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Masjid Open House
1. Form a ‘Share Islam’ Committee. This can be made up of 6 – 12 individuals, brothers and sisters, GainPeace and non-GainPeace members, youth and adults. Assign various responsibilities to the member. Location. Any masjid with enough parking and spacious lecture hall. Time. Saturday is best. Have the event set up during the time of one of our prayer so the guest gets to witness it. Avoid Sundays since Christians need to attend their church services. If the invitees are mostly from the Jewish faith, then Sunday is preferred. Invitation. Invitation can be via one of the following venues a. Direct mail. Mail to neighborhood surrounding the masjid. b. Fliers distribution regarding the Open House c. Online, newspaper, radio etc. d. In the invitation letter, mention the event, who, when, where, proper clothing, how long the event and refreshments if any. Also mention parking situation, directions and direct them to the website for further information. e. RSVP phone number or email should also be provided. Media: Send a press release to the media outlets about the Open House. Extra publicity through the media is always a bonus. Items a. b. c. d. Sign – outside the masjid if possible, place a sign of the open house – ‘Mosque Open House’ – with place, date and time. Some signs can also be place on the side streets, cross streets, masjid front yard etc. Inside the masjid entrance: Place a sign ‘Welcome to the Open House’, with direction arrow to the room. Posters – Discover Islam – Recommended. These posters can be placed in the lecture room or in the lobby of the masjid. Some masajid may not allow these posters because of photos of human faces on them. Banner – For Islam info booth. This is to be placed on the dawah booth. Banner should have website and phone number. ‘Discover Islam’ or ‘Explore Islam’ or some invitational phrase. Phone number can be of the local masjid or of GainPeace – 800-662-ISLAM & GainPeace.com. Agenda – Prepare an ‘Open House Agenda’ flyer and pass it to all the attendees so they get to know what to expect and when to expect each items of the open house. Dawah booth items: i. Table drop down banner. It can say ‘Welcome’ or Discover Islam’ or Explore Islam. ii. Vase with flowers iii. Brochures iv. 1 min cards v. Quran translations vi. Books, booklets, CDs, DVDs vii. Business cards viii. Place the above items on their holders. Snack Corner – Non-spicy refreshment. If the food is non-familiar to the guest, place a label next to each item with the meaning and main ingredient in it. Also mention vegetarian or non-vegetarian on each label. 2. 3.
Photos & Video a. Assign 2-3 brothers/sisters to take good photos and video of the event. These photos and videos should be used to improve our future such events, to promote our dawah activities, to obtain support and sponsorship of this and other future dawah activities. Welcoming the guest at the door a. Greeters should be posted at the main entrance to greet and direct the arriving guest. Agenda:
Introduction. Have the attendees come to the lecture room. Welcome them, introduce yourself and the masjid. Introduce the Open House agenda to the guest. Have a person do the intro whose voice is clear and with minimal accent. Prayer – Introduce to them what is the prayer, the call for prayer, how many times we pray etc. Watching the prayer: Have the attendees come to the prayer area to watch the prayer. Have chairs in the back section for the attendees. Some masajid provide live video feeding of the prayer on the screen in the lecture hall, so the attendees don’t need to actually step-in to the prayer area. Display the translation of the Adhan on the screen as each phrase is uttered by the Muazzin. After the prayer is over, one of the hosts should go up to the microphone and announce to the masjid we have guest today from ‘xyz Church’ and we welcome them on behalf of the masjid.
10. Tour of the Masjid: a. Provide a tour of the masjid. Take minimal questions during the tour and delay the Q and A until they get back to the lecture room. b. Tour of the prayer area, Islamic bookstore if there is any, Full-time school or weekend school area, Lobby with Discover Islam posters, Gymnasium. All the areas of tour are pretty much normal area (except the prayer area for them). The reason for the tour is that some of the guest may have misconceptions about what a masjid is and what may go on in it. A tour will put many fears to rest. 11. Islam Presentation. 30 minutes. A good way to title the presentation ‘Islam – The Religion of Peace’. Items to include: a. Basic beliefs and pillars in the context of the continuity of the message of Islam from the time of Prophet Adam until Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them. 7 min b. Islam in America: Statistics, photos of masajid – 5 min c. Humanitarian work by Muslims in the USA – 5 min d. Selected verses from the Quran – 2 minutes e. Selected sayings from Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. – 2 minutes f. Common misconceptions – 5 minutes i. Shariah, Jihad, Hijab, Jesus, terrorism. g. Conclusion: mention verse 49:13 – 2 min h. Mention further resources to study Islam: Dawah booth in the room, Islamic book store in the masjid, mention the websites, and the toll free number: 800-662-ISLAM and/or local number of the masjid. 2 min 12. Question and Answer – 12 minutes a. Take as many questions as possible b. Answer to the point. Don’t go off in tangent. c. No need to provide reference from the Bible if no need to, it just steers off the topic from Islam and into the Christianity. We are here to educate others about Islam and not to discuss Christianity d. Revolve all answers around the concept of Tawheed, the love of God, the wisdom of God, the mercy of God, the forgiveness of God, the reward from God. 13. Departure a. Once again thank the guest. Have the masjid’s Imam or President to formally come and thank the guest. b. Mention any upcoming presentations c. Encourage the guest to take the material from the dawah booth. d. Some host provides gift bags for each guest: Quran translations, some sweets, a set of brochures, one min cards and a thank you note. e. Follow the guest to the door. 14. Clean up. Make sure some volunteers are dedicated to clean up the area after the guests leave. Place back all the masjid furniture, equipment in their proper place. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Write a formal thank you note to the leader of the guest group. Thank the masjid and all the volunteers. Upload the photos and any video to the designated website of the host and forward it to the masjid. Write a short narration about the Open House in the masjid newsletter or website. Share your experience with other Masajid. Thank Allah,swt, for providing us the opportunity to serve Islam and for the guidance of our guest.