A Mosque that Can't Borrow Faces the Loss of its Home (video)
Members hope Islamic financing practices arrive in time to save it
The shadow falling over one of Harlem’s oldest and largest black mosques isn’t a question of faith, but of property.
The owners of the building that houses the Masjid Aqsa mosque plan to sell, which would leave the mosque and its congregation of some 1,000 without a home.
It would become the fifth mosque in New York to close in less than a decade.
The issue is an old one: the Koran’s teachings on commerce. Muslim congregations often can’t own their mosques because the Koran prohibits borrowing or lending if the loan terms stipulate interest payments. That makes it difficult for Muslims to buy property.
So, while Christian or Jewish places of worship are often owned by their congregations, Muslims groups tend to rent.
Lily Vosoughi examines this quandary.