Masjid Standard of Excellence Certification Application

INTRODUCTION
The purpose of the Masjid Standard of Excellence Certification is to create a criteria in which masjid leadership can ensure that their masjid is serving the needs of their community at a high level. The MSEC process is designed to help promote a standard of excellence at all levels of a masjid organization and provide criteria for masjid leadership to ensure that they are building a viable and sustainable organizational structure that continues to serve the ever-growing needs of the Muslim American community. The process will be conducted by a Masjid Standard of Excellence Certification board. The board will consist of non-profit leaders, lawyers, project managers, youth leaders, financial and estate planners, and strategic consultants to assist in the evaluation and certification process. The document is divided into two sections: A. Masjid Basic Information and Documents Checklist This section is a checklist and basic information about the masjid seeking MSE Certification. All documentation requested in this section must be provided to the MSEC Board. Additional documentation may be requested by the MSEC Board throughout the evaluation process. B. MSEC Checklist This section is a checklist of what is required to get attain MSEC. Masjids will be able to view this criteria prior to the MSEC process and application. To ensure a better chance of attaining MSEC masjids are encouraged to ensure that their masjid’s standards are as close as possible to the MSEC Checklist standards.

THE PROCESS
The MSEC process and evaluation will take a year to conduct. The process is divided into three steps: STEP 1: Masjid Basic Evaluation In this step the MSEC Board will ensure that all basic documentation has been filed by masjid leadership to ensure that the application, evaluation and certification process can move forward. If any basic documentation is missing the application will be rejected. Masjid leadership can reapply 1 year after their first application. The MSEC Board will thoroughly evaluate all documents and succession plan of the masjid. This will include evaluating organizational structure, succession planning for staff and board positions, 501c3 status paperwork, financial records, website, programs, etc. STEP 2: Masjid Visit Once the MSEC Board agrees that the masjid has passed the Step 1 evaluation MSEC Board members will visit the masjid. During the visit, MSEC Board members will conduct a walkthrough of the masjid facility with masjid leadership, conduct interviews of staff, board members, volunteers, community members, take notes and take pictures of the masjid facility. STEP 3: Final Evaluation In Step 3, the MSEC Board will evaluate all its notes and evaluations from the beginning of the process to the end of the process and discuss as a board about the awarding of the MSEC to the masjid. If the masjid does attain MSEC status, the MSEC Board will send an MSEC certificate to the masjid leadership by mail. If the masjid fails to attain MSEC then the MSEC Board will provide feedback and suggestions based on their 3 step evaluation process. The masjid will be required to apply 1 year later after if they fail to attain MSEC.

Masjid Basic Information and Document Checklist
I. Basic Information

Masjid Name: Masjid Address (Street #, Street Name City, State Website: Phone Number:

II. Administration Contact Information PRESIDENT President Name: Email: Phone Number: IMAM Imam Name: Email: Phone Number:

III. Documents Checklist 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Constitution By-Laws 501c3 Documentation Board Member Names and Short Biographies Masjid Administration Names and Short Biographies All Annual Financial Documentation and Reports Masjid Architectural Blueprints Organizational Structure Documentation (Graphs and Charts) YES

MSEC Checklist
The following is criteria designed to ensure that your masjid or Islamic center is performing at an efficient and effective level. The process will review all documentation required and will also have interviews of both board members, administration, and community members.

I. Structural Overview
Masjid leadership will provide their by-laws, constitution, non-profit status paperwork, financial accounts, job descriptions, architectural blue prints for the masjid facility, zoning documentation and any additional paperwork requested by the MSEC Board.

BY-LAWS AND CONSTITUTION
A. Are the mission and vision clear of the masjid in the constitution and by-laws? B. Is the constitution easy to understand and easily accessible to community members? C. Are the by-laws correctly drafted and easily displayed for community members? D. Is the elections process clearly written in the by-laws and easily displayed for community members? E. Is the elections process clear, easily understood and accessible to community members? F. Are roles and responsibilities of board members clearly displayed for community members?

YES

NO

FINANCES
A. Does the masjid have 501c3 Status (non-profit status)? B. Does the masjid have an accounting system and accounting administrator in place to oversee the finances of the masjid? C. Are annual financial reports presented to the community and easily displayed or accessible to community members? D. Is there any accounting or financial information missing in the reports or accounts? E. Is there a payment system in place to effectively pay salaries for masjid employees and also keep track of disbursements?

F. How does the masjid fundraise and where are fundraising funds

recorded?

