Guide for Visiting Guests
We welcome and thank you for your interest in visiting the Muslim Community Center (MCC). The Muslim Community Center has an open door policy welcoming all those who wish to visit us. Every year, we host hundreds of visitors at our two Mosque locations.
MCC was established in 1969 and is one of the largest Muslim organizations in the Chicagoland area. We have a Mosque in Chicago and another one in Morton Grove. Approximately, 3,000 Muslims perform the Friday afternoon prayers at our two Mosques.
Our doors are open to you, and we encourage you to come and visit us.
Your Personal Guide to Visiting the Muslim Community Center
We are delighted that you have decided to visit our Mosque. Since you may be visiting a Mosque for the first time, here are some helpful guidelines and tips, to help you make the most of your visit. If you wish to visit our Mosque for a tour or have a specific question, please contact us during Mosque office hours and provide pertinent information about your visit.
Q: What is a Mosque?
A: A Mosque is a place of worship used by Muslims. The English word “Mosque” is derived from its Arabic equivalent, Masjid, which means “a place of prostration.” It is in the Mosque that Muslims perform their prayers in congregation, a part of which includes prostration by placing the forehead on the ground.
Typical Mosque Visit
The length of a tour and discussion at the Mosque can be anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. In order to obtain a full understanding of Muslim prayer rituals within the Mosque, an hour would be most ideal. A typical Mosque visit may consist of the following:
- Mosque Tour: A tour of the Mosque discussing the architecture and the role of the Mosque in traditional and contemporary community life;
- Islam 101: An orientation to the basic beliefs and practices of Islam;
- Observe a Prayer: Observance of one of the five daily prayers in the prayer hall, dependent on the time of the tour. Visitors are encouraged to observe the congregational prayer on Friday afternoon;
- Q&A: An open question and answer period; and
- Information about Islam: Pamphlets and brochures provided as a parting gift!
- The rules of Islam only apply to Muslims. Hence, there is no specific dress code for visitors.
- For those looking for some guidelines, we suggest any comfortable clothing you feel is fitting for any house of worship. Most aspects of a standard dress code are quite appropriate with the arms and legs being covered.
- Traditionally, Muslim women wear a headscarf while praying in the Mosque. Many of our guests also choose to cover their heads, as Muslims do, to enrich their own experience.
Where to Remove Shoes
It is required for Muslims as well as non-Muslims to remove one’s shoes before entering the prayer area at a Mosque so that the carpets remain clean since Muslims perform prayers on the carpet. Your guide will notify you of areas where shoes are to be removed. Most of the tour will be conducted with the shoes on.
Friday Afternoon Prayers
Friday is the day of special congregational prayers for Muslims which includes the weekly Friday afternoon sermon. The afternoon service begins with the call to prayer, followed by a lecture in English, and then the formal prayers. The Friday afternoon service usually lasts for about 40 minutes.
Our locations are as follows:
1) Muslim Community Center-Elston Facility: 4380 N Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60641
2) Muslim Community Center-Morton Grove Facility: 8601 Menard Ave., Morton Grove, IL 60053
Complimentary parking is available opposite the Mosque at our Elston Ave. and Morton Grove locations.
Through a mutual understanding of faiths and cultures, we can help nurture a local community that is proud of its diversity. We hope that you enjoy your visit, make new friends, and learn more about Islam and your Muslim neighbors. Have a wonderful day!