Solon’s first mosque, construction of which has been underway this year, is like a “spiritual rebirth for the community,” Mayor Edward H. Kraus said last week.

He said it is similar to when the Solon Chabad was built 15 years ago at the corner of Harper and Cannon roads.

“Having the first mosque in the community is like a spiritual rebirth for all those folks who will be able to call it home,” he said. “Once you build a building in a community, you have roots, and you truly become part of a community.”

That will be the case for the Muslim community, Mayor Kraus continued, which is poised to celebrate in the new building for Ramadan next spring.

“The Muslim community now has roots, and you can never take away roots,” he said. “They have always been a part of this community, but now it is official with this building.

“It will be a community gathering space,” Mayor Kraus said, adding that religion adds to much for the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of a community and this mosque contributes to Solon’s already diverse religions.

“This speaks volumes of where we are as a community and where we are going in the future,” he added.

The $2.5 million mosque, being constructed on Liberty Road by the Chagrin Valley Islamic Center, is progressing nicely, Solon resident and center board member Masroor Malik said last week.

All of the outside work is complete on the building itself, and work is moving to the interior heading into winter.

The floors are done inside and carpeting installed. Prayer takes place with members sitting on the floor, but Mr. Malik said chairs will be in place for the elderly.

“Our goal still lies with wanting to move in before Ramadan of next year,” which is May, he said. “A lot of it is weather dependent and also how fast we can get the internal work done.”

The center is consistently fundraising, even in this COVID-19 environment, Mr. Malik continued. Since the center cannot do large fundraisers as they have in the past, they are fundraising on an individual basis.

Mr. Malik said the interior has a contemporary feel, mirroring both the outside of the building and blending in with the neighborhood and community as a whole.

“We want to be blended in with our environment,” he said.

He said that, while members are excited to have the mosque complete, the uncertainty of its use depends on the state of the coronavirus pandemic.

People are encouraged to drive by the project to see the progression, he added.

The mosque is being built on a 5.84 acre parcel and measures 7,000 square feet. It will include a prayer area, mezzanine and multi-purpose space. The second phase is the construction of the upstairs of the current building and phases 3 and 4 are the community center.

Discussion of the mosque’s construction has been ongoing since 2012.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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