Tucked in the corner of a strip mall, right beside a closed-down Lowe’s home improvement store, Utah Muslims have a new place to pray and gather.

At the spiritual helm of the Utah Islamic Center is Imam Shuaib-ud Din, the longtime religious leader of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake and West Valley City’s Khadeeja Masjid, or mosque, and a man who faced charges of domestic violence earlier this year.

But what did or didn’t happen in the imam’s home five months ago, when his wife claimed he slammed her against a refrigerator and threatened her life, didn’t keep the crowds away. About 150 people streamed in for Friday afternoon prayers, one week after the center first opened its doors.

“Allah has not permitted us to judge any other human. [Imam Shuaib’s] personal business is his personal business,” said Nasir Khan. “We are blessed to have him here. Our spiritual belief is, everything happened for a reason.”

Addressing those who’d gathered in what was once an office space, the imam asked for people’s prayers.

“Allah has given me the chance to stand in front of you,” he said.

He spoke of how with Allah the most difficult tasks can be achieved. And for years, he said, the Muslim community has spoken about opening a mosque in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley to accommodate the expanding Muslim population.

Efforts twice before failed, the imam said. “This is our third time, and God willing we’ll succeed.”


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