein worship and social life can be experienced. [B] To be a center from which Islamic ethics, morals and doctrine can be shared within the neighborhood, and by extension the city and world.

As such, we seek to be a welcoming place for the elders and young among us, regardless of nationality, madh-hab or financial status.

Any further questions or concerns in these regards, forward them to us. If there are parties who choose to abstain from supporting the Masjid activities for ideological reasons, at least have a good idea of what exactly is said from the Masjid minbar! Some of the Friday prayer sermons [Khutbah] are available for free at YouTube. Our writings have been widely published, many of which are available on this site. Yet, even with that, readers who disagree with one or another issue are still welcome to the Masjid, to share disagreements and to be a part of the community. We are told in the Qur'an: " All believers are but brethren, hence [whenever they are at odds], make peace between your two brethren, and remain conscious of God, so that you might be graced with his mercy." [Q 49:10-11, Muhammad Asad translation].

We pray that some of the controversies have been put to rest.

Wallaahu Musta'aan.

Shamsuddin Waheed, Imam

Toledo Masjid Al-Islam