The mosque, or masjid, 801 Normal Road, had a soft opening late last month and is accessible to students, despite a few minor renovations still in the works.
Mohammed Labadi, Islamic Society of NIU president, said funds were raised for the building by students, alumni and other community members. The New Mosque Project has raised $725,000 of its $800,000 goal, according to ISNIU.org.
Plans to build the mosque began late in 2011, but the building process didn’t begin until December 2013, Labadi said.
“It was the most beautiful thing … because ministries are usually responsible for building mosques,” Labadi said. “It was a lot of people coming together to build the mosque.”
Labadi said between 10 and 20 visitors come to the mosque daily, and its most busy day is Friday, when up to 100 people come to pray.
Some students come to the mosque for more than prayer. Naif Jabli, sophomore instructional technology major, who visits the mosque five times a day, said he was able to find information about places to live, safe areas to visit and what courses to take from other students at the mosque.
“It’s a community here,” Jabli said. “I meet many students; many brothers, many sisters.”
The Islam Society plans to hold an open house, in which people who are interested in learning about Islam can attend, after the grand opening.
“We want to be that place where people feel comfortable to come in and ask questions and learn about Islam,” Labadi said.
The three story mosque has a women’s prayer room, a men’s prayer room and basement level multi-purpose room that will be used for community dinners, meetings and classes. There are already about 20 desks for students set up.
“If we don’t have an answer for you, we have little knowledge,” said Sameeuddin Ahmed, graduate electrical engineering student and member of the mosque. “There’s an answer for everything.”