By Sadef Ali Kully
After the congregation at Masjid Ar-Rahman, a mosque in Queens Village, grew from just under a hundred people to thousands of Muslims from across the borough over the years, it decided to rebuild to accommodate its robust parish.
Masjid Ar-Rahman at 211th Street in Queens Village went from a tiny rectangular building to a massive two-story mosque with the capacity to accommodate nearly 800 parishioners.
The new mosque will feature a large prayer area on both floors for up to 350 parishioners at a time; bathrooms on each floor; a kitchenette; elevators for the elderly and women with children; an office; a study area for children learning the recitation of the Islamic holy book, Quran; and a flower and vegetable garden.
Colored glass windows and arabesque tile design will surround the dome, which has yet to be constructed.
Mohammed Nazar Mustafa, founding member and president of Masjid Ar-Rahman, described the entrance as “clean and modern.”
“We gave a great relationship with the community, the 105th Precinct, the civic associations and our neighbors,” Mustafa said.
He added that the second floor can be used for smaller events such as funeral and memorial services, wedding ceremonies, and family and community events.
“Regardless of our faith, we want to give back to the community, so we have planned for a soup kitchen as well,” he said.
Mustafa pointed out that his board will appoint up to two imams, religious leaders, for services after a rigorous academic background check.
“We expect a degree with vast experience, competence, but they must be a citizen or resident of this country,” he said about the future religious leaders. The board will start their search after the construction is completed.
In 1998, Masjid Ar-Rahman started out in a home on 171st Street in Jamaica and then moved to 212th Street. It outgrew its space again and then they decided to renovate.
The expansion and renovation costs an estimated $1.5 million and it took a couple of years for the mosque board to have the funds collected and to begin the construction.
“All in all, we have a lot to be thankful for,” he said. “This shows Islam in its true glory, love for all.”
The completion of the mosque’s construction will be celebrated with a large grand opening set for August 2016 after the Muslim fasting holy month of Ramadan.
Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skull