Ramadan in Texas: 30 days and 30 mosques.

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I would like to highlight a special someone this new year.  Nahela Morales, a Texan local took on an adventurous quest on Ramadan 2017.  Nahela and her son, Andrew started the movement #30Mosquesin30days where they spent the full 30 days of Ramadan in 30 different mosques across the state of Texas. They started in their home city Houston, Texas. Houston alone has over 100 mosques in the area.  The goal of this initiative was to get out of their comfort zone, explore and know their various communities.

This post is somewhat of a journal of Nahela’s personal 30-day account of her experiences in each of these mosques, their characteristics, ratings, and demographics.

Ramadan 2017: #30Mosquesin30Days

 Day 1                                                                                                                         

 

Name:     Istiqlal IAMC center

Location: Sugarland, Texas

Demography: Indonesian Community

Rating:      Most Accommodating

I felt right at home upon arriving. Everyone seemed to care about each other. It was the 1st night of Ramadan and my 1st time visiting this masjid.  The community is predominately Indonesian, but I was able to see diversity and cohesiveness.

Day 2 

Name:     Bayyinah

Location: Euless, Texas

Demography: Diverse Community

Rating:     Most Inclusive

I rushed to Bayyinah for Taraweeh (night prayers) but was only able to hear the lecture that followed. This was my first time visiting.  I enjoyed the fact that there was no segregation by a wall nor a curtain between genders in the prayer area.

Day 3                                                                                                                                   

 

Source: CBS DFW

 

Name:     Islamic Center of Irving ICI

Location: Irving, Texas

Demography: Diverse Community

Rating: Most Distracted, too busy

It was my first time visiting during Ramadan and for Taraweeh. This is an enormous community  Everyone was basically doing their own thing. The youth played indoor basketball downstairs, making it a bit difficult to concentrate during Taraweeh prayers. The best part of that specific night was running into an old Houston friend.

 

Day 4

Source: Houston Chronicles

Name:    Katy Masjid

Location: Katy, Texas

Demography: Arab/Indo/Paki Community

Rating:    Best Quranic Recitation

This masjid is predominately Arab at least that was my observation from the Sisters area. Having an open space for the children to play makes a huge difference and this masjid had this. It seemed too early on to rate for Qari but the recitation that night had me in tears. It made me automatically rate them #1 for Taraweeh recitation and I am glad I did because it held it’s rating for the entire month.

Day 5                                                                                 

 

Name:     Islamic in Spanish Centro Islamico

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Hispanic Community

Rating:   Most Unique

The few attendees made it easy to concentrate on the prayers. Even though you would think this community is predominately Latino it was diverse and I saw more Indians and Pakistanis during Taraweeh salat

Day 6

Source: Houstonpublicmedia.org

Name:   ISGH River Oaks Islamic Center

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Diverse Community

Rating:   Most Organized

I would have to rate this Masjid as well-organized. Maghrib (Evening prayer) came and everything was well prepared and thought of. The food was food and on this night I had a few friends join me. Which made the evening a bit more pleasant.

Day 7                                                                                

 

Name:     Pearland Islamic center

Location: Pearland, Texas   

Demography: Majority Indo/Paki Community

 Rating:    Best Food

I would rate this masjid with the best food. I felt almost as if I was in a restaurant. I wish people were more approachable but I guess during this time of the year everyone is focused on themselves.

 

 

  Day 8

Source: http://www.mcisonline.org/

Name:    New Almeda Masjid (Masjid Mishkah)

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Diverse Community

Rating:     Most Strict

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the most welcoming but I am so happy to have had previously arranged for a friend to meet me there. I was able to meet Sister Aisha who indulged us with her revert story. That same night I met a couple other Latinas who eventually made us feel at home.

Day 9                                                                                 

 

Name:     Al Farooq                                                                                                                                                     

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Arab Community

Rating:     Most Spacious

This community is predominately Arab. I had visited this community several times, therefore, I felt at home. By this time some of my friends caught on to my initiative and joined.

