For many Minnesota Muslims, it's been virtually impossible to buy a home, because Islamic law forbids the paying or charging of interest.
The African Development Center, with support from the state's housing agency, is now offering Islamic mortgages as a way to help close the home ownership gap among Muslim immigrants.
Islamic law does make exceptions to the ban on interest, if one's family is at stake. But the exceptions are open to interpretation and for many observant Muslims, conventional mortgages are strictly taboo.
Nawawi Sheikh is one of them. The Somali-American says he and his wife just couldn't go against their beliefs, even if it meant giving up their dream of owning a home. Still, he grew tired of moving from one rented apartment to another.