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Lancaster Islamic Society Constitution

 

NAME:

1. The name of the organisation is the Lancaster Islamic Society (hereafter referred to as 'the Congregation')

2. The name of the organisation shall only be changed by a two-thirds majority of the Shura/Management Committee at a special meeting convened for such a purpose

 

OFFICES:

1. The offices of the congregation shall be situated at 7 Dallas Road, Lancaster, LA1 1TN and/or at any such premises as the Shura Committee may decide

2. The official postal address of the Congregation shall be Lancaster Islamic Society, 7 Dallas Road, Lancaster, LA1 1TN and/or at any postal address as the Shura Committee may decide

 

BASIC FOUNDING PRINCIPLES:

The following clause embodies the basic founding principle which shall be permanent and entrenched. This clause may never be altered.

Obedience in line with Allah's guidance to achieve human excellence. 

 

Character of Islamic Organizations and its workers

The purpose of an Islamic organisation is to bring about the collective potential of the whole community for the good of mankind with due respect and regard to all forms of life and nature. In order to achieve these goals, the following are among the essential characters of individuals and organisations:

 

Kindness: "Those who act kindly receive kindness and more.  Neither dust nor disgrace comes near their faces. They will be inhabitants of paradise; they will live there forever."  Qur'an: 10:26

 

Goodness: "Indeed, good deeds cancel bad deeds.  This is a reminder for the mindful." Qur'an: 11:114

 

Patience and Perseverance: "O you who believe, be patient and persevering, persistent; strengthen each other.  Observe your duty to Allah in order that you may prosper." Qur'an 3:200

 

Forgiveness: "Practice forgiveness, promote decency, and avoid ignorant people." Qur'an 7:199

 

Tolerance: "Let there be no compulsion in religion." Qur'an 2:256

 

Humility: "The obedient to the Beneficent are they who walk on earth modestly, and when the ignorant address them, they say: "Peace!" Qur'an 25:63

 

Equity and Justice: "O you who believe ! Be steadfast witness for Allah in equity, and let not the hatred of any people seduce you to deal unjustly.  Do justice; that is nearer to your duty.  Observe your duty to Allah.  Indeed, Allah is informed of what you do." Qur'an 5:9

 

Equality of Mankind: "O people! We have created you from a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. The noblest of you before Allah is the most Taqwa (Allah conscious).  Allah is the all Knower." (Qur'an 59:13)

During his farewell address, in which he spoke to the Muslims or rather to entire Mankind, the Prophet (SAW) said: "O people, indeed, your Lord, may He be praised and exalted, is One, and, indeed, your father (Adam) is one.  Indeed, there is no superiority for a red man over a black man except through Taqwa (Allah-conscious). 

The basis of the functions of the congregation in all its affairs shall be to adhere strictly to the tenets of Shari'ah, the Islamic Law, as expounded by the four Sunni juristic schools of thought viz. Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and Hambali Schools commonly referred to as the Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah

The interpretation of the Shari'ah Law mentioned above shall be carried out by competent scholars of bona-fide Ulama bodies of the Markazi Masjid Dewsbury or their appointees or successors

AFFILIATIONS:

In matters of religious guidance and directives, the congregation shall be affiliated to Markazi Masjid, Dewsbury. The aim of such affiliation shall be to recognise the religious authority for the purposes of obtaining religious sanction and approval of the congregation's intentions and activities

 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

Being a non-profit Islamic organisation, the aims and objectives of the congregation inter alia are:

To establish, operate and maintain Masjid for the performance of congregational and other prayers, religious rites and activities. In the event of a dispute concerning a matter being of religious purpose, the congregation shall acquire a ruling whether such a matter fails under the definition of "religious activity", from a bonafide Ulama body affiliated or aligned to the above institutions or their successors or appointees.

1. To establish, operate and maintain institutions for the dissemination of Islamic or what is deemed as a corollary to Islamic teaching, training and education. To strive to create an environment of social and spiritual needs of Muslims and encourage learning and discussion about Islam amongst its members and the wider community

2. To establish, operate and maintain other institutions that would enhance the religious and social causes of the community such as libraries, cemeteries, da'wah institutions, social-welfare

3. To help establish, operate and maintain institutions of the nature mentioned above within and beyond the boundaries of Lancaster.

