(New and Non-Muslims only)
The New Muslims Program (NMP) is our flagship course, and our first official core offering. We developed the curriculum for the course back in 2006 when M.E.C.C.A. was founded, and it has evolved over the years while always staying true to its mission of providing knowledge and support to new Muslims in a nurturing, non-judgmental atmosphere. The course is also open to non-
Muslims who are interested in learning about Islam.
In its current format, the NMP is an 8-week course (split into two 4 week semesters) meeting on Saturdays, focusing on the essential
elements of Islamic belief along with the method and prerequisites of prayer and ablution (wudu). The basic purpose of the course is to provide new converts with the knowledge they need to put their faith into practical everyday action so they can begin to live as Muslims.
We provide our students with the New Muslims Pack, which consists of a small backpack containing a prayer rug, prayer garment for women and cap for men, illustrated booklets with step by step instructions on how to pray and make ablution, plus other beginner books about Islamic belief. The NMP has also featured a mentorship component, whereby the student would be paired with a mentor who would be available to answer questions and provide support as needed. Since our founding, we have consistently offered the NMP as a means for converts to learn the basics of their new Islamic faith and as a source of support for them on their journey.
Although initially we did not have any space of our own, we would teach the New Muslims Program in whatever space we were able to secure from week to week in various mosques and college campuses in New York City. It wasn’t ideal, but we were able to provide learning and support to our convert brothers and sisters right from the start, and we are very grateful to those who loaned us their space.
At the conclusion of the program each semester we hold a graduation ceremony to celebrate our students and all they have learned. Many of our students return to M.E.C.C.A. to take some of our other courses and continue their journey of Islamic learning.
We currently offer the NMP in English only. In the future we hope to introduce a Spanish version of the course, to cater to the large Spanish-speaking community in New York who could benefit from this.