Beginning of the expansion of the Mosque of Manassas

The Prince William Islamic Center, the largest mosque in the Manassas area, will soon begin expansion work on its Mathis Avenue center.

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The Prince William Islamic Center, the largest mosque in the Manassas area, will soon begin expansion work on its Mathis Avenue center.

The 2,600 square foot expansion of the mosque’s meeting space was authorized last month by the Manassas City Council, which approved a special use permit for the use of the assembly and the new structure that will rise to 9002 Mathis Avenue, as well as a number of landscape improvements that the mosque plans to make to the site.

Among other things, the congregation plans to plant 24 trees in the mosque parking lot, while adding bicycle parking and new disabled spaces to the 164-space parking lot. A 20 foot landscaped buffer zone will face Mathis Avenue.

Mosque officials said when the expansion is complete, the center expects about 20 to 30 people to attend morning prayer daily, around 40 in evening prayer and up to 200 in day services on Friday. On weekends, the congregation also organizes a religious school for children.

The congregation has been praying in Manassas since 2005, according to mosque president Mohamed Hassan, and started out small with around 20 people in the area looking for a place to pray together. The group moved into its premises, a former office of the Department of Motor Vehicles, more than a year later. Now, with an increasing number of women attending services, Hassan said, the mosque must expand its prayer space for women.

A woman told the city council that her family has been praying at the mosque since it opened and that it has greatly benefited her children.

“For those of us raising teenagers, we know how beautiful their mood swings are. I have four children, my two oldest have benefited from going to the mosque, ”she said, using the Arabic word for mosque. “When I was a busy mom, working as a full-time network engineer, they spent time in the mosque after school on weekends. And because of this, they learned the proper etiquette, they received advice for young people.

Raheel Sheikh, who ran in 2019 as a Democrat for the Coles District seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, told the council his family has been attending services at the mosque for almost 15 years. He said the mosque not only provides religious offerings, but also creates a hub for the community.

“The mosque is a community center; it is not just a place of worship only. This is where we come together, we raise our children. The mosque offers several programs to the community, including youth counseling services, family counseling services, rental assistance when needed, pantries, ”Sheikh said. “It is the village that raises our children together.”


Jared Foretek covers the Manassas area and regional news across Northern Virginia. Contact him at [email protected]


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