Muslim Family Services of Ohio began in 1993 when a sister recognized problems in our community with Muslim women getting help. These problems centered on issues of confidentially, not receiving appropriate assistance and integrating our Islamic approach with existing social services. This sister installed an additional phone line in her home, available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for sisters to call with confidence in privacy. She listened, offered support and suggested resources for them. She also built a network by sometimes calling others who could offer practical or specialized help for the sisters. At every level of the process, confidentially and privacy was ensured.
By 1999 additional sisters expressed interest in developing a more formal organization to ensure stability and permanence for the community. They envisioned a complete family social services agency which is created, developed and administered with Islamic character. This vision was based on a firm belief that the Quran and the Sunnah offer every answer to lifeís problems but is not developed in a way that is clear. Thus began the Muslim Womenís Network and Community Services. Central to the work of this organization would be ongoing training of all volunteers and staff and, initially, a focus on women as they are key to the family. Almost immediately, they realized they needed men volunteers, too, as the whole family must be helped when possible.
In time, they wanted the name to reflect the reality of their work, that is reflected in the organizationís current name, Muslim Family Services of Ohio.
From the start of the organization, it became an agent for distributing
Zakat (charity), especially during the month of Ramadan, and actively began networking with other Muslim organizations. By 2002 the organization received its 501(c)(3) status as a tax-exempt not-for-profit corporation. Later the Shura Council was expanded to five members. In 2006, the Shura Council continued to grow and a external community council was formed which is comprised of Muslims and non-Muslims who agreed to be available for consultation in their areas of expertise: volunteer management, social work, and training for conflict resolution.
Presently, the Shura Council is focusing their work on the process of training and services management so as to allow an ever-increasing efficiency in the services provided by Muslim Family Services of Ohio.