For the past ten years, the Utah Islamic Center has been meeting in a rented warehouse behind a strip mall in Salt Lake City. But at 350 members, the congregation has clearly outgrown its quarters. In 2014, the Utah Islamic Center purchased land in West Jordan (a suburb of Salt Lake City), and launched a building fund for a new mosque.
Architect Russ Naylor (a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) says he didn’t know much about the Muslim faith and that it was a “pretty steep learning curve.” But together with Imam Shuaib Din (pictured), they have designed an “innovative” new Islamic Center. And at 14,356 square feet, it will be Utah’s largest mosque.
The design of the new mosque will include original features such as domes but with a twist — the domes will be designed as pyramid-like triangles rather than the spheres which is most common in mosques. “We wanted the exterior to blend in with local architecture, while maintaining the unique features of a mosque,” says the imam.
Imam Shuaib Din says that the new mosque will be “female friendly.” The women’s section will be nearly equal in size and on the same floor as the men’s and will be separated only by a glass door. “It is designed so sisters can use the main entrance and do not have to use a side entrance,” explains the imam. “Plus, there will be a women’s lounge.”
“We feel confident that it will serve not only the Muslim community,” continues the imam, “but our non-Muslim brothers and sisters as well and add a new flavor to the religious landscape of Utah.”
The mosque is scheduled to open in March or April 2020.