On June 24, 2014, the City Council of Manassas in Prince William County, Virginia issued the Manassas Muslim Association (MMA) a temporary use permit needed to open their new facility.
After pursuing the property for three years, receiving this permit means great advancements for the Manassas muslim community. The masjid was opened on Friday June 27, 2014 and is already showing signs of growth in the size of the congregation with approximately 300- 400 people attending the facility. These numbers are expected to grow even larger as the month of Ramadan continues.
According to Muneer Baig, president of MMA, despite the time consuming nature of the rezoning and special use permit (SUP) process, the community is facing very few obstacles. “The city has been very helpful, forthcoming and very accommodating,” said Baig. “They have gone above and beyond all of their duties to make [the SUP applicaiton process] possible for us." The property was originally zoned for heavy industrial uses and the Muslim community had to get it rezoned for light industrial use which allows for religious uses.
Baig said opening the new, permanent location as soon as possible was important to keep the community together. In 2009, MMA purchased a 10 acre property that required rezoning as well as leveling to develop; the newly opened property is much better suited to MMA's immediate needs with an existing classroom type building and parking lot already present. With support from the community, an Islamic school could be started there relatively soon, said Baig.
Baig and the community are optimistic that Allah's help will come. "Last night we stood together as a community in the Manassas City Hall voicing our concerns [and] today we rejoice. This is a very good lesson for us, when we stand together as one Ummah we can overcome obstacles," Baig wrote in an email to donors and supporters after the permits were issued.
The new masjid is located at 9059 Euclid Ave, Manassas, VA 20110. To learn more, visit http://manassasmuslims.org.