ORGANIZATION
A. Is the organization chart clear and easy to understand? B. Do board members, community members and employees understand the organization chart? C. Are roles and responsibilities clearly understood by both board members and masjid employees? D. Are job positions and roles clearly written in position manuals for board members, administration and employees? E. Is the board and administration diverse ethnically, gender-wise, and age wise? (i.e. is there are a diverse group of women, youth and individuals with varied cultural backgrounds?)

II. ADMINISTRATION
Masjid leadership will provide all documentation, bios, job descriptions, and contracts to the MSEC Board to review. Interviews will be conducted of administration and staff.

ADMINISTRATION
Is there an operations staff that handles day-to-day affairs? 1. Executive Director 2. Office Manager 3. Office Secretary 4. Zakah Manager 5. Accountant 6. Imam 7. Youth Director 8. Grounds Manager

YES

NO

PROCESSES, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
A. Are all employees aware of their roles and responsibilities based on their job descriptions? B. Are job descriptions clear and understood by employees? C. How are employees evaluated for their performance? D. Is there are process for addressing employees’ grievances in a confidential manner? E. Is there a disbursement system for salaries?

YES

NO

F. Are salaries given to employees in a timely and efficient manner? G. Are all employees aware of masjid policies? H. Are masjid policies, employment policies and all policies written clearly and understood by employees at the time of their employment? I. J. Are all contracts honored by masjid administration and board members? Are employees given sufficient holiday time and sick leave?

III. Outside Space
Masjid leadership will provide a tour of the masjid grounds and will provide all information regarding the maintenance of the masjid grounds to the MSEC Board.

ENTRANCE AND EXIT
A. Is the masjid clearly visible from adjacent road? B. Is a masjid sign present with masjid name at the entrance? C. Is the entrance to the masjid easily accessible? D. Is the exit clearly marked and easy to exit the masjid parking lot?

YES

NO

PARKING
A. Is there sufficient parking for the congregation? B. C. D. E. F. Are handicap parking spots available? Is the parking lot in good condition? Is the landscaping in a good condition? Is there sufficient lighting around the masjid? Is there a plan for parking overflow during special events,Friday prayers and Ramadan Iftaars?

YES

NO

G. Are parking violations penalized in an efficient manner?

IV. Facility
Masjid leadership will provide a tour for the Masjid Excellence Certification Committee and provide all information requested including but not limited to all blueprints and building codes.

STRUCTURE

YES

NO

A. Is masjid structure and foundation built according to building codes and city zoning? B. Is the outer structure in excellent condition? (Windows, doors, etc.) C. Is the structure from the outside apparent that it is a masjid? D. Are signs clearly written or printed to guide individuals to entrance? E. Are signs present in masjid to guide people to rooms and prayer areas? F. Are the signs good quality and easy to read and understand? G. Are walls painted and in good condition? H. Is lighting sufficient within the masjid? I. Is there handicap accessibility to the masjid? J. Are there handicap friendly facilities available in masjid (ramp, chairs, and/or elevator)? K. Is the floor work/carpet in good condition? L. Are all light fixtures and furniture in good condition? M. Is there a Shoe Area to place shoes? YES NO

WUDU AREA/BATHROOM
A. Are there equal bathroom/wudu facilities for both men and women? B. Are signs clearly visible for wudu/bathroom areas? C. Are basic wudu sinks, toilets, air dryers in the bathrooms? D. Are the bathrooms maintained and kept in good condition?

MEN’S PRAYER AREA
A. Is there a sign clearly designating the Men’s Prayer Area? B. Is there adequate space for the men to pray? C. Is the carpet in good condition? D. Is the prayer area ambience and environment clean and welcoming? E. Are chairs available for handicapped individuals? F. Is lighting sufficient in the Men’s Prayer Area? G. Is the sound system working and easy to hear announcements, speeches, and khutbahs in the Men’s Prayer Area? H. Is the Air Conditioning and Heating functioning in the Men’s Prayer Area?

YES

NO

WOMEN’S PRAYER AREA
A. Is there a sign clearly designating the Women’s Prayer Area?

B. Is the Women’s entrance to the Women’s Prayer Area clean and easy to access? C. Is there adequate space for the women to pray? D. Is the carpet in good condition? E. Is the prayer area ambience and environment clean and welcoming? F. Are chairs available for handicapped individuals? G. Is lighting sufficient in the Women’s Prayer Area? H. Is the sound system working and easy to hear announcements, speeches, and khutbahs in the Women’s Prayer Area? I. J. Are women able to see the Imam or speaker when they are delivering a speech or khutbah or class? Is the Air Conditioning and Heating functioning in the Women’s Prayer Area?

