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Sat January 5, 2013

Columbia mosque faces imam shortage and funding challenges

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
Ryan Schuessler, ColumbiaFAVS KBIA

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.”

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