Keene Mosque Now Open, Holds First Prayer of Jummah

More than a dozen attended the initial Prayer of Jummah

More than a dozen attended the initial Prayer of Jummah

Masha’Allah! It’s been months in the making and there have been some interesting bumps in the road, but the initial renovations are complete and New Hampshire’s first full-time mosque is now open!

The doors were finally opened at 659 Marlboro Rd in Keene to the Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center (MALIC Center) this Friday afternoon for Prayer of Jummah, Islam’s congregational Friday prayer. As the first full-time Masjid in NH, the MALIC Center is open for all five prayers per day including Fajr (dawn), Zuhr (midday), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (sunset), and Isha (night).

For those unfamiliar with the Quran, in one memorable part Muhammad successfully negotiated with God, at Moses’ insistence, the number of daily prayers from fifty down to five.

Should they wish to pray at the Keene Masjid, Muslims of all denominations are welcome, so long as they remain at peace towards the others.  In addition, non-Muslims are welcome to attend.  All attendees will be required to remove their shoes before entering the Masjid.  Prayer times adjust based on the sun throughout the year and will be updated on the Masjid’s facebook page and also on a poster on-site.

Dr. Ahmad Alabaddi delivers the inaugural khutbah (sermon) at the MALIC Center.

Dr. Ahmad Alabaddi delivers the inaugural khutbah (sermon) at the MALIC Center.

At Friday’s Jummah, the khutbah (sermon) was given by Dr.
Ahmad Alabaddi, a local dentist. Dr. Alabaddi expressed much gratitude for the new location and opportunity:

“I can’t explain how much happiness, in my heart, and for our community. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala (The most glorified, the most high.) sent us brother Will and the people who gave us this very generous gift… This is all qadar. It’s fate from Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this facility. I will mention something that might make some of you mad, but I have to say it… Most of the donation for this facility came from a non-Muslim. We respect that. We thank them very much and we will extend our hands, our hearts, our arms out for them if they need any help. And this is what Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and Islam told us and indicated to us what to do. I mean, we have to treat everyone in a nice way, Muslims and non-Muslims. (Muhammad) is a big example of that. He never mistreated anyone regardless of his religion, beliefs, color, race, or whatsoever. And this is what Islam is about.”

You can see the full sermon in this cell phone video of the Jummah posted to the MALIC Center facebook page.

Jummah attendees gather in the kitchen afterwards for some homemade treats.

Jummah attendees gather in the kitchen afterwards for some homemade treats.

Imam Will Coley, his wife Farah and their five children moved here to Keene, New Hampshire from Tennessee back in September when the Shire Free Church donated the use of the property to the MALIC Center. After both the Shire Free Church and MALIC Center have spent collectively over $20,000 renovating the building, as one of the ministers in the Shire Free Church, I’m excited to see the building finally put to its proper religious purpose of serving the Muslim and wider interfaith peace community.  Thank you to the donors who made this possible and especially those who donated cryptocurrency to the effort.  The MALIC Center is believed to be the only Masjid in all of Islam to have nearly half of its initial budget donated in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

The MALIC Center’s grand opening including the interfaith area is slated for Saturday December 23rd at 7pm.  Attendees will enjoy an international dinner and a movie, “Muhammad The Last Prophet” (a cartoon from the makers of The King and I) will be shown.  Media and anyone else of peace is welcome to attend.  Keene’s Quakers have already sent an inquiry regarding use of the interfaith space.

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