Field Notes: The Role of American Mosques in Supporting Muslim Families


  • Zeinab Ahmed The Islamic Seminary of America
  • Bonita R. McGee The Islamic Seminary of America



American Muslim families, community services, mosques, imams


A healthy family is an essential building block to a healthy society. The goal of building a healthy family is especially important to Muslim communities living in non-Muslim-majority countries, where concerns of maintaining one’s faith and strong family values in the next generation, in light of outside societal pressures, occupy parents’ minds. In Muslim-minority societies, many families’ lives center around the mosque. Given this reality, what roles should American mosques take on to support Muslim families in their communities?

This study interviews fourteen mosques and three experts across the United States to explore topics such as how mosques are already supporting families (e.g., religious, social, financial, mental, and emotional support), the role of imams in these efforts, current strengths, gaps and challenges, and promising practices. The article concludes with some recommendations for the future of this work, including proposals on what mosques, Muslim communities, and organizations can do to support families better and some possible directions for future research.