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Muslims inaugurate new mosque

mosque renovations Javid Mirza, past president of the Muslim Association of Hamilton, stands in the recently renovated Mosque Wednesday on Stone Church Road East.
Barry Gray/The Hamilton Spectator

The Muslim Association of Hamilton (MAH) is celebrating the inauguration of its new mosque with a week of events starting Friday, and the community is invited.
The new Hamilton Mountain Mosque is a 24,000-square-foot building attached to the old 5,000- to 6,000-square-foot mosque at 1545 Stone Church Rd. E., said MAH spokesperson Kamran Bhatti. The previous mosque space will become a community centre, he said.
Plans in 2004 for a traditional minaret were dropped due to costs and to make the new mosque fit in better with surrounding buildings, Bhatti said.

The new place of prayer is more inclusive in the sense that women and men can pray together, Bhatti said. The women, who used to pray in a room on the second floor, now have a mezzanine of their own. And if there’s a full house, there is enough space for them to pray behind the men, Bhatti said.
The MAH is the association for two of the city’s 10 mosques: the Hamilton Mountain Mosque and Umar Mosque on Rennie Street.
The association calls the new mosque a milestone because the building is its first centre of prayer built from the ground up, Bhatti added.

Other mosques were, or are, operating in reconverted buildings originally used for other purposes, he said.
Together, the Mountain and Umar mosques have a congregation of between 3,000 and 5,000, Bhatti said.
Hamilton has a Muslim community of about 30,000.

Inauguration week for the Hamilton Mountain Masjid (Arabic for mosque)
Friday, April 6
6 p.m. — Youth Talent Night
7 p.m. — World of Islam exhibits: Experience how Islam has integrated into local communities all over the world.
Saturday, April 7
7 to 10 p.m. — World of Islam exhibits
Sunday, April 8
6:30 p.m. — Women’s Evening: Keynote speaker and McMaster University medical professor Dr. Aliya Khan will speak about the role of women in Islam. Other speakers include Asifa Irfan and Emaan Alammouri. A discussion on the role of women have in the faith is expected afterward.
Monday, April 9
7 to 10 p.m. — World of Islam exhibits
Tuesday, April 10
6 p.m. — Children’s program:
An Islamic School of Hamilton student presentation celebrating their faith and what Islam means to them.
Wednesday, April 11
7 p.m. — Professionals’ networking: Meet other Muslim professionals. Keynote speaker Khalid Nainar
Thursday, April 12
7 to 10 p.m. — World of Islam exhibits
Friday, April 13
New Masjid inauguration ceremony: Welcome by MAH vice-president Mohamed Hamed at 1:15 p.m., followed by congregational prayers led by Imam Hamid Salimi. Celebration of milestones and recognitions. Exhibits, tours of the facilities and refreshments.

The Hamilton Spectator