Day 10

Home

We hosted an Iftar and we invited our non-Muslim neighbors and friends

 

Day 11                                                                                                     

 

 

Name:     Clearlake Islamic Center                                                                                                                                     

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Somewhat diverse; Predominately Arab

Rating: Most “Clique” ish

I didn’t have the most pleasant experience here, again everyone sticks to their own. This community was also diverse even though Arabs were the grand majority

 

 Day 12

Name:   Masjid Al-Salam (champions)

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Indo/Paki Community

Rating:  Most Loud

I had a couple of friends meet me there making it easy to navigate the masjid and the community. This was a large Indian/Pakistani community, however, not as inclusive as the others I have visited before

Day 13                                                                            

 

Name:     Islamic Dawah Center

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Diverse Community

Rating:   Most Hospitable

This is the most welcoming masjid in Houston, the food was delicious, the entire facility was spotless the way it should be and the community was diverse. Everyone was engaging and most importantly smiling. A must visit in Houston

 Day 14

Name:     Bilal Masjid

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Indo/Paki Community

Rating:    Most Dirty and Unorganized

I am sorry to say that this Masjid was unorganized and a bit dirty. The food was spicy and towards the end, they ran out of certain items. It consisted of mostly Indian and Pakistani families who were not welcoming at all. They stuck to their own.

Day 15                                                                               

 

Source: actforamericahouston.wordpress.com

 

Name:     Masjid Hamza and Hawaa

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Diverse Community

Rating:     The Best Khutbah

Masjid Hawa was small, very small and I would rate it with the best khutbah during the entire month of Ramadan.

 

Day 16

Name:  Turkish Community Center

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Turkish Community

Rating:  Most Inhospitable (Not Welcoming)

I was extremely excited to visit this beautiful masjid but disappointed with their lack of hospitality. We almost left because no one was clearly able to direct us to where the iftar took place. Luckily others arrived and it turned out to be a community potluck with people from other communities.

Day 17                                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name:     Masjid Al Ahad and Maryam Masjid

Location: Katy, Texas and Sugarland, Texas

Demography: Indo/Paki Community

Rating:     Maryam Masjid- Most beautiful (stunning architecture)

I visited Masjid Ahad to break my fast with some friends. It was my first time there. It is a small humble community but not so welcoming.

Masjid Maryam, on the other hand, is not only beautiful architecturally on the outside but is beautiful on the inside as well. It also has a great community. Majority of its congregation consisted of Indian and Pakistani and were somewhat diverse due to the interracial marriages within the community.

Day 18

Name:     Masjid At- Taqwah

Location: Sugarland, Texas

Rating:    Under construction but running

Masjid At Taqwah was under construction, therefore, the appearance did not meet the size expectations. It was my first time at this masjid, I made it a point to meet up with a Sister there to make my visit a bit more pleasant. At this point, there were days where the lack of hospitality encouraged me to quit but I am glad I took it upon myself to invite friends to join me to make this endeavor easier.

 

Day 19                                                                           

 

 

Name:     Madrasah Islamiah

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Indo/Paki Community

Rating:    Unfriendliest

Parking was difficult to find due to its huge Indian/Pakistani community. Again, this mosque was segregated. I don’t remember ever seeing a tv screen. I was completely isolated from the men’s area, Thank God for their sound system. On the women’s side, there was diversity. However, not the best mannered. I was stepped on once and pushed on twice during salat. I don’t plan on going back anytime soon.

Day 20

 

Name:     Mecca Masjid

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Indo/Paki Community

Rating:    Smallest Masjid

Went there for Taraweeh prayers. The segregation was a huge turn-off. Women were in a small room away from the men which made it hard for me to engage and focus. I did a couple prayers and ended up leaving before Taraweeh prayers were over.

Day 21                                                                        

 

Name:     Masjid Sabreen

Location: Stafford, Texas

 

I had visited this masjid before. And asked a couple friends to join me, unfortunately, they were not able to make it. I pleasantly ran into Sister Aisha an African-American revert who I met previously at a different masjid. I enjoyed the food and her company during iftar (Breaking fast).

Day 22

 

Name:     Dar Uloom

Location: Sugarland, Texas

Demography: Indo/Paki Community

Rating:    Most Welcoming

Dar Uloom Texas is a small Indian/Pakistani mosque known for their successful Qur’an program. I must say that even though this masjid is tiny, I felt welcomed. Women gave salams (greetings) with a smile and even asked for my name. I truly appreciate it when the community practice what they preach. Their manners where on point, I will definitely try to visit it next time I am in town or nearby.

 

Day 25                                                                   

Source: Facebook

Name: Masjid Al Mumineen

Location: Houston, Texas

Demography: Nigerian Community

Rating:   Unfriendly

It was not my first time at this masjid but it was definitely my first during the month of Ramadan. Our visit consisted of breaking fast, praying Maghrib and having iftar. I asked a friend to join me, she arrived a bit late. Leaving me solo for a while, the room was packed and no one really approached me. I smiled and gave salams while standing against the wall. Eventually, I was offered a seat right before prayer. I was so relieved when my friend arrived. It wasn’t the friendliest, to say the least, nor the cleanest.

