Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center, Virginia

Dar al HijrahFrom my incoming Google searches, I see that someone has been diligently looking for a picture of Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia and I replicated their searches and it seems they might not have had success so I’ve uploaded a picture from the masjid’s website, which has had this slow script issue for as long as I can remember. Click here or on the image to enlarge it.

On Fridays, I used to frequently attend the 11:15 jumu’ah with Shaykh Hanooti, because he’s not long-winded, his lectures are focused and to the point, we’re usually finished by 11:50 but always before 12pm, and the 11:15 service is the only one where if I come early I can park in the parking lot unlike the 12:15 or 1:30 services, which are HOV-3. The police that are assigned to the masjid on Fridays to help with traffic flow and congestion are usually very nice, they stand outside in all kinds of weather and hold the traffic for us as we cross the street from a funeral home’s parking lot to get to the masjid.

I haven’t been there in a while but on many Fridays, you could catch the family of Yusuf Estes selling some wonderful homemade pies, cookies, soaps, and CD’s. Dr. Anwar Hajjaj has excellent free and open classes on Sundays on the second floor at Dar al Hijrah. The current Imams at the masjid are Shaykh Hanooti, Imam Johari AbdulMalik, and Shaker Elsayyed. Previously, Anwar al-Awlaki was also an imam at this masjid. Don’t forget him in your duas as he is as far as we know still in detention in Yemen. Also, the masjid pictured in the Ramadan film is Dar al Hijrah.

My main complaint about Hijrah is that the sister’s entrance is in the back of the masjid where you are greeted by a dumpster, a flight of steps just to get into the building, and then another flight if you want to pray upstairs in the balcony area, which is actually quite nice, has some of the softest carpet around, looks down upon the courtyard area, and has several closed-circuit monitors so you can sit back and watch the khutbah, and I guess there is an overflow area for mothers and children downstairs but I’ve never been down there.

A little background about Dar al-Hijrah from it’s website:

Dar Al Hijrah’s inception dates back to 1983 CE/1403 AH. The site of the masjid’s (mosque) location, off of Route 7 in Falls Church, VA, was chosen due to its accessibility and close proximity to the major suburban regions that constitute the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.

With approximately 40,000 Muslims residing in the areas that the center serves, Dar Al Hijrah had a strong community from which to establish itself.

The original masjid, a house that still exists on the premises, was used for approximately eight years. Construction of the current structure began during 1986, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the new structure was opened on March 2, 1991/Sha’ban 15, 1411.

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Author: Ify Okoye

Muslim woman, RN, & rebel with a cause.

20 thoughts on “Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center, Virginia”

  1. The (relatively) new bathrooms are pretty nice too, at Dar al-Hijrah. But the women’s section upstairs? I’ve heard it has cameras (like, taping the sisters). This would be a problem for niqaabis, for nursing mothers, as well as many others just on principle. Any way to find out how true this is?

  2. From what I know from trustworthy people, the taping does take place. But it is for security purposes and I can’t say I disagree. I am a niqabi but I simply take it off when I go to the mussalah, mainly because there are no men present and the likelihood of some man seeing me (I don’t believe niqab is fard either..so that also plays into my decision) vs. me keeping the niqab on during prayer (very questionable) and otherwise…it simply makes sense to me to take it off and I do.

    As for nursing, the few times I nursed there I’d simply turn around so none of the cameras have me in view. plus u get pretty good at doing it in a way which is discrete.

  3. I haven’t been to Dar al-Hijrah in a long time subhanAllah, but I only have good memories of that masjid. The sisters there were so welcoming to us, and I love the sooq. (hehe funny you mentioned the carpet thing, I remember that too)

    I’ve never heard of the camera thing, but again I haven’t been there in maybe over a year so I wouldn’t know, wa Allahu ta’ala ‘alam.

  4. I’ve never noticed cameras taping the sisters’ section but then again I wasn’t looking for them. I’m all for masjid security but that sounds like overkill, I don’t think there is a legitimate security threat within the sisters’ sections of the masjid.

