As a class project, Khala Shazia’s Third Graders at the ILM Academy were asked to interview an important member of the community. The children produced brilliant pieces. Of these, we are sharing two in this post. Insha Allah, more will be included in the Jan-Feb Issue of the School Magazine.
Mufti Mudassir’s Interview by Aleena Khan-3rd Grade
Assalam Alaikum. My name is Aleena Khan and today I spoke to Mufti Mudassir (Imam and Mufti of
ICF) and asked him a few questions about his journey and how the masjid is working towards helping the community. In this article I’m going to share details of my interview with him.
I went to the masjid with my father and asked Mufti Mudassir a few questions. I wanted to know how ICF first started out, so my first question was if he started this masjid. I was told that the masjid came into existence in the year 1997 a year and a half before he came to the Bay Area, by a group of 3-4 brothers. I went on to ask him about how the masjid
was helping our community and he informed me that there are a number of programs that the masjid organizes, such as tafseer of the quran, da’wah programs, ahadith class on Sunday, Arabic classes, youth class and a Hifz program that helps people memorize the Quran and more.
Since Islam encourages helping the poor, I wanted to know what the masjid was doing to help the poor people and that was my next question. I was told that food is served every month to homeless people and that every two weeks they cook food and then serve the people at the old age home. The next question I asked him was how he became the Imam of ICF , he started by saying that may Allah accept him , his intention is to serve the community , to teach what he has learnt and to teach Quran to the community.
Next, I asked him if memorizing the Quran was difficult, I was told that it wasn’t easy for him, but it’s not something that is difficult either, he said when we make effort, Allah makes it easy. Mufti Mudassir asked me if I was learning any Quran and he was very happy to find out that I was in pre-hifz class. To reply further I informed him what surah I was on . He asked me to recite two verses of Surat Bayyinah. I did and he said my tajweed was very good and became happy. He also said that I was intelligent . He gave me a goal to finish last juz/part of Quran this year.
We had a long discussion on Hifz and Quran. I wanted to know if running the masjid was a hard job, so I asked him. He replied by saying that running the masjid was easy with the help of people because everyone helps out with different tasks. I had one last question for him which was “How did you like the interview?” He said that he was excited and that he had been waiting from last week since my dad had asked him for an interview by me.
The interview did not end there because Mufti Mudassir had three question for me too. He asked me what my goals were, to which I replied, “To have multiple jobs, help the community and make a difference, help the needy and make every one equal in the community, I said I also want to memorize the Quran and become a Hafiza. He then asked me if I liked my school and if homework was easy? At the end he prayed for me by saying that may Allah accept me and
my efforts, may He help me in memorizing the Quran. I mentioned at the end that I was suppose to write an article about the interview and he asked me if I could send him a copy as well. With that, my
interview came to end with this amazing person.
I think ICF is doing a great job in serving our community and we are lucky to have a teacher like Mufti Mudassir with us. I think he is a very sweet, kind hearted and a soft spoken teacher. He made me feel comfortable. I am very grateful that he helped me and took out time for me to interview him. May Allah protect him and may we all benefit from his teachings .
Br. Saleem Mastan’s Interview by Sahlah Danish-3rd Grade
My name is Sahlah Danish and for my class project I decided to interview Mr. Saleem Mastan. I wanted to ask him about the history of ICF. Mr. Mastaan is a trustee and the board member of ICF and a pioneer of Muslim community in Fremont. He is very active and is also running his own company. He has worked a CEO of Noor Power where electricity is generated using Jetro plants.
Q) What is your name?
Ans) My full name is Saleem Mastaan.
Q) Where are you originally from?
Ans) I was born in Hyderabad Deccan. My mother is from Madraas and my dad was from Bangalore. They migrated to Pakistan in 1948 and from there we came to USA in 1978.
Q) When did you come to Fremont?
Ans) We came in Fremont in 1979.
Q) How many Muslims were there in Fremont before you?
Ans) There were less than a 100.
Q) What is the name of this Masjid?
Ans) The name of this masjid is Islamic Center of Fremont (ICF)
Q) Who were the founding members of this masjid
Ans) Naeem Ghatala, Imtiaz Mastaan, Aneesh sheikh, Saleem Qadri, Abdul Wahid,
Abdul Wajid, Abdul Waheed, Saleem Akhtar, Mubashir Ahmed, and Saleem Mastaan.
Q) Who came up to with the idea of making a masjid at this place?
