Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-14-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NO. SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 14-20, 2019 NO. SMITHFIELD / WOONSOCKET 3 A growing community Local mosque looks to the future with expansion project NORTH SMITHFIELD – When Masjid Al-Islam opened on Sayles Hill Road in 1995, the space was more than large enough for the con- gregants who worshiped there, Mufti Ikram ul-Haq told The Valley Breeze. Now, as the mosque looks toward the next phase of its development, those words are no longer true. "As we look at it now 25 years later, the community needs have outgrown the space," the imam said during an interview at the mosque this week. Masjid Al-Islam opened in 1995 to serve a growing community of Muslims in northern Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts. At the time, it was only the second mosque in the state, and the first purpose-built to serve a Muslim con- gregation. Dr. Mohammed Arif, a now-retired cardiologist living in the area, donated the land that would be used to serve a small handful of local worshippers. Now, 25 years later, that mosque has become a thriving center of worship and community life. The mosque holds prayers five times per day, hosts weddings and offers class- es and programs for children and adults. Its largest weekly gathering is Friday afternoon prayer, which draws 400 to 600 worshippers every week. "I believe it's part of a larger trend in the country that we have been witnessing," said ul-Haq. "The Muslim population has been grow- ing throughout the United States and Canada." Not all of those who attend ser- vices live in the area. Ul-Haq said many regular worshippers are pro- fessionals who work at the corporate parks in Woonsocket, Smithfield and Lincoln and attend Friday afternoon prayers before returning home to Boston or points further north. Others come from south of Providence, drawn by the promise of a resident scholar and a mosque that serves Muslims of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. "It's probably the most diverse place in the state, I would say," he said. Last week, ul-Haq and a team of representatives presented a plan to the North Smithfield Planning Board to expand the mosque from its cur- rent size to a capacity of more than 1,000. The addition, said ul-Haq, will offer more prayer space and gathering areas, eliminating the need to gather outside the building dur- ing special events. The addition will also include an expanded women's prayer area and a basement that can be used for eating and other activi- ties. The expansion, he said, will come in especially handy during Eid al- Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the two yearly celebrations that currently draw close to 1,000 worshippers to the By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM MUFTI IKRAM UL-HAQ stands in the main prayer space at Masjid Al-Islam on Sayles Hill Road. The mosque is planning an expansion that will add 26,808 feet of floor space to the building to accomodate a growing Muslim population. See MOSQUE, Page 14 WFD announces CPR classes WOONSOCKET – The Woonsocket Fire Department will offer monthly Heartsaver CPR classes on the fourth Saturday of each month at Station 2, 5 Cumberland Hill Road, in the third floor conference room, from 8 a.m. to noon. The first class will be on Saturday, Nov. 23. Maximum class size is 10 stu- dents. A fee of $20 will be taken for city residents with proof of residen- cy. Non-city resident fee is $75. Registration will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis by con- tacting emergency medical services coordinator Jason Paskanik at 401- 597-6665 or Lt. Peter Blais at 401- 597-6823. Payments can be made by check or money order to City of Woonsocket Fire Department. Lego Builders Club meets Saturday WOONSOCKET – The Woonsocket Harris Public Library, 303 Clinton St., will host the Lego Builders Club on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 1 to 2 p.m. No registration is required. Just drop in and make creations out of Legos. The library supplies the Legos. Children's creations will be on dis- play in the Children's Craft Room window until the next Lego Club meets. The club is appropriate for ages 5 and up. Children must be with an adult who stays in the room the entire time for safety. For more information, call 401- 769-9044, ext. 2. Consumers Propane 762-5461 BOUSQUET OIL 769-0146 139 HAMLET AVE. WOONSOCKET, RI 02895-0628 SERVICE – SALES – INSTALLATION OF GAS & OIL HEATING EQUIPMENT • Boilers • Furnaces • Hot Water Heaters WWW.CONSUMERSPROPANE.COM WE FILL GAS GRILL TANKS GREAT VALUE QUALITY SERVICE 36 BLACKSTONE STREET WOONSOCKET 401-766-3270 WWW.TERRYAUTOLTD.COM Gil & Meika 2008 TOYOTA RAV 4 FWD, Loaded 80K miles ............................... $ 8,295 Now Offering On-Site Bank Financing Westlake Financial WE BUY CARS 2009 CHEVY SILVERADO Extra cab, 4x4, automatic ....................... $ 10,999 2008 FORD EDGE 2003 BUICK LE SABRE Loaded, 153K miles ........................... $ 4,495 97K miles, loaded ........................................... $ 3,295

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