30 MORE | Night 22 – VIDEO – Guest Blog Post: The Islamic Centre of Kingston – ISK — By Dr. Mona Rahman

“Find out from Sr. Mona Rahman what things were like before the Islamic Centre of Kingston was established,

and the story of how two groups of youth got to know each other through a Masjid activity to dismantle their misperceptions of each other,

resulting in more participation in youth activities and a sisterhood which developed and continued through to their adulthood.”

By Dr. Mona Rahman (@naeema_mnr) | Kingston, Ontario

The Islamic Society of Kingston was founded in the late 1960s as the Queen’s Islamic Society (mainly students and some faculty) and followed the route of many MSAs in North America,

evolving to the ISK as members settled in the community in the university town.

We, the first generation of children of the founding families in the 1970s and 1980s, did not grow up with a masjid.

Rather the community activities were held at various venues in the city,

with many activities centred around Queen’s University.

As the community grew from a handful of families,

it was clear that we needed a masjid to call our own which came to fruition in 1996 as the Islamic Centre of Kingston.

The small community of 200 were able to raise the $1 Million to make this dream a reality over time,

and we prayed our first Taraweeh Prayers in the unfinished Musallah in February of 1996.

Today the community has grown more than 10x to 3,000 people in the area and we have clearly outgrown the masjid.

Islamic Studies Classes on Saturdays have to be held in three sessions to accommodate all the students with intermediates having class from 11-12:30, primaries from 2-3:30 pm and juniors from 3:30-5 pm.

Qur’an classes are held on weeknights.

The playroom which was specifically built in the original design for the children and youth was recently transformed into an expanded Sisters area for the Musallah,

a very difficult decision but a sacrifice that was made.

As a result,

there is no longer a designated space for children/youth to hang out and play during Taraweeh, lectures or dinners.

Ramadan Iftar dinners (pre-COVID) have gotten so crowded that people can’t find room to sit,

and many go outside or into the Musallah.

The children have nowhere to play without disruption.

We have also now gotten to the point where we need to have more than one Jama’a for Salat-ul-Jumu’ah.

Many times,

particularly on long weekends when people are travelling on the 401,

we will have a completely full house with both the Musallah and community hall full to the brim at Jumu’ah.

Unfortunately, when things are so crowded it becomes a deterrent for people to attend social events.

Moreover, it is difficult for families with children in many age groups on Saturdays when they need to chauffeur children back and forth.

Even if children stay for supervised activity during their siblings’ classes, they are confined to a small space of the kitchen during the cold months.

Most importantly, though the different groups are keen to have activities more often, we are restricted by space to coordinate with each other.

The youth in particular need a space where they can gather with their Muslim peers and also develop an attachment to the masjid.


we have finally gotten the building permit from the city to launch Phase I of our extension project.

We already have raised over $1 Million towards this and this Ramadan have set a goal of $500,000 to get us closer to getting the shovels in the ground.

For more information about the project,

And to donate: http://kingstonmuslims.ca

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