Masjid Miami (Flagler St.)

This profile was last updated in 2004

History

Masjid Miami was established in 1974. Together with Masjid Al-Anshar in Liberty City, Miami, Masjid Miami is considered one of the oldest mosques in Miami. The mosque is located near Flagler Street, Miami, which is why the mosque is also called Flagler Mosque. The mosque building is about 1500 square feet. Programs, Activities and Affiliation Besides providing religious services, the mosque is also a resource center on Islam. Many Muslim and non-Muslim students, mainly from Florida International University (FIU), come to get information about Islam. The Imam and other knowledgable Muslims provide interested outsiders with information about Islam. Their management board, or syura committee, is responsible for organizing religious services and the Islamic center as well as managing donations, utility bills (phone, electricity, water, etc.), and so forth. Prayer Basically, the main program of the mosque is to provide religious services such as the five daily prayers, Friday prayer, taraveeh (prayers every night during the month of Ramadan), Eid al-Fithr and Eid al-Qurban celebrations. Because only a few Muslims live near the mosque, it has not organized an Islamic school for Muslim children. However, the mosque is open to people who want to learn more about Islam privately. For example, there are four FIU students learning Islam from a member of this mosque. Every Friday there are 200-300 Muslims participating in Jum’ah Prayer, including a few women. There are about 10-20 Muslims who regularly attend daily prayers. The religious services such as sholat (prayers) are conducted in Arabic. The khutbah (sermon in Friday prayer) is mostly conducted in Arabic, especially if the Imam gives the sermon. The Imam follows the Hanafi legal school, which according to him requires Arabic. But if the sermon is conveyed by other Muslims, it is conducted in English. The Imam is always available to provide any information about Islam. However, because the Imam does not speak English, other Muslims are available to translate the Imam’s speech to people who ask. Muslims in the mosque come from around the world, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Middle East, Inner Asia, and Latin America. Native Americans and African-Americans also participate in mosque activities. During the noon hour, for example, Pakistani taxi drivers, Latin-American couriers, African-American plumbers, and Middle Eastern students all come to the mosque to perform the zuhur prayer. The Masjid Miami collaborates with Miami Garden Masjid under an organization called Muslim Community Association of South Florida, which is administratively affiliated to the ISNA (Islamic Society of North America). The Impact of 9/11 Tragedy According to informants, three weeks after 9/11, some strangers attended the mosque. They participated in Friday prayer for about three weeks but never came again. The community suspected that they were members of the FBI spying on the mosque’s activities because they never talked to other Muslims in the mosque. Before 9/11, it was common for members to stay in the mosque during the night. To protect the mosque from unforeseen consequences related to 9/11, the mosque management released new regulations for attendance. One such regulation is “Nobody would be allowed to stay in the mosque, especially overnight, without permission.” The Imam The Imam of Masjid Miami is an elderly man from Pakistan who has been in the United States for more than 20 years. He lives in a house beside the mosque. Before becoming an Imam at Masjid Miami, he supervised religious services in an Islamic community in Pennsylvania.