Dutch language mosque attracts people

The use of the Dutch language and young home-grown imams are magnetizing Muslims from diverse ethnic backgrounds to the Darul Hijra Mosque in Rotterdam.

"Delivering religious sermons in Dutch is the best way to reach out all worshipers," Abdul-Naser Youssef, the mosque's caretaker, told IslamOnline.net on Wednesday, May 17.

Hailed the "Dutch Mosque", it has been appealing to the ethnic mosaic of Turkish, Arab, Asian, Indian, African and Balkan Muslims in the city.

"This mosque in abandoning the usual practice of using national languages in mosques linked to specific ethnic communities," one worshiper told IOL inside the pioneering mosque.

Rotterdam has a Muslim population of 80,000 people, almost one eighth of its population, according to official estimates.

There are also 30 mosques, five Islamic schools and two Islamic universities in the city.

Home-grown Imams

The mosque, which was established in the early 1990s, is also favored by the majority of Rotterdam Muslims because of its home-grown imams.

"I came to the mosque one Friday and was delighted to find the imam delivering his sermon in Dutch," said a Dutch worshiper. "I never missed a chance to listen to him ever since," he added proudly.

The home-grown imams, well acquainted with Dutch values, have been praised for their ability to address the concerns of Dutch Muslims. They have also been credited for attracting young Muslims thanks to their ability to communicate with them and identify with their problems.

Multiple Services

"Young Muslims have decided to launch the website to promote communication with non-Muslims," Blom said.

The Darul Hijra Mosque is championing a series of activities to promote integration and educate Dutch Muslims about their faith. "Daily and weekly lessons are organized to teach Dutch Muslims the Arabic language," Youssef said.

It plans to organize trips for Muslim reverts to visit a number of Muslims countries to have a hands-on experience of Muslim culture and traditions.

The mosque has also taken part in a series of know-Islam seminars with non-Muslim Dutch bodies.

It has further organized a three-day workshop for non-Muslim religious teachers to acquaint them with Islam.

The Darul Hijra Mosque has launched a website [Ontdek Islam (discover Islam)] to serve the Muslim minority as well as familiarize non-Muslims with Islam. "Young Muslims have decided to launch the website to promote communication with non-Muslims," Jacob Van Der Blom, a Muslim activist helping with the website, told IOL.

Women are also effectively contributing to the mosque's social and cultural activities. "We used to come only for prayers but now we are joining hands in efforts to introduce Islam and teach Arabic just like our brothers," said activist Zarifa.

Source: Islam Online (English). Note the "revert" in Muslim-speak means "convert".

1 comment:

kholajanala said...

I'm Sazeeb, a muslim youth from Bangladesh. I'm delighted to know about the growth of Islam in Netherland. If someone can inform me more about it please write of at jessoreroad@gmail.com