How does he manage? Imam - Ahmed Saad, Finsbury Park mosque

- When did you become a manager?

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I've been an imam officially since 2003, but unofficially since I was 15. I was born into a family of scholars: my father, my grandfather and my great-grandfather did this, and at 10 I had memorised the whole Koran, so it was a suitable path.

- What does management mean to you?

I have to be sociable and a good speaker. An imam is a leader in the community. I have to help people solve all types of problems: psychological, family and financial. I lead five daily prayers and run courses in Islamic education, leadership and team-building. We're establishing a gym at the mosque. In Islington there are about 15,000 Muslims. People like Abu Hamza have done a lot of damage to the community, but now we're more engaged, and people want to come to the mosque. When I arrived here a year ago, there were about 50 people coming. Now on Fridays we get 1,000 people, sometimes 2,500. People just need to feel secure.

- What do you like/dislike about your job?

It doesn't give me much time for my family, but it's lively and every day I've got something new. Sometimes I put my name in Google to see people's feedback on me. It touches my heart when I read something good. I once worked for an IT company, swiping in, swiping out and raising your hand if you wanted to go to the toilet. I hated working in an office.

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