The South Valley Islamic Center (SVIC) serves Muslim families residing in South Santa Clara County(California) who wish to learn and practice our faith, Islam.
Our member demographics are varied, from singles to families and from students to the retired. Ethnically, culturally and linguistically we are equally diverse, with representatives from practically every major region in the world. Our commonalty is that we are Muslim Americans and this is our home.
Our place for congregational prayers and community events is the “Masjid” or mosque. Our masjid is a House of God; as such it welcomes all children of Adam.
SVIC is a non-profit religious organization dedicated to helping and encouraging Muslims and non-Muslims acquire the basic knowledge of Islam through a free exchange of ideas in an environment of civility and mutual respect that would lead to a greater understanding and peace in our society.
SVIC is a California corporation registered under the IRS Code 501 (C) (3).
Although our primary purpose is to meet the spiritual obligations of our members, we are also active in and strive to fulfill their social, educational and other needs. Thus we provide a facility for our regular Friday and other congregational prayers, such as the Tarawih prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. Additionally, we offer weekend religious classes for children and adults.
Our social activities include an annual Summer Picnic, “Feeding the Soul” community dinner during Ramadan and organized outdoor activities such as hiking trips and games. There is also a women’s club that meets regularly at one of the member’s home. Its charter includes, among other social activities, to promote women’s interests and participation in the affairs of the mosque and those of the greater community.
We are also active in our larger South Valley community and our volunteers participate in activities with other faith based and non-religious organizations. Children from our congregation also participate in charitable work and community services, including but not limited to serving the disabled at area nursing homes and cleaning local beaches.
A few weeks before the holy month of Ramadan in 1999, a handful of us gathered for coffee in the house of one of the participants. Out of that meeting grew the idea that we should have a place where we could meet regularly to meet our spiritual needs right here in our community. At the time we had to drive to the mosques in San Jose or Santa Clara for our congregational prayers and other religious functions.
Realizing the limitations of our small group, we sought help from a more established and bigger Islamic organization in San Jose, the South Bay Islamic Association. Through their encouragement and support we managed to rent an office space in Morgan Hill where we had our first congregational prayers just in time to celebrate the arrival of Ramadan that year (1999).
Through the generosity of one of our members, we later (2001) moved to a converted barn on his property. At about this time we were able to begin regular Sunday religious classes for our children. We also acquired the services of an Imam (Muslim pastor) in the person of Sheikh Ilyas Anwar. Imam Ilyas is no stranger to many of us as he was raised in San Jose and attended the local public school. His father, Sheikh Anwar, was the Imam at the San Jose mosque in the 1980s and where is older brother, Sheikh Tahir Anwar, serves as the Imam today.