4. To enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong in all facets of the Muslim community and to actively promote and propagate Islamic teachings and to adopt all means for the achievements of this objective in accordance with Shariah

5. To solicit for and to employ the funds of the congregation in furthering the aims and objective set out herein and for any other cause as may be deemed appropriate in enhancing the cause of Islam and the Muslim community. Funds solicited or received for a particular and specific cause shall be limited to that cause unless in exceptional circumstances. In the event of limited availability of funding, the priority of order shall be the Masjid, education, cemetery and then other good causes

6. To co-operate with other institutions having similar aims and objectives and affiliations

7. To generally deal with all matters of relevance in furthering and enhancing the cause of Islam and the Muslim community as deemed so from time to time

The aims and objectives of the congregation as set out herein shall in no way be limited or restricted by reference to any other clauses in this constitution unless otherwise indicated. The order in which the aims and objectives appear does not determine the importance or preference thereof over each other unless specifically stated 

8. To promote good race relations

9. To do such other things pursuant to the above as are charitable in law and in all cases for the public benefit

 

MEMBERSHIP:

The following conditions shall be a requisite for full membership. A full member of the congregation:

1. Shall be a Muslim of 18 years or above residing in Lancaster and districts who frequents the congregational prayers at any of the congregational prayer facilities controlled by the ORGANISATION

3. Shall have been a resident of Lancaster for more than six months

4. Shall not have permanently relocated to another vicinity out of the district of Lancaster

 

The Shura/Management Committee:

The Shura/Management Committee of the congregation shall comprise of a dual component; Panel of Elected Officials and Board of Life Trustees

 

Panel of Elected Officials:

1. All persons who are members of the congregation who have not been members of any other local Islamic organisation in the past shall be eligible to stand for election as elected officials of the Shura Management Committee at elections of the congregation

2. Members aspiring for election shall comply with the minimum requirements of membership to the Shura/Management Committee of the congregation which shall be as follows:

a. Shall be a fully-fledged member of the congregation as set out in the section of membership in this constitution

b. Shall frequent the congregational prayers at any one of the congregations controlled by the congregation

c. Shall be an upright and practicing Muslim of repute in the community

d. Shall try undertaking to attend all meetings of the Shura Committee.

3. Members who have succeeded in the general election shall officially be recognised as officials of the Shura Committee and the list of whom shall be permanently displayed in the Masjid of the congregation

4. Certain members of the congregation, having met with the requirements set out for officials, maybe co-opted by the Shura Committee to serve thereon at the discretion of the Shura Committee

5. The number of elected officials of the congregation shall not exceed 10 officials and shall not be less than 6 unless otherwise determined by the Shura Committee

6. In the event of vacancies arising in the panel of elected officials, the Shura Committee shall co-opt a suitable member from the congregation, who shall hold office until the next election

7. Officials shall hold office for a period of two years and shall be eligible for standing for office term after term provided they have met with the requirements of officials

8. Officials shall cease to hold office if it maybe proven beyond doubt that they have committed a disqualifying act or offence as set out here in this constitution. Should such a matter be proved, the elected official shall immediately cease to hold office until the Board of life trustees have taken a decision in the matter

 

Board of Life Trustees:

1. A life trustee shall be a long-serving whose service to the congregation shall span a minimum period of fifteen years of unbroken service, and will have not belonged to other Islamic organisations in the district of Lancaster.

2. A life trustee shall along with the above be a person of impeccable standing in the community and one holding a recognised track record of service to the congregation

3. The Board of life trustees shall protect all the holdings and assets of the congregation

4. The Board of life trustees shall have the power of appointing its own members as well as other members to mediate and to hand over for arbitration in the event of disputes arising within the congregation and the management committee as set out herein under the section on mediation and arbitration in this constitution

5. The Board of life trustees shall be presided over by an Ameer (President) who shall also occupy the position of Ameer (President) of the Shura Committee. The Ameer shall have the final decision in the event of deadlock in the proceedings of the Shura Committee

7. The Board of life trustees shall hold the final authority and shall preside over the dissolution of the organisation in the event of such an eventuality arising

