There is a New Place for Gathering and Praying in Montgomery County (VIDEO)
After ten years of community fundraising and private donations, the Islamic Society of Germantown has a permanent place for Muslims to attend services, gather, and worship.
The new mosque, on Blunt Road in Germantown, will be open seven days a week as early as 5:30 a.m. to serve a diverse and growing upcounty area.
On Nov. 8, state and county officials along with members of the community participated at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the mosque’s the grand opening.
“We used to pray in several different areas. We started off in Montgomery College in one room,” said Yehia Hassanei, community member of the Islamic Society of Germantown.
As the community grew, they looked for other places to pray such as the Casey Community Center in Gaithersburg, Clarksburg High School, or at the SoccerPlex, Boys and Girls Club, and Kingsview Middle School in Germantown.
The new building features a full commercial kitchen, prayer halls on the first and second floors, private parking, and a preschool program to serve more than 60 children ages three to four. It can also house more than 300 people praying at the same time. There’s only a few things left to be done such as carpet installation, but the place is scheduled to open to the public after Thanksgiving.
“We’re able to have an environment strictly to Muslims kids where they can learn about their religion. Learn about the Quran but also implement a regular curriculum,” Hassanei said.
According to members of the community, there are close to 100,000 Muslims living in Montgomery County.
“Like the rest of our major faith traditions, this is a place where we take off our shoes. This is sacred place,” said Rev. Mansfield Kaseman, interfaith community liaison for Montgomery County.
Ammar Najjar of Germantown serves as the mosque’s imam or spiritual leader. Najjar said the new place will also be open to anyone in the community adding that their mission is to build a bridge between Montgomery County residents and the Muslim community.
“As American Muslims is our duty to identify and educate others about our faith,” Najjar said.