Biennial Report ( 2012 - 2014)

Our First 2 years &

The need to complete construction of our Dawah Center & Masjid (West) Building 

With the help of Allah SWT and our beautiful and diverse community, our Center continues to grow in the number of Muslim households it serves, in the quality and number of its Educational Programs for Youth and Adults and in the scope of its Outreach efforts and engagements, Alhamdulillah.

Our community has already outgrown the limited capacity of the East Building (School) that was completed 2 years ago. Many of our Dawah (outreach) Programs are being held offsite, at higher cost and with limited frequency. Our Full-time School's ability to excel is limited by financial resources and infrastructure that any school needs to serve its students and grow.

We invite you to review our Islamic Center's Dawah model and our community's efforts and impact over the last 2 years below.  We also invite you to support our continued growth, inshaAllah. Our Center needs your help to continue on this path.

Please donate generously and please be sure to forward this link to family and friends across the country and world and ask them to forward as well or donate on either of our secure channels at:

All contributions are Tax-Exempt. Please make check payable to 'Al Hedaya Islamic Center' and mail to Hedaya Islamic Center, PO Box 67, Hawleyville CT 06440

Hedaya provides full financial transparency with Financial summaries from our CPA - Audited Financial Statements, Income statements, Balance Sheets, Operating expenses etc are posted on the Bulletin Board of the School (East) building. 

Highlights of Masjid Building:

* Masjid & School buildings to provide excess of 8,000 Sq ft of indoor space and over 2.5 acres of land including pond & stream enabling a broad range of community & youth activity for the first time across the greater Danbury region. Access to Property within a minute drive from Exit 9 off Interstate I-84 

* City Water, Sewer, Natural gas & Solar powered utilities enabling exceptional energy efficiency & convenience to community 

* Occupancy of Masjid building to exceed 500 persons with capacity scaling to over 750 people with use of outdoor masonry Patios

* Ample parking with capacity to support 80-100 cars on site

* Residential zoned sections of East & West buildings to enable resident caretaker, visiting scholars or resident Imam.

* Mezzanine level for sisters with direct stairway access from sister's section  

Please donate generously during this blessed month of Ramadan and contribute to a continuing charity that will benefit you in this life and the next, insha'Allah

“Who is he that will Loan to Allah a beautiful loan? for Allah will increase it manifold to his credit, and he will have (besides) a liberal Reward.” - Qur'an 57:11






Islamic Education For Youth:

Education Programs at Hedaya include the twice weekly After-School Program for children ages 4-17 on Qur’an reading with tajweed and on Islamic Studies, The (Full-time) Granada Academy ( PK – Grage 5), Topical Youth groups (groupings based on interests - such as Taekwondo, Math, Science, writing programs in Python etc.)

Programs for Children are driven by an overwhelming focus on developing good Akhlaq, establishing peer networks, building an attachment to the Masjid and instilling a confidence to help them become great American Muslims of tomorrow, inshaAllah !

Pre-K children from the Granada Academy:

The Full-time Granada Academy, encourages students to accelerate their standing in Math, Reading Arts & Science by a few years at least, with most children ahead of their Grade by 1-3 years and some by as many as 4-5 years in Math. The Math & Science Club at Hedaya, (founded by a youth from the community, Sr Sahira Syed - winner of multiple national Math competitions) helps children improve & demontrate their competencies in Math and prepares them to compete in Nationwide Math competitions, such as AMC, MOEMS, CML, Math Kangaroo etc.. Inculcating the awareness of the importance of excelling in Math, the Physical Sciences and in developing the skill to write Code enables our children to launch careers based on an exceptionally competitive preparation premised on a social culture of peer encouraged development. 

Lets give them a place to stand and inshaAllah, they will move the Earth !  


Classes, Workshops, Seminars, Conferences for Community:

Hedaya organizes Educational programs for the community on a wide range of relevant topics - Sharia, Fiqh, Disaster Assistance Training, and Computer Literacy. Weekly Halaqas for Sisters are held at the Masjid on Fridays before Jumma and weekly Halaqas for Brothers on Friday evenings when the After-School Program is in session. Hedaya has had the privilege of hosting some of the Country's most noted Muslim scholars (Sh Wissam Sharif, Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed, Sh AN Jangda, Sh Mokhtar Maghroui, Sh Hassan Elwan etc) in Newtown or offsite in Hartford.   

Newcomers to Islam & our Community !

Hedaya has had the privilege of welcoming newcomers to Islam from our neighborhood over the last two years - may Allah SWT protect them, guide them and grow them in their knowledge of their faith and in their nearness to Him.

