This profile was last updated in 2006
History Masjed Al-Fayza, or sometimes also called Mushalla al-Fayza, was set up five years ago in Downtown Miami to allow Muslim men and women who work in this area to perform their daily prayers and the Friday prayer. Before this mosque was established, many Muslims found it hard to leave downtown for prayers, especially for Friday prayer. In 1999, a group of Muslims rented three rooms (220, 221 and 222) at 39 NE 3 Ave. and combined them into one room. The room was then turned into a mosque. Many Muslims now come to this mosque for prayer because it is easy to reach and it is a convenient place to pray. Demographics People coming to this mosque for prayers vary a great deal. A variety of people, including many Malaysians, Indonesians and Filipinos, come to this mosque. Many are from ships because this mosque is close to the port of Miami. Some Muslims from the Middle East, Pakistan and India who work downtown also participate in religious services at the mosque. People who come to Miami and stay at hotels attend this mosque as well. Consequently, this mosque does not have the same numbers of members except for the Committee, including the Imam. Although the Committee and the Imam practice as Sunnis, they do not exclude other Islamic sects. Anyone can pray in this mosque. Description This mosque is located inside the second floor of the Shopping Plaza at 36 NE Ave # 220, Downtown Miami. Masjed Al-Fayza, with its three rented rooms totaling 400 square feet, is decoratively designed as a mosque. Its floor is covered by an Oriental rug and its walls are decorated with Islamic calligraphy. This mosque provides a small library and a shelf for shoes inside, because like all mosques, this mosque does not allow any one to wear shoes inside the mosque. It has a syura, or Committee board, which consists of seven members, including the Imam; the Committee manages and organizes activities, such as collecting money, paying the rent, electricity and phone bills, and so on. The mosque obtains its funds from voluntary donations. Almost every Muslim coming to this mosque for prayer donates toward is maintenance. The members of syura/Committee selected the Imam. The Imam must be a learned person who understands Islamic studies, including syari’ah (Islamic law), ibadah (rituals), and aqidah (Islamic theology). In short, the Imam is required to be knowledgeable about Islam and proficient in Qur’anic studies. The current Imam is a scholar from India whose specialization is Islamic theology. Activities and Schedule This mosque does not have any programs other than daily prayers and Friday prayer. The Muslims who usually attend this mosque for the Friday prayer also attend other mosques for activities, such as Islamic festivals. The Impact of 9/11 According to the Imam, those Muslims who are involved in this mosque are not preoccupied with the 9/11 attack. That they were a little afraid after the 9/11 tragedy is clear. Nevertheless, they were not very concerned that this tragedy would change the image of Islam as a faith. According to the Imam, Islam is not based on individuals. Islam is based on shari’ah: what the Qur’an and the prophet Muhammad said and tell us to do. As an individual, any person can do any thing, even against the syariah. What an individual does is on him or her. What a Muslim does as an individual is not necessarily Islamic. The Imam said, “What happened on 9/11 is that we are not a part of that. We, Muslims in this community, do not support that.” The Imam also emphasized that the public must learn to differentiate between Muslims and Islam. Any person can be a Muslim, but s/he may still break the law of Islam. In short, Islam is the basis of what individual Muslims should do. Because Islam means peace and teaches peace, so Muslims should be for peace. Interreligious Dialogue The Imam is supportive of interreligious dialogue. He realizes that the community in which they live is a ‘melting pot’ community, so dialogue is very important. In fact, the Imam has frequently been involved in interfaith dialogues, especially when invited by Jewish or Christian people who want to know about Islam. Another reason that the Imam is involved in interreligious dialogue is to clarify and clean up people’s misunderstandings about Islam.