12:57:25 pm on October 5, 2006 |
The Muslim Community of Georgia
by AHMAD SABREE
AHMAD SABREE is from Georgia, United States. He is the Secretary 2, Mahallah Ali Representative Committee 2006/2007
Georgia is the ninth largest state in America and its population is over 9 million. The capital of Georgia is Atlanta, a rapidly developing metropolis as well as the home of many Muslims. Although the exact number of Muslims in Georgia has not been confirmed it is known to be more than 10 thousand. Although the Muslim community is rapidly growing in Georgia Muslims are still a minority there.
The capital city of Atlanta is where the most Muslims congregate for the Friday Jummah prayers, at Masjid Al-Farooq named after Hajji Farooq Tarouty one of the founders of the Masjid. Outside the downtown area of Atlanta there are many Masajid in the surrounding suburbs which we call, “Metro Atlanta”. In total there are approximately 30 Masjids and counting in the Metro Atlanta area alone.
The Muslim community in Atlanta is very diverse. There are many Muslims from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, All parts of Africa, and a small amount of Indonesian, Malaysian and Filipinos and of course there are a great amount of Americans who are Muslim most of which are African-American meaning that they are descendants from the Africans which consisted of many Muslim tribes, who were captured mostly from the western side of Africa, and taken to work as slaves in America more than 300 years ago. There are also growing amounts of Caucasian or “White” American Muslims as well as Latino Muslims.
There are also three well known Quran schools in Georgia. The first is Georgia Islamic Institute in the city of Lawrenceville, Georgia, which was the first to be established in Georgia. Second is Dar-Ul-Uloom in the heart of downtown Atlanta within walking distance from Masjid Al-Farooq. The third is a Tahfiz program that takes place inside of Masjid As-Sunnah in the city of Stone Mountain, Georgia.
There is a very active Muslim community in the Metro Atlanta area such as the various Muslim Student Associations (MSA’s). Each university has one and they organize events like Islamic Awareness Week where they set up booths to give Dawa non-Muslim students and they also organize lectures within the university on topics important to Muslims. They also organize events such as camping trips or group trips to amusement parks, cooking Iftar during Ramadan, Volunteering to help organize events for Muslim primary and secondary school students.
During Ramadan in America everyone tries to break their fast in the Masjid. Dates and water are usually served at the time of Iftar and Dinner is served after Maghrib Solat. During Ramadan in America there is always an overwhelming demand for Hufaaz, those who have memorized the Quraan to lead the Tarawih prayers.
Fortunately for the Muslims in Atlanta we have the privilege of having Sheikh Adam Fofana from SHAS Mosque to come to Atlanta every Ramadan to lead the Tarawih Prayers in one of the Masjids in Atlanta. At the same time many young hufaaz some as young as 15 years old are leading the prayers all around Atlanta as well as all the other states in America. ALIF Newsletter