Chantilly At the new, Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque in Chantilly, morning prayers will start before sunrise; evening prayers are said approximately 45 minutes after sundown. And the imam will be there to lead the congregation in prayer, seven days a week.
"People will come five times a day to pray, if they want to do it in the mosque," said member Tarek Hasan. "And it’ll be open all the time, so they could come to pray by themselves whenever they want to. Or they can pray in their homes."
"One of the most important reasons for the mosque is Friday prayers, which are mandatory for the men," said Usman Ghumman, general secretary for the local chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslims. "It’s called Juma prayer and is done around 1:15 p.m. A lot of women attend this prayer, also, but it’s not required for them."
Children’s religious classes, separate for girls and boys, ages 7-15, will be held on Sundays.
Hasan lives in Fairfax Corner and Ghumman grew up in Falls Church and Chantilly. "A lot of Muslims are living here, so I strongly feel that this place will fulfill their need to come to a proper mosque and offer prayers," said Ghumman.
He also hopes that, as the community gets to know them better, they’ll realize that the Ahmadiyya Muslims are separate and apart from — and denounce — the violent, terrorist Muslims most people hear about in the media at large.
"Islam is a way of life, and not only for Muslims," said Ghumman. "It is a religion for the whole of mankind because it builds on the message of God brought to mankind during different ages and places by prophets of God such as Confucius, Zoroaster, Buddha, Ram, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad — peace be upon them."
"According to our beliefs, God’s message to mankind is completed by the holy Quran and the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslims according to its founder, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian," continued Ghumman.
Added Hasan: "His message is a message of peace among all religions to end religious wars. Instead of waging war, he taught his followers to defend Islam with words."
Ghumman said local members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community are "overjoyed" to have a mosque in Chantilly and can hardly wait to start using it.
"We have a Facebook page the members check regularly to see the building’s progress, and one or two members stop by every day," said Hasan. "And every time we complete a new phase, they’re excited and come to see it."
An official opening date hasn’t yet been set, but a special ceremony is planned for June. Said Ghumman: "This is brand new, and everyone’s really looking forward to it."