Br George Shahada (Aug 30th 2013)

Sr Kirsty Shahada (Nov 30th 2013):

Br Julien Shahada (Feb 2nd 2014):

Sr Rachel Shahada (July 4th 2014):

Br Patrick Shahada (July 18th 2014):

Sr Janice Shahada (Aug 9th 2014):

Sr Leslie Shahada (Sept 7th 204):

Sr Rachel_2 Shahada (Oct 4th 2014):

Br Jesse & Sr Kirsty's wedding (Feb 15th 2014):

Br John & Sr Susan's wedding ceremony (July 9th 2014):

Br Sharif & Sr Kristen's (Sr Basimah's) wedding ceremony (May 4th 2014):

Br Hedi & Sr Coleen's wedding ceremony (Jun 1st 2014):

Br Tony & Sr Janice's wedding ceremony (Aug 16th 2014):

2013 Community Organization of the Year Award from CAIR CT

Alhamdulillah, the Al Hedaya Islamic Center in Newtown CT continues to grow, exceptionally healthy and productive relationships with Faith-based, Charity, Advocacy, State and Federal organizations across Newtown, the Greater Danbury region, the State of Connecticut and across Country. CAIR CT awarded Hedaya its prestigious Organization of the Year award in 2013 to recognize these accomplishments in Outreach activity and in building bridges.

Hedaya's Interfaith Dinner Event at the ICNA-MAS Regional Convention, Hartford CT, Mar 2014

The Al Hedaya Islamic Center in Newtown CT was invited to organize the Interfaith Dinner Event at the ICNA-MAS Regional Convention - - based on the visible and exemplary co-operation our community has shown in building bridges and working together with the people and Town of Newtown CT. We were privileged to have US Senator Richard Blumenthal, ICNA Preesident Naeem Baig, ICNA Interfaith leader Sh Abdul Rahman, Sh Mokhtar Maghraoui, Rev. Leo McIlrath, Rabbi Shaul Marshall Praverl, Dr John Woodall and Ven. Todd Wisdom Jarvis speak at this event. Representatives of faith-based groups from practically every part of Connecticut were invited and represented including the leadership of the Hartford Seminary.

Hedaya organizes and hosts Connecticut's DuaNight with Sh AN Jangda in Newtown CT, Mar 2014

We were blessed to learn from Sh Abdul Nasir Jangda in this beautiful, spiritual and life-changing journey through 'DuaNight' in the packed (over 250 people) lecture hall in Newtown. We hope to have him visit us in Newtown CT again, inshaAllah !

Hedaya invited to present at the National Cathedral, Washington D.C. Dec 2013

The Hedaya Center was privileged to be invited to present at the Newtown Vigil for all victims of Gun Violence, on the first anniversary of the 12/14 Newtown Tragedy in the National Cathedral in Washington DC - with US Senators, Congressmen, White House representatives, leadership of The Newtown Alliance, The Newtown Foundation, ISNA, CAIR, Islamic Relief, Interfaith Groups and Gun Safety advocates from across the country also participating. As is a tradition at Hedaya, our Youth - including students from The Granada Academy represented Hedaya at this event.

Video of presentations by Hedaya & ISNA

Christian Science Monitor Interview with Hedaya:

Islamic Society of North America:  

South China Morning Post:

The Washington Post:

CT Post Picture Gallery:

National Cathedral Program Booklet:

Full Program Video:

(Hedaya Presentation begins at 1:11:44 in this video)

Hedaya's First Day-long Conference/Workshop on 'Tragedies, Trials & Tribulations' with Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed, Sh Wissam Sharif, Sh Omer Bajwa & Newtown's Interfaith Clergy, May 2013

News coverage:

Conference Trailer:

Sh Wissam Sharif’s presentation:

Hedaya invited to serve in a Panel of judges at Newtown's Labor Day Parade, Sept 2013

The Al Hedaya Islamic Center and other Newtown Faith Groups from the Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association were invited to serve as Judges of Newtown's 2013 Labor Day Parade. Attending were Newtown's First Selectman Pat Llodra, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, US Senators Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy & Connecticut’s Gov. Danell Malloy in Newtown CT on this historic occasion.

Hedaya invited to speak at the Compassion & Creativity Conference in Portuguese Cultural Center, Danbury CT, Apr 2013

The panel discussion also included representatives of Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. This Panel discussion followed Keynote presentations by US Senator Richard Blumenthal, WCSU President James Schmotter (top right), Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury CT(bottom Right), First Selectman Pat Llodra of Newtown CT and business leaders from the region. Br Mongi Dhaoudi (top left), Executive Director of CAIR-CT represented the Al Hedaya Islamic Center at this Conference.

News Coverage:

President Barak Obama invites Hedaya and other Faith groups in Newtown to his remarks on Gun Legislation at the Univ of Hartford, Apr 2013.


Hedaya invited to publish position on Gun Safety & Gun Control, April 2013:

The Al Hedaya Islamic Center published its (invited) position on the issue of Gun Control in an op-ed in the Danbury News-Times on Saturday April 6th 2013“The Sanctity of Life, Redefined”

Hedaya invited to speak at the 'Open Forum on Islam' at the Cavalry Church in Stonington CT, Jun 2013

The church was packed despite heavy rain and humidity. The questions were expected - ranged from gender equality to punishments in sharia law to religious tolerance. Hedaya was given a warm welcome and the audience were appreciative of our responses.

Hedaya Youth receive 'Human Rights Award' from UN Office of Church Women United Inc.

