Men kneel in worship as another sings the call to prayer at the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. Even though the mosque does not have an official imam, or prayer leader and scholar, members of the community step up to perform the role, like the call to
Credit Ryan Schuessler, ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA
Donation boxes sit in a hallway of the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. The “School Fund” supports the Islamic School of Columbia, which gets no government assistance. The “Masjid Fund” finances the upkeep of the mosque – “masjid” is another word for m
Credit Fareeha Amir, ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA
The Islamic Center of Central Missouri is located on the corner of Elm and Fifth Street. Muslims gather at this time of day to read one out of their five daily prayers.
By Ryan Schuessler and with Megan Rentschler and Evan Townsend
Since 2008, the Islamic Center of Central Missouri has been without an imam – a central community leader in Islam. Although Columbia’s Muslim community has found ways to stay active, it is without a formally trained spiritual leader.
Imams lead prayers, serve as religious scholars and assist with weddings and lectures, among other things.
Without an imam, “You won’t have someone who you can ask questions to frequently,” mosque Secretary Rafa Nizam said. “The access to knowledge might not be as easy.”