By Saud Inam
With the rise of numerous American Muslims identifying themselves as being “Unmosqued” or a seeker of “Third Spaces” as opposed to being involved with their local masjids, many discussions concerning the relevancy of masjids and if masjid leadership is disconnected from the needs of the community are happening across the country. Many of us are aware or have thoughts on the many weaknesses in our masjids, masjid leadership and overall setup, but few have taken the effort to engage masjid leadership in an effective and constructive manner to change our masjids for the better.
With that in mind, I want to focus here on the role of the imam in the masjid.
With the growing demands and needs of our community, it becomes important for masjid leadership to update job descriptions, roles and responsibilities of our imams in our masjids. There also needs to be adequate salaries, attractive perks and packages and bonuses to compensate our imams to ensure they perform at a high level. (Being an imam for the sake of Allah is wonderful, but we are asking a lot of our imams and must compensate them properly. They have families and responsibilities, too.)
Traditionally imams have led daily prayers, delivered khutbahs, performed nikkahs (marriages), performed special prayers like Eid and janazah (funeral) and taught classes or halaqas. However, with the ever-growing needs of our community imams’ roles, responsibilities and duties need to be expanded.
Here are nine ways to expand our imams’ roles, responsibilities and duties.
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