The Muslim American Society (MAS) is a foundation that’s mission is to move people to strive for God consciousness, liberty, and justice, and to convey Islam with utmost clarity. With a vision of a virtuous and just American society. MAS was established in 1993 as a non-profit organization. The Muslim American Society is a dynamic charitable, religious, social, cultural, and educational, organization. MAS has expanded to more than 50 chapters across the United States. MAS offers unique programs and services that seek to better the individual and in turn, the greater society by imparting Islamic knowledge, promoting community service, and engaging in political activism. Over the past twenty years, MAS has grown into a nationally recognized grassroots movement, and by cooperating and collaborating with other organizations, MAS has expanded its reach into thousands of communities across the United States. Because MAS is a grassroots organization, it gains strength from its members and volunteers. Membership entitles an individual to participate in the decision making process of their local chapter, to hold key leadership positions, and gain access to numerous resources provided by their local chapter and MAS National. Membership in MAS is open to all Muslims in the United States who are committed to the MAS mission and vision.
The Quran Institute is a section of MAS that was founded to help students of all ages to properly understand, recite, and memorize the Quran. MAS sees that the understanding of the meaning of the Quran, which conveys Islam’s teachings, is essential. As the MAS official website states “The importance of ensuring that future generations of American Muslims can understand and capably recite the Quran cannot be overemphasized. Having the ability to read and understand the Quran in its purest form in the Arabic language empowers young Muslims and provides them with the tools they need to connect to the Holy Book to find answers to life’s everyday questions.” The programs are led by experienced teachers, who have their Ijazah which is a certification that a person has mastered the recitation and memorization of the Quran. These teachers utilize a variety of techniques to engage the students, young and old, in an effective and friendly manner, in order to help these students become closer to their God and his teachings.
Another section in MAS is the Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi; an organization that is an effort to rejuvenate the study of Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith while also providing Islamic workers/activists with authentic translation, commentary, and inspiration for implementation in our modern context. Members are placed in weekly “halaqas or usrahs” to develop a working understanding of Islam. With in these teachings it is thought that “The Arabic term ‘ilm translates to knowledge, but the word has a broader definition than its English counterpart. ‘Ilm encompasses theory, action, and education whereas in English, knowledge is defined as merely the awareness of facts, truths, and principles.” stated by the official MAS website. As Abu Bakr said, “without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile.” MAS believes very strongly that action must be based on knowledge, and that knowledge must produce action.
MAS has officially established the Immigrant Justice Center in December of 2009, which allows legal representatives to provide legal services to low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Within this unit of MAS it the belief is that all of people deserve the opportunity to improve our lives. every year this department helps ensure this opportunity for nearly hundreds of people around the United States who are undocumented, searching for stability, or seeking safety. MAS partners with lawmakers and organizations to shape public policies that fit the needs of struggling immigrants.
There have been some major milestones for MAS over the past twenty years. A few of them being: “Trained over 1,500 federal, state and local law enforcement officers in an outreach effort to build healthy relations between law enforcement and the American Muslim community; Outreach Director awarded by the Justice Department for the quality of these trainings. First American Muslim organization to hold a Citizen Civil Rights Hearing on Capitol Hill which was co-chaired by the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Congressman John Conyers. Trained over 7,000 civic and community activists. Cited by CNN and other media outlets for positive programs dealing with youth on the key issues of extremism, violence, hate and intolerance. Presented at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia Plenary speaker at an international conference on nuclear abolition, peace, and sustainable development in New York City. Hosted a Muslim Community Action Forum with the Governor of Massachusetts with the attendance of over 1,000 community members.”