Tawba Islamic Center





Abdisalam Hassan (Imam)

Ali Mohamed (President)




Regular Prayer Times:

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Only men usually attend the community prayer on Friday (Jumu’ah).

Language: Somali and English

Women: cover wrists, and ankles, and also cover their heads/hair with a scarf

Men: should not wear shorts

All: remove shoes upon entering.

Women sit separately from men during services 

Do not get in between someone who is praying and the mihrab toward which they are praying (which points the direction to Mecca). 

Student Testimonial

By: Reys Aden

The mosque was first located on the east side. It moved over to its current location by Drake around 2020. Before any renovations had been done it previously was Christian Edwards Print and Graphics, a commercial printing company. After renovations they have been able to create 4 classrooms, bathrooms with specialized areas to make Wudu (for both men and women). They moved to a more central location to make it more accessible for the community. I had the pleasure of visiting the mosque Tawba Islamic center located at 1411 21st St, Des Moines, IA 50311. 

How I split my time was visiting the place during their Islamic schools held on the weekend from 9:00am to 12:00 pm. I plan to visit mosque Shahada this upcoming week. Tawba Islamic Center is a Somali mosque. I visited the mosque during the weekend and had the pleasure of seeing what goes on beyond the daily 5 prayers. During the weekend they offer something very similar to a Sunday school. Except this was offered throughout the whole week but mainly on Saturday and Sunday. Multiple classrooms are set up near the prayer area. Classes start around 9:00am and end after duhur prayer is performed (12:30pm). Students are required to follow the dress code of Blue Kamis for boys and a blue Abaya and Hijab for girls. Classes are split based on children’s age or their knowledge based on the Arabic alphabet and whether they are able to read the Quran. As for how the curriculum goes, Students start off learning the Arabic alphabet then move to putting the letter together, learning the vowels and consonants. They put heavy importance on getting the basics down as it’s the building blocks to being able to read and write the Quran. They also learn Islamic studies, where the focus is things that Muslim should know and do, how to do certain things plus the history of Islam and the prophet. They’ve been discussing Ramadan this week, helping the children understand what Ramadan is and what is expected from them. I had conducted a small interview with one of the teachers, Khadija. Khadija works with younger girls mainly teaching them basics of the Arabic language. I asked her what’s her approach to teaching the Arabic language to non-native speakers? “There’s a difference between learning the Arabic language and learning to read the Quran. Content wise nothing really changes, learning the Quran is being able to read and write while learning the Arabic language you also need to learn the meaning and correct punctuation. You want students to be able to distinguish between letters and be able to read from the Quran in the long run.” She incorporates many ways to make it fun and interactive for her students like flashcards, Kahoot games, etc.

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