NATURE AND GENERAL GUIDELINES
The Center shall be a non-profit organization. The functions and activities of The Center shall be strictly guided by Islamic principles according to the “Shia Ithna-Ashari” school of thought, which includes the Holy Qur’an and the traditions (Hadith) (the practices of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), consisting of what he and members of his household/progeny (Ahl-ul-Bayt) did, recommended, explained or approved of). Matters related to Islamic principles shall be referred to the Holy Qur’an and the well-known statements of the Prophet Muhammad and the infallible Imams from his Ahl-ul-Bayt (pbut), which together are the highest authority in all matter of faith, theology and law.
There are certain rules and laws of Sharia, Islamic legislations, which are called Sunan, or Fatawa. These laws shall be according to the religious rulings issued by the High Islamic Shia Ithna-Ashari Scholars (Maraje’ A’la). In case of differences of opinion among center members regarding these laws, the matter shall be referred to recognized Islamic references and accepted by the High Islamic Shia Ithna-Ashari Scholars (Maraje’ A’la) and shall not be subject to any vote and the decision should be binding. The members of the board of trustees are responsible to obtain the opinion of the Maraje’ and implement final decision based on those.
The Al-Mahdi Islamic Center is run by a voluntary Board of Trustees and Management Committee that are from the local community who aim to facilitate programs and services for the benefit of Islam and the development of the area and town.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVE
- The Center is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including but not limited to such purposes as, the making of distribution to organizations under relevant Federal tax code.
- No part of the net earnings of The Center shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, directors, officers or other private persons, except that The Center shall be authorized and empowered to pay for any needed improvement and expansion of The Center and its activities, to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c) (3) purposes.
- No substantial part of the activities of The Center shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and The Center shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office.
- Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, The Center shall not carry out any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from Federal Income tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code (or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code) or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code (or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code.)
- The Center shall serve as a source of information about Islam and its history, civilization and people.
- The contributions will be used for charitable purposes: publishing prayer books and educational literature for both adults and children, helping the needy, provide grants to needy students and small businesses, pay funeral expenses for those who cannot afford them, feed the poor, or as the board of trustees deems reasonable.
- The Center shall organize activities such as, but not limited to, the following:
- To facilitate the observation of special occasions such as congregational prayers, Eid prayers, commemorations, celebrations, and recommended prayers.
- To disseminate religious knowledge through various means such as: Newsletters, Qur’anic and Islamic studies, seminars and discourse by knowledgeable Muslims and religious scholars.
- To provide religious services such as: marriage, funerals and other services as deemed necessary.
- The Center shall further work to strengthen fraternal bonds among Muslims, through cooperation with organizations and Muslim groups who have similar aims and objectives (within the law).
- The Center shall not at any time, at any place, or in any manner, indulge in or promote or support or encourage any activity which is in conflict or inconsistent with the teachings of Islam and the purposes of The Center.
- A mechanism for holding or giving a property or any asset that has the potential of benefiting Muslims, in a manner such that the ownership is ascribed to Allah (swt). Rules and regulations concerning the “Waqf” properties are provided in Article 5.2.1 of the Articles of the Bylaws.
- Participation in the activities of the center shall be open to all Muslims.