In The News: Shortage Of Imams At American Mosques

Excellent article today in the Huffington Post: Shortage of Imams at American Mosques The Spokane Islamic Center wants something mosques all across the country are seeking and can’t seem to find: an educated, bilingual, experienced imam who understands American culture. According to the report “The American Mosque 2011” by University of Kentucky professor Ihsan Bagby, half of all mosques in … Read More

Omar UsmanIn The News: Shortage Of Imams At American Mosques

The Replacement Imam

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We’ve seen the debacle with replacement refs in the NFL. These are people that have some background in the profession, and yet when thrown into a positon they’re not qualified for, they fail in spectacular fashion. There’s a large distinction between mentoring and training someone versus putting a person into a position they are not capable of handling. Many communities … Read More

Omar UsmanThe Replacement Imam

Two Step Process: How Masjids Can Adequately Address the Counseling Needs of Youth

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Much of the rhetoric we hear about youth in our masajid orients around how to involve them and to what level. In my personal experience, I have heard the same discussion on this issue for over the last 10 years without any resolution. This stagnation has contributed to the worsening problem of masajid being unequipped to handle the counseling needs of Muslim … Read More

Omar UsmanTwo Step Process: How Masjids Can Adequately Address the Counseling Needs of Youth

Take-Aways from MuslimLink: What Is an Imam Worth?

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I was quoted in a new article from the Muslim Link on the topic of imam salaries: What is an Imam Worth? “If it’s a job requiring such a high level of education, experience, skill, and only a few people are equipped to do it, [then] why do masajid insist on paying [imams] barely more than a cashier at Walmart? … Read More

Omar UsmanTake-Aways from MuslimLink: What Is an Imam Worth?

So How Much SHOULD Islamic Clergy Make?

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Slate raised the issue of the salaries of religious clergy highlighting salaries of Priests and Rabbis. Data about Imam salaries was (un)surprisingly hard to find. The topic of imams’ salaries is for some reason a touchy one, but it is not a complicated issue if approached objectively. We have previously discussed what to look for when hiring an imam. Communities … Read More

Omar UsmanSo How Much SHOULD Islamic Clergy Make?

Quickreads: What People Need From an Imam

“People could go to the Prophet (PBUH) and talk to him without having to worry about him being judgmental. We don’t see that kind of pastoral care often in our community. People come to you sometimes and they don’t need a fatwa or legal ruling, they just need someone to talk to, someone who understands them. We have to be … Read More

Omar UsmanQuickreads: What People Need From an Imam

4 Different Imam Hats

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These are 4 different hats that a masjid imam often has to wear: Prayer Leaders/Khatībs Educators/Professors Activists Counselors Note that each of these require completely different skill sets – and therefore should ideally be serviced by different individuals. Let’s go through the qualifications for each. Prayer Leader – On a day to day basis, this person truly only needs about a … Read More

Omar Usman4 Different Imam Hats

Follow Up: Realistic Imam Qualifications?

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In our video from the Conversations in Masjid Leadership series, we highlighted how to Find the Right Imam for your community. A bit tongue in cheek, we made an unrealistic laundry list of qualifications that communities (unrealistically) ask for. But was our list really much of an exaggeration? Here’s a list of requested qualifications that we came across in a … Read More

Omar UsmanFollow Up: Realistic Imam Qualifications?

In the News: Portrait of an American Imam

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Being an imam in America, it’s shocking sometimes, but my first duty is to comfort others. -Imam Magid This is an excellent, and practical, follow up to our video interview regarding Finding the Right Imam for Your Masjid. Please take a moment to check out this article from the Huffington Post, Mohamed Magid: A Portrait Of An American Imam, and watch the … Read More

Omar UsmanIn the News: Portrait of an American Imam

Conversations About Masjid Leadership: Finding the Right Imam

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Conversations About Masjid Leadership

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Conversations About Masjid LeadershipWe’ve all seen the magazine ads that look something like: Seeking well qualified Imam for our masjid in the middle of nowhere. New facility with 50 families. Seeking an Imam with the following qualifications: PhD. in Islamic Studies Bachelor’s from American university Fluent in English, Arabic, and … Read More

Omar UsmanConversations About Masjid Leadership: Finding the Right Imam