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Increasing belonging of Muslim American adolescents in mosques.

The Issue

Every decade brings a new set of challenges for American Muslim youth. Our responsibility is to meet their needs by understanding the strengths and challenges of growing up Muslim in America. In order to make a difference, we must center their voices and ensure their sense of belonging and ownership within our Muslim communities and mosques. iBelong is a three-year national pilot intervention aiming to increase American Muslim belonging in their mosques. We invite you to explore this page and follow along with our progress! 

Project Overview

Utilizing the Positive Youth Development (PVD) sciences, the iBelong project includes three overarching phases to be carried out over three years (January 2021 – December 2023). 

The iBelong project will complete a needs assessment in six representative communities across the nation, develop and host interactive workshops at each community, and create content to disseminate findings and recommendations to different audiences. 


Download our iBelong flyer!

Meet the team


Hanan Hashem, Ph.D
Project Lead


Sameera Ahmed, Ph.D Research Supervisor


Sumbal Raza
Community Liason


Mahmood Hai, M.D.
Project Advisor


Wafaa Ateyah
Project Manager


Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us. It helps us refine and improve our efforts to better serve you. Whether it’s positive comments that motivate us or constructive criticism that guides our enhancements, your insights are an essential part of our journey. We genuinely appreciate your time and input as we work to provide the best possible experience. Thank you for being a part of our process!



The Prophet (SAS) said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days”

Guarantee your blessings!

Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).