Here are our most frequently-asked questions.
Where are you located?
What time are Friday prayers? How many people attend?
One of the Denver Islamic Society’s main religious activities are the Friday afternoon congregational prayers (Jum’ah), which averages between 300 to 500 congregants each week. That compares with between 15 to 100 individuals who may attend the daily five prayers.
Jummah (Friday) prayers are at 12: 15 p.m. in Arabic and 1:15 p.m. in English. The Khutbu (Islamic sermon) begins at 12:15 p.m. The Jum’ah services are officiated by our resident spiritual leader, Imam Hamid Basha. Nearly a thousand worshipers per week visit the Denver Islamic Society (Masjid An-Nur).
What is Islam?
Here is an abridged description of Islam.
What is the Denver Islamic Society’s goal?
Ever since a spike in Muslim migration to the area in the mid-1980s, Muslims in Denver have been under-served. Our mission is to fill that gap by establishing a Muslim and cultural family life center to meet the spiritual, social, civic, and cultural needs of all Denver area Muslims. The Denver Islamic Society aims to preserve the Islamic identity and contribute to the development of a unique Muslim leadership as prescribed by the Quran and Sunnah (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) by offering high quality, dynamic services for the physical, mental, and spiritual benefit of the entire community.
What exactly is a mosque?
A mosque, or masjid, is literally any place where Muslims make their daily five prayers (salat) performed in the direction of Mecca; it doesn’t have to be a building.
What does the name of the mosque mean?
The Denver Islamic Society is also known as masjid An Nur, which translates from Arabic as The Light Masjid.
How can I learn more about Islam and arrange to visit?
Please visit our “Visit Us” section for more information about scheduling a visit to the Denver Islamic Society, which is also known as Masjid An Nur.
What should I wear when I visit the Denver Islamic Society?
Please see our guide about the etiquette of visiting a mosque.
What is jihad?
One misconception about Islam is often the word jihad. Crusaders from the Middle Ages interpreted jihad as a holy war; however, in Islam, jihad means a struggle against evil, which can include everyday temptations.
Do Islam and Christianity have different origins?
No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons – Muhammad from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement that today is the city of Makkah (Mecca), and built a cuboid-shaped building called the Kaa’ba, which Muslims turn toward daily when they pray.
I am concerned (even afraid) about what’s actually going on in the mosque. Are you teaching or grooming people to be violent?
Mosques are probably America’s best line of defense against terrorism. They actually combat radicalism by providing a community to guide Muslims who have fallen to the rhetoric of radicalism. Mosques, however, remain greatly misunderstood on the American landscape.
Visit us, and listen to what our spiritual leader espouses. What you’ll hear is talk about prayer, fasting, charity, kindness to parents, and service to family and community.
What are the masjid’s demographics?
The Denver Islamic Society is made up of an assorted group of lifelong Denver residents, professionals, students, retirees, and business owners. The number of Muslim families in Denver is relatively large. You will find local Muslims deeply entrenched in the community. We are police officers, educators, mechanics, doctors, scientists, small business owners, and community organizers in Denver.
Many ethnicities attend the Denver Islamic Society including those with origins in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The language (besides English, of course) spoken is mainly Arabic.
The age groups range from infants to elders with the majority of the community members ranging from 40 to 60 years old.
How big is the mosque?
The facility is about 4,000 sq. ft. and split along three floors. The mosque accommodates a capacity of about 500 persons. The Denver Islamic Society was established in about 1991.
Who manages the Denver Islamic Society?
All persons associated with the Denver Islamic Society are volunteers and receive no compensation for their work. The only paid DIS staff members are the resident Imam and the Office manager. The Imam is responsible for leading daily prayers, advising community members, and instructing children in the basics of Islamic teachings during Sunday school.
What is the governance of the mosque?
The Denver Islamic Society has a full-time paid Imam (spiritual leader). Its governance is based on a two-tiered administrative structure consisting of a Board of Trustees and an Board of Directors. Both bodies are made up of volunteers. The Board of Trustees performs primary oversight and strategic functions while the Board of Directors is in charge of the day-to-day management of the Masjid. The Board members are selected from amongst Masjid attendees who demonstrate a clear commitment to An Nur Masjid’s mission of peace, prayer, and service.
The Denver Islamic Society has nonprofit tax status as well as a constitution and Bylaws. Its bylaws provide for active involvement and consultation of religious authorities both locally and nationally to insure that the mosque adheres to Islamic principles derived from the Qur’an (Islam’s holy book) and the Sunnah (the sayings and living habits of Muhammad, the main prophet of Islam).
How long have Muslims lived in Denver?
As best as can be known, Muslims have lived in Denver in sustained numbers since at least the early-1960s. A steady migration of Muslims to the city began in the early-to-mid 1980s. That growth has remained consistent ever since.
If I do visit your mosque, what should I wear?
It is most appropriate to wear modest, loose-fitting clothes. For men, it is better to wear long pants, and for women to wear pants or full-length skirts or dresses, with long sleeves. Muslim women attending the mosque typically wear a headscarf as well. A female visitor may cover her head if she wishes to show respect to other worshipers or to enrich her own experience.
Also, please keep in mind that many Muslims do not shake hands with anyone of the opposite gender. That is, men do not shake hands with women, and women do not shake hands with men. Unless a member of the congregation extends his or her hand first, it is better to not extend yours.
Why do you take your shoes off?
A mosque is free of statues and utilizes rugs instead of pews. It is appropriate to remove one’s shoes before entering the prayer area in a mosque, so that the floors and carpets aren’t covered with dirt—after all, that is where people pray.
Where are the women in the mosque praying?
Women offer prayers in rooms separate from the main prayer hall. The separate areas provides women with privacy and modesty. The physical separation helps men and women maintain his or her focus on prayer–instead of one another.
Why are there foot-sinks in the bathroom?
A Muslim must be in a state of physical purification before making his or her prayer. That includes washing the feet. Our restrooms are equipped with bidets and other modern amenities for the self-purification process (wudu) performed prior to prayers.
What happens when people come late to the prayer?
Latecomers will join the prayer already in progress. After the leader of the prayer (Imam) has finished, they will complete what they missed.
How often do your members pray at the mosque?
The Denver Islamic Society parallels national statistics on mosque attendance. According to Pew and Gallup polls in 2010, about 40 percent of Muslim Americans say they pray in a mosque at least once a week, nearly the same percentage of American Christians who attend church weekly. About a third of all U.S. Muslims say they seldom or never go to mosques. Also, contrary to stereotypes of mosques as male-only spaces, Gallup finds that women are as likely as men to attend.
One of Denver Islamic Society’s main religious activities are the Friday afternoon congregational prayers (Jum’ah), which averages more than 500 congregants each week. That compares with the handful of individuals who attend the daily five prayers. Nearly a thousand worshipers per week visit the Denver Islamic Society (An Nur Masjid).
Do mosques promote homegrown terrorism?
To the contrary, mosques are typical American religious institutions. In addition to worship services, most U.S. mosques hold weekend classes for children, offer charity to the poor, provide counseling services and conduct interfaith programs. There have been unfortunate exceptions, and that has led to a renewed commitment among mosque leaders to confront extremism. We hope you will visit us, and find that we are a premier site of American assimilation and community involvement.
I want to accept Islam. Whom should I contact?
The Outreach (Da’wah) Committee will be able to assist you. Please contact them via email at email@example.com. You can also call the Masjid’s administrative office at 303-759-1985.
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