Day 26

Name: Break

 

Day 27                                                            

Name:     Al Aqsa Masjid

Location: Katy, Texas                                                                                                                                                          Rating:    No gender segregation

Unfortunately, this masjid ended being closed and a bit deserted, so we had to break our fast at the nearest restaurant which ended up being from subway. Masjids need to update their information. I personally use Muslim Pro to search for masjids near me.

Name: Madinah Masjid

Location: Carrolton, Texas

Rating: Inaccessible

While traveling to Dallas I made it a point to stop by the Woodlands masjid which ended up being closed too and gated. Making it very difficult and inaccessible. Upon arriving Dallas for the second time this Ramadan I continued making a point to pray and visit masjids we had never visited. We prayed Asr at Carrolton and ended the night at McKinney masjid for Taraweeh that day.

Day 29                                                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name:     Islamic Association of North Texas

Location: Richardson, Texas

Demography: Diverse Community

Rating:     Friendliest

The architecture of this masjid captures so much interest when approaching, its mineral can be spotted from a distance. This community is extremely diverse and friendly.

Day 30- EID Day

Name:  Islamic Dawah Center

Location: Houston, Texas

 

 Challenges

Honestly, there have been days where we were more exhausted than others and we were ready to call it off but knowing that there were Muslims who had never visited a mosque and were truly enjoying our coverage through social media, gave us the extra push we needed every day. The distance of these mosques also possed some challenges for us. 

However, the biggest challenge was feeling left out. Even though, I consider myself a people person sometimes it’s difficult to connect especially if culture interferes. That is something I experienced at many of the masjids I visited. I always felt the need to bring a friend to be more at ease. It helped when I knew someone there. 

 

Final Words

Thus far it has been an amazing and priceless experience. To be able to intake different ethnic foods, listen to various languages, and admire the beautiful colorful cultural attires. 
We have also been able to meet up with old friends, have made many new ones and even brought a non-muslim to Taraweeh with us on 2 occasions. Since reverting to Islam, I can honestly say Ramadan 2017 has been the most meaningful and unforgettable one yet. I am truly grateful for it. I look forward to what 2018 has in store.

Nahela (Umm Andrew) Morales is a Revert, Mexican-American Muslim, mother of one currently living in Dallas, Texas, USA. Check out her website and connect with Nahela on Facebook and Instagram

#30mosquesin30days

5/26 Friday - Istiqlal IAMC Center (Sugarland,Texas)
5/27 Saturday - Bayyinah (Euless, Texas)
5/28 Sunday - Islamic Center of Irving ICI (Irving, Texas)
5/29 Monday - Katy MAS masjid (Katy, Texas)
5/30 Tuesday - IslamInSpanish Centro Islamico (Houston, Texas)
5/31 Wednesday - ISGH Riveroaks Islamic Center (Houston, Texas)
6/1 Thursday - Pearland Islamic Center (Pearland, Texas)
6/2 Friday - New Almeda Masjid (Masjid Mishkah MCIS)

6/03 Saturday - Al Farooq (Houston, Texas)
6/04 Sunday - Home )
6/05 Monday - Clearlake Islamic Center
6/06 Tuesday - Al Salam Masjid (Champions)
6/07 Wednesday - Islamic Dawah Center (downtown Houston)
6/08 Thursday - Bilal Masjid (northeast Houston)
6/09 Friday - Masjid Hamza & Hawa Masjid (2) (Southwest) ☆
6/10 Saturday - Turkish Communtiy Center
6/11 Sunday - Masjid Al Ahad & Maryam Masjid (2)☆
6/12 Monday - Masjid At Taqwah
6/13 Tuesday Off (Break)
6/14  Wednesday - Off (Break)
6/15 Thursday - Mecca Masjid (21st)
6/16 Friday - Madrasa Islamia (jummah)☆ 6/17 Saturday - Masjid Sabreen (23rd)
6/18 Sunday - Dar Uloom Texas
6/19 Monday - Mumineen Masjid (25th)
6/20 Tuesday -  Off (Break)
6/21 Wednesday - Al Aqsa Masjid (Katy, Texas)
6/22 Thursday - Al Ansaar (Woodlands) & Madinah Masjid (Carollton, Texas) & McKinney Masjid (McKinney, Texas)
6/23 Friday -  Islamic Association of North Texas (Richardson, Texas) - jummah
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2018-01-07T22:11:27+00:00 December 31st, 2017|What's Your Story|0 Comments

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