8. The Board of life trustees shall hold the power to reinstate disqualified officials in exceptional circumstances

9. Life Trusteeship shall not preclude the holding of executive positions in the Shura Committee

10. The total number of life trustees shall not exceed 4 persons

11. In the event of vacancies arising for whatsoever reason in the Board of trustees, the Shura Committee shall have the option to fill such vacancy from its elected members on the basis of 1, 2 and 3 above

12. Members who have been duly appointed as Trustees shall officially be recognised as such and a list of whom shall be permanently displayed in the Masjid/s of the congregation

13. Trustees shall automatically remain members of the Shura Committee for life, and shall not require to be elected to the above body

14. Life trusteeship shall be non-transferable to a proxy or other agent

15. Life trusteeship shall cease with the demise or permanent relocation of such a trustee for a period of two years outside of Lancaster and districts

16. Trustees shall cease to hold office if it maybe proven beyond doubt that they have committed a disqualifying act or offence as set out here in this constitution. Should such a matter be proved, the life trustee shall immediately cease to hold office until the Board of life trustees have taken a decision in the matter

 

Powers and duties of the Shura Committee:

Along with endeavouring to achieve the aims and objectives of the congregation, the Shura Committee shall be vested with powers to carry out specific duties relating to the smooth operation of the congregation. Among these shall be:

1. To maintain the Masjid, Madrasah, cemetery, properties, lecture hall, meeting rooms and houses of residence for the Imam and assets of the congregation and to provide, endow, furnish, equip these with all the necessary requisites

2. To provide for the payment of salaries or remuneration of Imam/s, employees or other persons engaged in the work of the congregation

3. To collect and canvass for and accepting donations, bequests, endowments and other benefits for the congregation

4. To make, amend and review policies of the congregation for the control and management of the affairs of the congregation

5. To manage and control any other institution established or acquired by the congregation

6. To engage the services of suitable persons for the purpose of delivering lectures on religious subjects and general education

7. To call in, recover and, if necessary, to sue for all loans or other moneys including rents and the like belonging to the congregation

8. To borrow money for the purposes of the Board without mortgaging any property of the Board or resorting to interest-based financing

9. To control and manage the general affairs and the assets and finances of the congregation in a responsible and transparent manner within the parameters of Islamic Law and in compliance with standard accounting practice

10. To solicit for and to employ the funds of the congregation in furthering the aims and objective set out herein and for any other cause as may be deemed appropriate in enhancing the cause of Islam and the Muslim community. Funds solicited or received for a particular and specific cause shall be limited to that cause unless in exceptional circumstances. In the event of limited availability of funding, the priority of order shall be the Masjid/s, education, cemetery and then other causes

11. To maintain a proper register of members, trustees and a detailed inventory of the assets

12. To establish (and dissolve) sub- and ad-hoc- committees from time to time whose function it shall be to manage and dispense with matters relating to the congregation within defined powers of reference as set out by the Shura

13. To appoint an Ameer (president), Deputy, Secretary Treasurer, and other office bearers of the Management Committee or congregation as maybe deemed necessary

14. To generally deal with all matters of relevance in furthering and enhancing the cause of Islam and the Muslim community in addition to the powers vested with them which in their absolute discretion are conducive to the aims and objectives of the congregation

 

Mashweras of the Management Committee:

To efficiently conduct the business of the congregation, the Management Committee shall be required to meet regularly on the bases as set out hereunder:

1. Mashwera shall be conducted in the correct Islamic spirit and as set out in Mashwera Etiquettes section

2. At each Mashwara the Shura Committee shall elect an Ameer (president), from amongst themselves at the discretion of the Shura Committee. It should be noted that the post of Ameer shall only be filled by a member who belongs to the committee or is a trustee.

3. All resolutions adopted by the Shura shall be in writing and signed by all members of the management committee

4. The Mashwera shall be held regularly and shall not be less than one Mashwera every two months

7. The venue, date and time of Mashwera should be regularized and upheld unless special circumstances dictate otherwise

8. Notice of meetings of the Shura Committee shall appear on the notice Board of the Masjid congregational facilities of the congregation at least two days in advance of such Mashweras, or notified by other means in emergencies

9. The Minutes of Mashwera proceedings shall be kept in the conventional manner

10. Decision making at Mashweras shall always be in accordance with Shariah rules

 

Biennial and Special General Meetings:

