|Young Manassas Imam Is All About Youth|
|Community News - Community News|
|Written by Hena Zuberi, Muslim Link Staff Reporter|
|Tuesday, 13 August 2013 10:09|
The Muslim Link interviews Mufti Asif Iqbal, the imam of Manassas Muslim Association. In his thirties, Imam Iqbal has been the imam of MMA since 2004.
TML: Where did you study?
I did my hifdh (memorization of Quran) in New Orleans, they used to have a madrassah there. Then I went to Dar ul Uloom Madani in Buffalo, New York to get my ‘alim degree. From there I went to Hyderabad, India to Al Mahad Ul Aliyah al Islami to do my ifta course. In 2004 I started my tenure here at MMA. I grew up in Baltimore, MD but I was hardly home as I was away at school. I commuted from Baltimore for a few years as my father was in a coma. He passed away in Dec 2005 and then I moved here to Manassas. I have led salah at Islamic Society of Baltimore, they know me quite well.
TML: Tell us about your family.
I am married with two boys. My older one is 6 years old, Saad Iqbal. He is memorizing the Quran from the Quran Program in Springfield, VA. He has memorized 7 juz already. He is in 3rd grade, my wife homeschools him. My younger one is starting kindergarten. My wife, Azizah, is also an ‘alimah. She graduated from Dar al Uloom Madaniyah and teaches classes for women and children. 16-17 students come everyday after school to learn from her from the local community. On the weekend we have alim classes for adults, Arabic grammar classes and a Friday Halaqah that my wife and I conduct together. We also do programs for men and women over different issues ie. virtues of zakah, preparing for Ramadan etc. There is a lot more that we have planned but we hold back due to a lack of space.
One of my brothers is an imam in Louisville, KY, and my other brother is a teacher in the institute in Buffalo, NY.
TML: What are your plans for youth?
We cannot call the youth and tell them that come here and listen to a lecture. As long as they are praying and coming to masjid. I have seen all the youngster in my brother’s community come hang out at the masjid. They play volleyball, basketball, even cricket. I just get the youth come in, sit down, go out and eat. While you are interacting with them then you teach them. There is no specific place for them to come right now. InshaAllah with the new facility they will have a space for themselves.
TML: What is your leadership style?
We are all evolving into lthe kind of eaders that the community needs. Without the crossing the bounds of shariah, we try to make it easy for people. I try to keep that in mind. When I am in the masjid I keep the limits in mind while addressing the congregation. I say lets get them involved and then educate them. We are all growing.
Alhamdulillah when you have a traditional scholar a lot of time there is a lot of friction with the management and the board, but Alhamdulillah, I have no problems and I thank Allah for this. Anything that is a management decision, I leave it up to them and anything that is comes to shariah or religious issue then they defer to me. It goes hand and hand. Any religious matter that needs addressing goes through me, even if it is urgent, they say no we have to consult the imam.
We have had some new converts but our mussallas capacity is literally 30 people and we have not advertised it yet.