More Than a Place of Worship

August 18, 2008

Author: Hafsa Naz Mahmood

Source: The Daily Herald

Decades ago, mosques were new to the area and served simply as places of worship.

Now they've also evolved into organizations that do much more for their communities and neighbors than just offer five daily prayers with a leader.

Janaan Hashim, spokeswoman for Islamic Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, said mosques have turned into community centers, in a sense.

"The mosque itself exceeds the narrow purpose of being a place for prayer," she said. "It's a place for social gathering, a place for personal growth."

Mosques now provide services and programs for all ages, including things such as food pantries.