For the purposes of regulating and transacting the business of the congregation, biennial and special general meetings of the members of the congregation shall take place from time to time as set out hereunder:

1. The minutes of all general meetings shall be kept in the conventional manner of minute-keeping

2. A Special General meeting maybe requisitioned by no less than 50 members of the congregation in writing setting out there in clearly the purpose for such a requisition. No business other than that specified in the written notice shall be transacted thereat. In the absence of a quorum of 50 members other than Shura members at such a meeting, then such a meeting shall be abandoned unless decided otherwise by the Shura Committee

7. The election of Management Committee shall take place at the BGM. Along with the official notice of the BGM

 

Cessation of office of Shura members:

Elected officials or life trustees shall cease to hold office if, beyond reasonable doubt, they:

1. become unsound of mind

2. Tender a resignation in writing or verbally in the presence of at least two witnesses

3. Are proved guilty of misappropriation of the congregation's assets

4. Have been absent for a protracted period, as determined by the Shura, from the Mashweras of the Management Committee without valid grounds

 

Mediation and Arbitration:

In the event of unresolved disputes within the members of the Shura Committee or the general members of the congregation, a mediation and conflict-resolution committee shall be established by the Ameer from among the Life Trustees, and if deemed necessary, from elected officials, for the purposes of conflict-resolution and mediation. In the event of unresolved matters, the issue shall then be handed over to one of the affiliate organizations (Dewsbury) or any of its appointees for the formal process of arbitration which shall be binding upon all members of the congregation

 

Amendments:

No amendments shall be made to this constitution

 

Indemnities:

1. The members of the Management committee are indemnified and not held responsible for any loss or damage the congregation may sustain by reason of any bona fide act carried out in good faith while performing a function of the congregation. No individual shall be personally liable for any act done by him on behalf of the congregation unless the same is occasioned by his dishonesty or willful and manifest negligence.

2. For the purposes of this constitution, a Muslim shall be any person whose belief systems shall not be at variance with the requisite beliefs of Islam as expounded by the scholars of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama'ah and as interpreted by the Ulama bodies of Dewsbury Darul Uloom

 

Status of Masjid and Waqf properties:

1. The Masjid is and shall forever remain a Waqf (trust) property. As such, its ownership is vested solely with Allah. It cannot be owned by any individual. It shall at all times be subject to the Shari'ah law relating to Waqf and Masjids at all times

2. All other Waqf (trust) properties held by the congregation shall be subject to the Shari'ah Law of Waqf at all times

 

Interpretation:

1. The following terms and expressions shall have the meanings assigned to them in this constitution, unless the context clearly indicates or requires otherwise and shall be understood in the context of the detailed articles embodied in this constitution

2. In the event of there being a difference of opinion in the interpretation of this constitution or matters not dealt with herein, the Board of life trustees' decision in the matter along with written confirmation from the Darul Uloom will be final and binding

 

Shari'ah: shall mean Islamic Law as expounded within the confines of the four juristic schools of thought viz. Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and Hambali Schools as interpreted by Dewsbury Darul Uloom and other institutions affiliated or aligned to the above institutions

 

Shura/Management Committee: shall mean the management committee comprising of the board of life trustees and the panel of elected officials

 

Shura Members: shall mean any member who is a life trustee or an elected official

 

Life Trustees: shall mean a member who having actively served the congregation for a minimum period of 15 years and not been a member of any other Islamic society within the Lancaster district and be determined by the Shura Committee to have been nominated to serve as life trustees

 

Elected officials: shall mean a member who was successfully elected at a BGM of the congregation or was co-opted to serve upon the Shura Committee by itself

 

Musalli: shall mean any Muslim male of 18 years or above residing in Lancaster and districts who frequents the congregational prayers at any of the congregational prayer facilities controlled by the ORGANISATION

 

Bonafide Ulama body: shall mean the Dewsbury Darul Uloom, and/or the Darul-Ulooms affiliated or aligned to the above institutions or their successors or appointees

 

Code of conduct for members of the Shura Committee: shall mean to uphold all Islamic requirements and guidelines for Shura Members and Trustees of Islamic Trusts are set out by religious scholars

 

Certified as a true copy of the constitution adopted at a meeting held

 

On 23 November 1994 at Lancaster Islamic Society, 7 Dallas Road, Lancaster