WHY THE NEED FOR Islamic Society of Central Jersey’s EXPANSION
Conceived by Muslim American students of Rutgers University in the 1970s, the ISCJ began functioning as an Islamic center in the early 1980s with modest facilities and infrastructures. Over the last thirty years, the ISCJ has become one of the most diverse and distinguished Islamic centers in America. Congressmen, Senators and Governors visit ISCJ regularly and praise it as an outstanding Islamic institution, worthy of emulation.
Apart from the five daily prayers, Ju’ma, Taraveeh and Eid prayers, the ISCJ additionally offers matrimonial and burial services. With an open door policy, the ISCJ regularly invites its neighbors for Open Houses, and hosts Interfaith gatherings for Americans of other faiths. Congregations from churches, synagogues and temples routinely visit ISCJ, as do students from schools, colleges and universities such as Rutgers and Princeton.
Since the early 1980s, the ISCJ has been educating approximately 500 Muslim children a year in the fundamentals of the Islamic faith in a Weekend School. Since 1993, the ISCJ has been hosting in its premises a full-time Islamic School, the Noor-Ul-Iman School. Six batches of students have graduated from Noor-Ul-Iman School thus far, and each and every graduate has gone on to a four-year college. Noor-Ul-Iman School students have been accepted at prestigious colleges such as Rutgers University, The College of New Jersey, Bryn Mawr, New York University, Barnard College (Columbia University), University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Princeton University.
Over the last twenty years, the Muslim American community in central New Jersey has grown exponentially. The existing ISCJ facilities are woefully inadequate to cater to the needs of this expanding community. Sixteen years after the original application in 1991, in 2007 the local South Brunswick Township approved ISCJ’s Expansion Project, which includes the expansion of the present mosque, additional parking spaces and facility exits, a school building, an income-generating commercial building and a burial preparation facility. We need your prayers and donations to see this multi million dollar project to its full completion.
Expansion of the mosque is urgently needed because these days during Ju’ma prayers the facility overflows with worshippers. Additional parking space is necessary because these days the worshippers are forced to double, triple and quadruple park their vehicles when they come for Ju’ma and other religious or social occasions. Noor-Ul-Iman School and the Weekend School are excelling despite being housed primarily in three temporary modular units. Our students deserve at least one permanent school building. The commercial building, that will feature Muslim businesses, will finance ISCJ’s operations so that fund raising will not be necessary. The burial preparation facility will ensure that the bodies of our deceased brothers and sisters are prepared for their final resting place with the utmost care and dignity they deserve.As we embark on this humble, yet, costly project, we need your prayers and financial support. Your Sadaqa Jaria will ensure that Muslim American children will have a decent place to learn their religious heritage, and receive a decent formal education in a proper school building; Muslim American youth and adults will have a spacious mosque to pray after parking their vehicles in a proper parking spaces; a commercial facility will generate Halal income that will be used to finance the operation of ISCJ and make future fund-raising unnecessary; a burial preparation facility will prepare the bodies of the deceased Muslims for their final journey in the most Islamic way.Please help us with your prayers and your donations. Thank you. May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala bless you!
- In 1991, a planning firm was commissioned to develop a facility master plan that would meet ISCJ’s need for future expansion.
- In 2007, The South Brunswick Township Zoning Board approved the final master plan for expansion.
- During the period it took to get the plan approved, ISCJ steadily acquired adjacent properties to support approval of the plan, with acquisition cost close to $1.5 million fully paid form community donations. The land currently owned by ISCJ for this project, about 17 acres, has an appraised market value of $3.9 million, not including any building structures on the land.
- During the same period, ISCJ spent in excess of $1 million for engineering and legal fees to get the plan approved; all paid from community donations.
- From the inception of the project in 1991 to the present time, the project has been managed by a group of volunteer professional engineers and financial advisers at no cost to ISCJ.
- The completed segments of the project include the site plan, the school design, and the burial preparation home.
- A contract was awarded in 2009 for the site infrastructure construction that includes additional parking lots and exits from the facility.
- Phase one of construction has started in July 2009.
- Trees and stumps have been cleared from site area.
- 90% Rough grading of school pad site and new east entry road is now complete.
- Excavation and soil removal for retention basin has been completed.