K. Are there facilities in the Women’s Prayer Area or in the masjid for women with small children?

TRASH AND RECYCLING
A. Are there trash cans and a trash collection service for the masjid? B. Are there sufficient trash cans around the masjid? C. Are there recycling bins or boxes in the masjid? D. Are there sufficient enough recycling bins and boxes in the masjid? E. Has the masjid adopted an eco-friendly and recycling policy?

V. Education
Education is defined as education that helps create understanding and develop community members into knowledgeable Muslims who know and understand their faith. All demographics within a community should be served and this will be reviewed by the Muslim Excellence Certification Committee. All documentation, resumes, and bios should be provided and interviews will be conducted of education staff at the masjid. YES NO

ISLAMIC SCHOOL (K-12)

A. Is an Islamic school present at the masjid? B. Is there full time or part-time staff or volunteers for the Islamic School?

C. Are there facilities or arrangements for accommodating students for an Islamic School? D. Are there sufficient educational resources (books, school supplies, etc.) for students and teachers? E. Are there sufficient educational tools available for teachers to teach students (i.e. white boards, projectors, etc.)? F. Is there a large enrollment number of students in the Islamic school? G. Is there a set curriculum from K-12 for students? H. Are parents involved in their students’ education and the Islamic school through parent-teacher associations and meetings or volunteering their time or money to the Islamic school? I. J. Are parents aware of the Islamic school and the curriculum and classes that take place at the masjid? Is the Islamic School administration staffed with qualified and certified teachers, principals, and educators?

K. Is the student-to-teacher ratio in each class reasonable for each teacher? L. Are all staff paid (if on contract) in an organized and efficient manner? M. Is there an evaluation process for teachers? N. Is there an evaluation process for the curriculum and Islamic School?

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
A. Are there weekly regular educational programs for the community? B. Are there weekly regular educational programs for the youth? C. Are there weekly regular educational programs for adults? D. Are there weekly regular educational programs for women? E. Are there weekly regular educational programs for the elderly? F. Are there weekly regular educational programs for converts? G. Are there special topic educational programs that raise awareness and educate the community about challenges facing the community (i.e. parenting, youth issues, domestic violence, etc.)?

YES

NO

VI. Social Services
Social services are defined as services that help community members in crisis or critical situations and also basic services that help facilitate Islamic rites and rituals.

ZAKAH
A. Does the masjid collect and distribute Zakah? B. Are all zakah funds kept account of in an organized manner? C. Is there a designated staff member responsible for overseeing zakah collection and distribution? D. Is there a process for individuals to apply for zakah? E. Are there zakah collection boxes clearly labeled in the masjid or an online collection system? F. Is there an oversight committee to oversee the functions, collection and distribution of zakah funds?

YES

NO

TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE
A. Does the masjid provide services to help individuals in dire financial situations to provide emergency temporary funding? B. Does the masjid provide assistance in helping indigent individuals find resources of how to find jobs? C. Does the masjid have access to shelters and houses to house individuals who are in need of temporary housing? D. Does the masjid have resources for indigent people for how to get jobs, seek financial assistance, and find help within the community to get help? E. Is there an emergency task force at the masjid to deal with critical issues like medical, legal and counseling issues?

COUNSELING
A. Does the masjid have counseling services available to the community? B. Does the masjid have counseling resources for the community? C. Is the imam trained in basic counseling techniques and methods? D. Does the imam trained or know how to deal with domestic violence cases? E. Does the masjid have resources or access to domestic violence shelters? F. Do masjid staff know how to deal with counseling cases if asked

for help from a community member?

MARRIAGE AND FUNERAL
A. Does the masjid provide nikkah documentation and marriage ceremony services? B. Does the masjid provide janazah (funeral) prayer services and burial assistance? C. Does the masjid have resources for families of how to bury their loved ones and the location of Muslim cemeteries?

VII. Community Service
Community service is defined as service to local communities through volunteering time, effort, energy and resources to help improve the condition of the broader community. This includes helping Muslims and non-Muslims alike through volunteering at soup kitchens, feeding the homeless, hungry, visiting orphanages, and other volunteer projects.

PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
A. Does the masjid have weekly or monthly regular community service programs? B. Are community service events and programs diverse and serve different demographics and areas in the city? C. Is there a community service coordinator or committee to organize community service projects? D. Is community service a strong part of the masjid culture? (i.e. has it been strongly encouraged and become a part of the community ’s culture and mindset?) E. Are community service projects, programs and events well-attended?