Ans) That’s a very interesting question. The history of the masjid in Fremont started in 1980. First we had a house and than we had a Carpet Warehouse in Fremont where we use to pray. Than we got a land for Islamic Society of East Bay(ISEB) as known as Lowry Masjid. The first fundraiser we did was in 1987. We started to build the Lowry masjid. However, Lowry masjid was 12 miles away from Mission and Irvington area. Many Muslims started to live in the Mission and Irvington area of Fremont for various reasons. Going 12 miles to Lowry masjid every day multiple
times became a very challenging task. So ICF Irvington mosque was established in a small room right next to Medina Halal Market about 23 years ago. However, that rented place became very small and this (present) ICF building was used to be a beauty college. There was a for sale sign posted outside that building.
Me and Mughees met with the owner of that property with the proposal to buy that building. The owner asked us that what you would going to do with this beauty college building. We told him that we would build a house of God here to worship and a school. The owner asked us that how much money do you have, we told him that we have 90 dollars in the account. He amazingly asked us that you came here to buy this building for 90 dollars? I said no, this is what we want to give as a down payment and we will pay you the balance in time. He said that you are Muslims and I am a Jew. I am head of the Holocaust Center of Oakland and I know that you people cannot give interest. So how are you going to pay this building? And you come to me to sell this building for 90 dollars. Do you think it would be a wise
thing for me to do? I replied yes, it’s a very wise thing to do because we are from the same Abrahamic faith. If we build a mosque and a school than whatever blessing we will get, I hope, Allah will give the same blessings to you as well.
So, to this, he was very surprised and he said, “Oh I never knew this”. I said, yes, you are the descendent of Prophet Abraham and we are also the descendent of Prophet Abraham. He gave me the key to this building even without taking the 90 dollars. He gave a proposal that you pay me 10 thousand dollar a month for nine months and than 3500 dollar a month till this building get paid off. So I came back and made an announcement about the proposal. So everybody agreed and we decided to buy the building. One person objected that we should have some guarantors who will commit that if for any reason we get short in paying the 10 thousand dollar installment than those 9 people will be giving 1000 dollar a month for the next 10 months. By the grace of Allah 13 people committed to it. So we purchased this building for 90 dollar down payment and paid it off in few years
with no loans or liabilities. Alhamdulillah.
Q) What was there before this masjid on this place?
Ans) There was a beauty college on that place where people get training to become barbers and beauticians.
Q) Was there another masjid in Fremont before ICF?
Ans) Yes there was another masjid in Fremont.
Q) What was it’s name?
Ans) The name was ‘ISEB’.
Q) How many people were there in ICF when it first started?
Ans) There were less than a hundred.
Q) How many people are there now?
Ans) There are more than 3000.
Q) How many employees were there in ICF in the start?
Ans) There were 0 at that time all were volunteer.
Q) How many are employees are working there now? Ans) Including ILM Academy there about 22-paid employee, rest are volunteer.
Q) Who came up with the name ‘’ICF’’?
Ans) People gathered and jointly decided upon this Islamic Center of Fremont (ICF).
Q) When was ICF built?
Ans) it was built in 1996.
Q) Was there another imam in ICF before mufti saheb?
Ans) Yes there were many other imam before Mufti Mudassir saheb. Mufti Mudassir Saheb is not an imam but he is the head of Islamic affair and religious committee. He is the religious director who oversees all the religious activities. He is not responsible to lead the prayer in ICF. There are other people who are appointed to lead the prayer as Imam.
Q) Who are the board members of ICF?
Ans) Saleem Akhtar, Anees Shaikh, Zubair Ahmed, Mubasshir Ahmed, Imtiaz
Mastaan and Saleem Mastaan.
Q) What are the programs currently going on in ICF?
Ans) There multiple programs currently going on in ICF. There is ILM Academy, a Sunday school, ICF Aali program, ICF Maktab for teaching Quran in Hifz and Nazira, Program for ladies, Scouts, Arabic Academy, Youth program and cricket program.
Q) How many Huffaaz have graduated from ICF?
Ans) Every year there 10 to 12 Huffaaz get graduated. If we take 10 for 20 years, about 200 huffaz have graduated so far. Every Ramadan throughout the bay area ICF graduates leads the taraweeh.
Q) How many Ulema are currently serving in ICF?
Ans) There are about 6 ulema.
I then ended the interview and thanked Sir Saleem Mastaan for his time.