PsychologyxSpirituality returns with an interview with Imam Isa Parada from IslaminSpanish, America’s first Latino-Muslim congregation. Watch the full episode below, and read the below article written by one of the mosque’s congregation to hear about their fantastic work!
The IslamInSpanish Centro Islamico center opened its doors on January 30, 2016 in the city of Houston, TX.
After 15 years of servicing the community, IslamInSpanish has been growing at a steady pace with the blessings of our community and message of peace, hope and humanity through Islam. There was a point in time where the operation was no bigger than a 200 square foot office, but through hard work and perseverance, we have grown to having a place for our own art production studio, the Andalusia Media Arts Center, where more than 500 Spanish audio books and over 300 TV shows have been produced which reach people in all corners of the world.
After a terrible storm here in Houston on Memorial Day Weekend (Hurricane Harvey) and much of the city getting flooded, we awoke to our Andalucia Media Arts Center, along with all the equipment severely damaged. We were at a crossroads: do we try to repair the Center or do we just continue IslamInSpanish as an online resource? Shortly after the storm we had our monthly “Convivencia” Community Potluck where we routinely gather over 150 Latino Muslims to get together and enjoy family, friends, food and remembrance of Allah. At that gathering, the Houston public media came to cover us, as over the years they had covered our many events and outreach efforts, this reporter asked about the future of IslamInSpanish. When we explained what happened, he simply said:
Why don’t you all just open up your own mosque? There are churches and mosques opening up everyday, I’m sure you could do so yourself.
So this was the spark that got the whole community excited about the idea of having our own center. We began the process of planning and searching and alhamdulillah, we found a place in the neighborhood where we grew up, Alief, situated in Southwest Houston. This was important so that we could be close to where we came from and give back to our community. The day of our grand opening, there were over 550 Muslims gathered here for this momentous occasion. People traveled from New York, California, Florida and every where in-between just to witness this historic event – the opening of the only Latino-led Islamic Center in America. Our focal point in opening this center was to service all Muslims, regardless of culture, language and race, so we were happy to have so many diverse people at our opening!
As the Qu’ran states:
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.
For those who enter the Islamico Centrico center, a unique experience awaits. We have a Museum that highlights the heritage of Muslim Spain (Andalucia), a Musallah (prayer area) where we stream weekly Spanish and English khutbah (sermon) worldwide, and we are the only Islamic Center that has a Spanish khutbah (sermon) weekly in the United States. We also have a social lounge area where many people have embraced Islam. Lastly, we have a state of the art production studio, Studio Andalucia, where we conduct high level video productions that are distributed worldwide to educate new Muslims, develop leaders, and film documentaries that can broadcast our story to Spanish-speaking countries that have yet to hear about Islam.
The attention from public media also generated a recent Vice video which shows our story that has received over one million views:
Now, we’re in a new phase and chapter of the IslamInSpanish Centro Islamico. As you may or may not be aware, we have been in operations under a lease agreement in the building we are in. Unfortunately, we have been now told that we will need to leave the current location of the IslamInSpanish Centro Islamico, where over 150 people have accepted Islam since our January 2016 opening. The good news is that we have found an amazing property just 3 minutes away from our current location and are currently seeking financial support to purchase our own building and land.
We need your help in acquiring our new location to purchase a building and land in order to be independent. We are looking at purchasing a 2.2 acre property with a 10,220 square foot building. We are seeking your support as we are looking to raise a total of $2 million for the entire project. Alamdulillah we have had a lot of support from this past Ramadan, and ongoing online fundraising, so we only need $1 Million to complete the necessary funds needed to acquire this property in order to continue our growth.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever builds a mosque for Allah, Allah will build for him likewise in Paradise.
Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim
Please take part in building a house of Allah so that we may all be neighbors with houses of our own in jannah Inshallah. Click the Donate button below and share with all your friends and family. JazakAllah khairan.
You can donate here.
By Alex Gutierrez
Watch the full episode of PsychologyxSpirituality with Imam Isa Parada below: