The Constitution of The Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts (ISWM)
Article I: Name
The organization is called the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts, hereafter referred to as “the Society”, or “ISWM.”
Article II: Location
The ISWM has its permanent place at 377 Amostown Rd, West Springfield, Massachusetts 01089, hereafter referred to as its “Headquarter.”
Article III: Mission of ISWM
Fulfillment of religious needs of local Muslims is the primary mission of ISWM. Its mission also includes presenting Islam and representing the local Muslims to the society et large. It strives to build constructive relationships with non-Muslims in general and other religious (faith) communities in particular.
Article IV: Nature and Purpose
The ISWM is organized and operated exclusively for Islamic religious, charitable, educational, and social activities within the meaning of Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. [170(c)(2)(B), 501(c)(3),2055(A)(2), 2106 or 2522(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code}. The Society shall not get involved in carrying out any political propaganda or campaign, and shall not intervene or influence, including the publishing or distribution of statements, on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the organization shall not carry out any other activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. No part of the net earnings or assets of ISWM will inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to the members, Trustees, Officers, other private individuals, or organizations organized and operating for profit (except that ISWM will be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for or make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes as hereinabove stated).
The main purpose of the Society shall be:
- Carrying out religious, educational, social, civic, charitable, literary, athletic, scientific, research and other Islamic activities according to the Quran and Sunnah.
- Strengthening fraternal bonds and fostering family, brotherly, and sisterly relations among Muslims.
- Building, promoting, and fostering friendly relationship with non-Muslims.
- Presenting Islam to non-Muslims.
- Cooperation with other local and national Muslim organizations and communities.
Article V: Membership
The ISWM has the following categories of membership:
- Regular Membership.
- Associate Membership.
- Honorary Membership.
All Muslims of at least eighteen (18) years of age, who accept and agree with the nature and purpose of the Society and abide by its by-laws, are eligible for the Regular Membership, subject to the conditions laid down in the by-laws of the Society including payment of the yearly dues.
All non-Muslims who understand and accept the nature and purpose of the Society and abide by the by-laws set forth are eligible for an Associate Membership, subject to the conditions laid down in the by-laws of the Society.
3: Honorary Membership:
Honorary membership is granted to certain Muslims who have rendered outstanding contribution to the Society. They are selected based upon the by-laws of the Society set forth for this purpose.
The Board of the ISWM, following the rules set forth in its by-laws, maintains the authority to grant, deny or cancel any designated membership to any individual.
Article VI: The Electoral Body of the Society
The Electoral Body of the Society consists of all regular and honorary members of the Society. This is the body of the society that elects the Board of Directors of the ISWM.
Article VII: Local Residency
Local Residency refers to an individual’s local place of residence, as defined by the rules set forth for this purpose. It is applicable and required for certain membership privileges.
Article VIII: Governing Bodies of ISWM
- A Board of Directors also referred to as “the Board” or “the Board of the ISWM” or “the Board of the Society.”
- An Executive Committee of the Society also referred to as “the Executive Committee” or “the Executive Committee of ISWM” or “the Executive Committee of Society.”
- A Board of Trustees also referred to as “the Trustees” or “the Trustees of the ISWM” or “the Trustees of the Society.”
Article IX: The Board of Directors of the Society
- The Board of Directors of the Society is comprised of nine members elected from the Electoral Body of the Society according to the by-laws set forth for this purpose.
- All affairs of the Society, except certain affairs and duties delegated to the Board of Trustees, are approved, managed and supervised by the Board.
- The Board of the Society conducts its affairs and proceedings based upon the by-laws set forth for this purpose.
- There is no compensation for services rendered to the Society by the Board of Directors.
- Board members may not have any business or fiscal relationship with the ISWM that could create a conflict of interest.
Article X: Election of the Board of Directors of the Society
An election shall take place every year to fill vacant positions in the Board of the ISWM. The Board is responsible to conduct the election following the rules set forth for this purpose in the by-laws.
Article XI: Rules and Regulations for Reaching a Decision in the Board of the ISWM
The Board of ISWM’s decisions are divided into four categories: Level I (Significant)
- Level II (More Significant)
- Level III (Most Significant)
- Level IV (Critical)
Following is the requirement to reach a decision at each level:
- Level I: Approval of majority of Board members present in the meeting.
- Level II: Approval of at least 6 or 2/3rd of Board Members, even if they are not present in the meeting.
- Level III: Approval of at least 6 or 2/3rd of Board members, even if they are not present in the meeting. In addition, it requires an approval of the Board of Trustees.
- Level IV: Approval of at least 6 or 2/3rd of Board members, even if they are not present in the meeting, an approval of the Board of Trustees and a validation by a simple majority of the Electoral Body of ISWM called for this purpose.
A partial list of matters pertaining to the business of ISWM and the Levels of decision required is provided in the rules section. It is expected that in case of any significant issue out of the list, the Board defines the Level of decision making required for that issue (Level III decision) and include it in the list for future use.
Article XII: Term for a member of the Board of ISWM
The term of a Board member is for 3 years. If elected consecutively, the term is extendable two more times up to a maximum of nine years. If elected consecutively for 9 years, the member cannot be nominated or elected again for the 10th year. After a gap of 1 year, the same person may be nominated and elected again.
Article XIII: The Executive Committee of the Society
The Executive Committee of the Society is the elected body within the Board of Directors of the Society. The Executive Committee and rest of the Board members are responsible for the execution of the policies of the Society and fulfilling its Nature and Purpose as outlined in Article III. There shall be no compensation for services rendered to the Society by the Executive Committee of the Society.
The Executive Committee of the Society is elected annually by and from the Board of Directors of ISWM following the rules set forth for this purpose in the By-Laws.
The Executive Committee shall consist of the following office bearers:
- The President.
- The Vice President.
- The Secretary.
- The Treasurer
Expected duties of each member of the Executive Committee are outlined in the by-laws section.
Article XIV: Administrative Leadership of ISWM
The President of the Board of ISWM is the administrative leader of ISWM. If the President is unavailable, incapacitated, resigns, disqualified, or terminated the vice-president shall assume this position. If both President and vice-president are unavailable, incapacitated, resign, disqualified or terminated, the Board elects a new set of President and vice-president. During the transition period, when both president and vice-president are not available, the secretary of the society assumes the role of the administrative leader.
Article XV: Election for the Executive Committee of the Society
Executive Committee of the Society shall be elected and in place within the first 30 days of each calendar year following the rules and regulations set forth for this purpose.
Article XVI: The Board of Trustees of ISWM
The Board of Trustee comprise of a minimum of 3 and at most 7 members. The Trustees are selected from the Electoral Body of Membership following the by-laws set forth for this purpose.
The Board of Trustees has the following roles:
- Advising on the long-term direction, strategic planning, and asset and financial management of ISWM
- Conflict resolution
- Asset and Endowment Management
Article XVII: Amendment(s) to the Constitution
Any amendment to the Constitution is performed following the by-laws set forth for this purpose.
Article XVIII: Dissolution of ISWM
In case of dissolution of ISWM, the officers, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the organization, dispose of all of the assets of the organization exclusively for the purposes of the organization in such manner, or to such Islamic organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under section 501 © 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.