Squaw Valley Islamic Settlement, Neighbors of Life-Giving Spring Monastery (Dunlap, CA)

The following article is taken from the Squaw Valley Islamic Settlement website:

Squaw Valley Islamic Settlement, located in Dunlap, CA, is an attempt to re-examine how Muslims can live and raise their children in this non-Muslim land. Muslims have not fared well living mostly in the major cities. The history of da’wah (propagation) has been poor and the raising of children has not shown good results. We believe and have found that life in the countryside gives us a much greater degree of freedom and control over our environment and allows for a much better situation for the raising of Muslim children. It is also a much better context for making da’wah to the people of this country. For those who cannot make hijra to a Muslim land, we believe this is a much more viable and appropriate way of living as Muslims in this country.

Insha Allah, our goal is not just for Squaw Valley Islamic Settlement to be a better place to live for those who manage to migrate here, but also to be a center for education and  da’wah to Islam according to the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the way of the salaf in this area and beyond. This will be pursued both “on the ground” and in “cyberspace”.

We are located in a peaceful valley 30 miles east of Fresno, California. Over 100 acres of land is privately owned by individuals except 5 acres which is in trust (waqf) for masjid, school, etc. Squaw Valley Islamic Settlement, a California non-Profit Corporation is the custodian of the waqf. Along with various residents on 5 acre or larger parcels, our biggest neighbor is a Greek Orthodox church, camp and retreat center. They own 135 acres of land, about the same amount owned by Muslims in the area . They have a large ornate church and monastery and many other modern and functional buildings.

Their new church looks like this:

Church Church2

Often when we call the adhan, they will begin banging on their bell, singing or playing loud music. We’re not sure if this is coincidence. Al-hamdu lillahi, they are too far away for any of that to bother us at all, we just hear it in the distance. It also paves the way for our future prayer call over loudspeaker, insha Allah. They have built up their new church and monastery in preparation for one of their senior priests or popes who is going to take up residence here. They have also constructed a 30 room monastery and so they plan to increase their population. To do this, they had to get significant zoning variances, establishing a precedent which should help us in the future.

There are 21 nuns residing at Life-Giving Spring Monastery.
There are 21 nuns residing at Life-Giving Spring Monastery.

Our masjid, on the other hand, looks like this:


We love it, but it is time to improve and grow.

Of the Muslim families who purchased land, about half of them have actually moved in. There are other Muslims looking for the means to migrate to our location. This summer’s picnics and educational events had as many as 60 people.


CA Aerial View