  5. They moved the dumpster to right behind the house that is on the property unless there is another one in the sisters’ section (never go around there) that I don’t know about

  6. I attended Dar Al-Hijrah from 1995 through 2003. During that time, I extended myself to many sisters, and even taught at some of the surrounding Islamic schools in the area. I found the muslims there to be extremely racist and spiteful to non-arab muslims. The more you try to do for them, and extend yourself, the more they reject and degrade you.

    I finally left the area. It left a very bad taste in my mouth for Arab muslims, but I’m still a muslim, but a cautious one. I attended Anwar Hajjaj’s class until I was not longer welcome. I was not welcomed there, and not liked, although I consider myself a very likable and kind person. Nothing seemed to penetrate their icy barriers.

  7. Asalamu alaykum Umm Hasan,

    I have spent a lot of time in the DC/MD/VA Muslim community and am skeptical about singling out Dar al Hijrah as “extremely racist”. You can find corrupt or racist people in any community, I used to be a regular at the 11:15 jum’ah and also attended Dr. Hajjaj’s classes and the Muslims I encountered there did not strike me any more or less racist than anyone else and I have had a number of racist encounters with other Muslims.

    I think it is important to focus on our own intentions and to make sure we are doing actions for the sake of Allah and not to please the people. People may have cliques, come from a certain area, share certain language and cultural traits and their comfort-level may be higher with people that they are familiar with so we hear far too often of brothers or sisters coming into the community and not feeling welcome.

    I hope you find contentment and tranquility wherever you settle. Ameen.

  8. Assalamu Alaikum, Muslim Apple:

    I think that your advise about not pleasing people, and pleasing Allah is good advice. I just wonder if it pleases Allah for Muslims to intentionally treat other Muslims badly? Over ten years is a long time to try and fail. But people can be patient. I know I am.

    I’m glad that you seem to have found contentment and tranquility at Dar Al Hijrah. Unfortunately, I did not. Where I am, I will remember all the times I tried to find contentment, friendship, and tranquility at Dar Al Hijrah and the surrounding Northern Virginia mosques, and I will remember how I was terribly let down, and I will continue to be cautious about letting that happen to me again.

  9. Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah Umm Hassan,

    I enjoyed going to Shaykh Hanooti’s khutbah because he was not long-winded, he focused on a few points that you could remember. Are you still in the area, if you are maybe we could meet up?

  10. as-salaam alaykum wa rahmatullah

    Dear Sisters,

    As a board member at Dar Al Hijrah I want to assure you that your concerns are being taken into account and we are working very hard to constantly make improvements and to make the environment as warm as possible. We certainly do not subscribe to racism and abhor it.

    I hope that a bad experience will not stop any of you from coming to visit Dar Al Hijrah or any other masjid but let us remember that we are human beings and make mistakes and need advice where we fall short. This can not happen if we give up.

    In these times of trials we certainly need to stand together as one community and advise each other where we are mistaken.

    Finally, I want to thank sister “Muslim Apple” for her comments. I pray that Allah increases you all in good

  11. Asalamu alaykum Dr. Omeish,

    Thank-you for your comments and welcome to Muslim Apple. Can you confirm for us, especially for sisters that wear niqab, if security taping does occur in the sister’s section of the masjid?

  12. From what I know, it does take place. I’ve been told this by my husband who knows people there and he attends there all the time. But honestly, I’m fine with that because of security reasons.

  13. Thanks for the confirmation alwaysred. I appreciate masjid security but sometimes it seems a bit overblown. I’m sure the threat assessment in the sister’s musallah is pretty low.

  14. I think its awful for cameras to be in sisters areas. If I was married i wouldnt let my wife go to such a place until the removed the cameras.

    You do not want some guy looking at your wife in the street. Why would you want some one looking at her in the Masjid. Some Masjids i have heard they will not allow the sister to wear niqab inside the women massalla and they have cameras.

    Cameras in the Masjid will stop many sisters especially married ones going to the Masjid.

    They should remove these cameras.

    On another point what kind of hijabi would be geering for obama. Mixing with him etc. Thats not a Hijabi

  15. An hijabi cheering or jeering for Obama is more of hijabi than you could ever be or hope to understand especially since she is visibly Muslims unlike so many of our undercover indistinguishable from non-Muslim Muslim men.

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