Youth Director Jason Graves & Hedaya Student Muadh Bhavnagarwala received a 'Human Rights Award' from the United Nations Office of Church Women United Inc. along with members of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association, Mar 2013

Hedaya invited to Organize an Interfaith Panel discussion at the ICNA-MAS 2013 National Convention, Hartford CT, May 2013

The Panel reviewed the Newtown Interfaith experience and the opportunities to continue working together in future.

Hedaya Youth invited to speak at the Indian Community's 'Festival of Lights' in Danbury CT with the Mayor of Danbury, Nov 2013

Hedaya Youth spoke on "Allah as the source of Light  -inspiring, motivating and guiding" with Students from Hedaya's Granada Academy also participating

Hedaya invited to present at a Panel discussion and Workshop on 'Islamophobia' at The Universalist Church in New London CT, April 2013

The Al Hedaya Islamic Center invited alongside other CAIR-CT members invited to speak in a Panel discussion during an ‘ Islamophobia Workshop', organized by the Unitarian Universalist Church and attended by over 75 people to engage the wider community in New London and elsewhere in a conversation to clear up misconceptions about Islam and Muslims and to get to know one another. More at:

Hedaya hosts visit to Newtown by CEO of Islamic Relief & NE Region leadership of Islamic Relief, Apr 2013

Below, from L to R: Dr Abed (CEO of Islamic Relief), Dr John Woodall (Newtown Unity Project), Yusuf Abdullah (NE Director Islamic Relief), Derek Lea (Director, Islamic Relief) and Carol Carlson of American Red Cross, Apr 2013

Hedaya's Youth organize 'Henna Night' to raise $ to suport Islamic Relief, Nov 2013

Youth leaders at Hedaya raised over $ 800 on 'Henna Night' -to support Islamic Relief's efforts in the Philippines - provide assistance to victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Many neighbors also came over on 'Henna Night', Alhamdulillah. Proceeds were handed to Islamic Relief's Director, Derrek Lea (at bottom left) in Washington D.C.

Hedaya's Annual 'Sharing Ramadan' Dinner events - 2013, 2014

Sharing Ramadan is the Hedaya Community's opportunity to assert, as a community - in our behaviors, our beloved Prophets (peace be upon him) example. Hedaya gave as a gift to our guests our most precious asset - The Qur'an. This was also an opportunity for the senior leadership of Helping Hands, ICNA, Islamic Relief and CAIR to share with all of us the amazing things they are doing thoughout the year and around the world in Relief efforts and in bringing comfort to victims of war, oppressive regimes and natural disaster.    

Distinguished Guests included First Selectman Pat Llodra and her family, Selectman Jim Gaston, Town & District Officials Interfaith Clergy, colleagues and neighbors. 'Sharing Ramadan' in 2014 was sponsored by Islamic Relief, ICNA, Helping Hands and CAIR-CT with over 350 people attending.

News Coverage, Sharing Ramadan 2013:

The Newtown Tragedy & Hedaya's response, contribution to Newtown's recovery, December 2012:

Presentation at the Memorial Service in Newtown (Dec 16th 2012) with President Obama, US Senators Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Connecticut Governor Danell Malloy, First Selectman Pat Llodra and several other former elected officials of CT:

CNN interview with Br Jason Graves from the Al Hedaya Islamic Center:

Al Jazeera (in arabic) interview at Hedaya:

Al Hurra (in arabic) coverage and interviews with Al Hedaya:

Editorial on the Al Hedaya Islamic Center in Newtown, CT by Professor Sean Foley of the Middle Tennessee State University, Mufreesboro, TN (appeared in the New Strait Times, January 4th 2013)

Report on the December 16th 2012 Vigil at Newtown High School by local (New Haven Register, Newtown Patch) News outlets:

Editorial in the Huffington Post, December 20th 2012:

Interview by NPR Wisconsin of Jason Graves & Muadh Bhavnagarwala:

ICNA's Statement on Newtown Tragedy:

Muslim Remarks at Memorial Service reported by The Houston Chronicle:

Islamic Commentary dot org:

Grief Transcends Faith Boundaries:

Ramadan 2012 & Hedaya’s first Interfaith and Outreach Engagements, July 2012:

Masjid, Youth and Community activity surged with issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy for the East (School) Building on July 20th 2012 - the first day of Ramadan. Our dear Sh Ali Ahmed led Taraweeh and served as Imam at the Masjid during this blessed first month of Hedaya’s operation. Hedaya’s first Interfaith and Outreach engagements began with invitations from Newtown’s newly formed Interfaith Clergy Association in October 2012.

Property purchase, remodeling of East Building September 13th 2011 - July 2012:

The Hedaya Islamic Center property on 115 Mt Pleasant Rd was purchased in Sept 2011 and followed by a tear down and significant rebuild of the dilapidated East Building. Much of the rebuilding was done with volunteer effort/at cost by contractors in our community with most of the total cost of property purchase and rebuild of over $ 500,000 being raised over a short span of 3-4 years.