YES

NO

F. Is there effective advertising and announcements for community service projects, events and programs? G. Are community service projects encouraged for every demographic in the community (children, youth, young professionals, etc.)? H. Is there an evaluation process about the effectiveness and impact of the community service projects, events and programs?

VIII. Social Programs
Social programs are defined as fun/social events or programs that help to bring a community closer together and build community unity. Masjids should have programs and events for all demographics:

children, youth, young professionals, women and the elderly and those with special needs.

CHILDREN
A. Are there social programs and events for children? B. Are social programs and events well-attended by parents and their children? C. Is there a team or committee in charge of creating fun programs for children at the masjid? D. Is there an evaluation process to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the social programs for children?

YES

NO

YOUTH
A. Are there social programs and events for youth? B. Are social programs and events well-attended by youth? C. Is there a team or committee in charge of creating fun programs for youth at the masjid? D. Is there an evaluation process to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the social programs for the youth?

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
A. Are there social programs and events for young professionals? B. Are social programs and events well-attended by young professionals? C. Is there a team or committee in charge of creating fun programs for young professionals at the masjid? D. Is there an evaluation process to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the social programs for young professionals?

YES

NO

WOMEN
A. Are there social programs and events for women? B. Are social programs and events well-attended by women in the community? C. Is there a team or committee in charge of creating fun programs for women at the masjid? D. Is there an evaluation process to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the social programs for women?

YES

NO

ELDERLY

YES

NO

A. Are there social programs and events for the elderly? B. Are social programs and events well-attended by the elderly? C. Is there a team or committee in charge of creating fun programs for the elderly at the masjid? D. Is there an evaluation process to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the social programs for the elderly?

SPECIAL NEEDS
A. Are there social programs and events for those with special needs? B. Are social programs and events well-attended by those with special needs? C. Is there a team or committee in charge of creating fun programs for those with special needs at the masjid? D. Is there an evaluation process to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the social programs for those with special needs?

IX. Committees and Groups
All committee members, committee names, documentation and specific information will be given to the MSEC Board for review and interviews of committe chairs and members will be conducted.

COMMITTEES
A. Are there committees to assist with various community services and programming? B. Is there an Interfaith Committee? C. Is there a Community Service Committee? D. Is there a Government and Law Enforcement Outreach

YES

NO

Committee E. Is there a PR/Media Committee? F. Is there a Marketing Committee? G. Is there a Social Services Committee?
H. Is there a Social Programs Committee?

I. Is there a Elections Oversight Committee?
J. Is there an IT Committee?

K. Is there an Events Management Committee? L. Is there a Health and Well-being Committee? M. Is there a way to evaluate the efficiency and quality of the committees? N. Are all committee members aware of their roles and responsibilities? O. Do committees have a plan of action, structure, team roles/responsibilities, and overall mission/vision and purpose? P. If there is a need for a new committee to be created is there a clear process of how to create one?

X. Imam
Masjids will be required to provide the imam’s contract, resume and qualifications to the MSEC Board to overview the imam’s performance. An interview of the imam will be conducted as well as a part of the process.

IMAM
A. Does the imam have a clear job description in a contract that outlines his roles and responsibilities? B. Is the imam fulfilling all his roles and responsibilities as outlined in his contract? C. Is the imam fulfilling the basic roles of leading prayers, delivering khutbahs, and educating the community? D. Is the imam easily accessible to community members via email, phone calls, meetings, etc.? E. Is the imam fluent in English (Spoken, written, comprehension and reading)? F. Does the imam have a strong command of the Arabic language? G. Has the imam memorized the Quran? H. Is the imam aware of American cultural, societal norms and etiquettes? I. J. Is the imam knowledgeable or educated about American history and culture? Is the imam aware of challenges facing Muslim American youth?

YES

NO

K. Does the imam promote youth involvement, development and education in the masjid? L. Is the imam trained or educated in how to deal with counseling, trauma, and domestic violence issues? M. Does the imam know how to report domestic violence cases to law enforcement? N. Does the imam know how to build relationships with local and federal law enforcement? O. Is the imam aware of how local and federal government function?

P. Does the imam know how to conduct interfaith events and/or dialogues? Q. Is the imam educated about other faiths and religious communities? R. Is the imam aware of how to encourage civic engagement in his community?
S. Is the imam aware of masjid policies and adhere to them and enforce them?

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