Masjid Al-Islam was established by 8 men and women in November, 1987, to provide a place of worship for the Muslims in the Greater New Haven area.
By Allah's mercy, the community has grown over nearly 20 years to a community of over three hundred men, women and children.
Masjid Al-Islam has been in it current location of 624 George St., in the Dwight neighborhood of New Haven, since February 1995.
New Haven is a medium-sized city of approximately 125,500 people, which is the center of larger urban-suburban region which has a population of approximately 500,000. Home to Yale University, as well as six other institutions of higher learning and three major hospitals, the New Haven area also attracts many Muslim students and visiting professionals, along with its local community. Besides Masjid Al-Islam, there are also three other Islamic centers in the greater New Haven area.
Over the past several years, the Masjid has made an important effort to work cooperatively with its neighbor, the Hospital of Saint Raphael, and the City of New Haven to revitalize the surrounding Dwight neighborhood. These activities lead the City of New Haven to cite the Masjid as a positive force for community stabilization in its 1998 Greenwood Street District plan. Also, in recognition of the important contributions that Masjid Al-Islam has made, in the summer of 2002, the city of New Haven named a corner next to the Masjid “Nabi Muhammad Corner.”
Some of the accomplishments have been as follows:
- Participation in the establishment of a fully functioning Community Block Watch (#311) which meets monthly for the purposes of encouraging positive community development, fighting crime, eliminating blight and helping to plan the neighborhood’s future.
- Working with neighbors, the Hospital of Saint Raphael and the local police department in successfully eliminating open illegal drug trafficking in the area.
- Planning cooperatively with residents, area institutions, the Hospital of St. Raphael’s and the City of New Haven’s Livable Cities Initiative in developing the Greenwood Street District planning document, which provides guidelines for future development in the neighborhood.
- Forming an informal partnership with the City of New Haven and the Hospital of St. Raphael’s for the purpose of developing plans for the rehabilitation of properties at 608, 610, 620 George Street and 53 Gilbert Avenue.
- Organizing and cooperating with numerous neighborhood clean-ups for both the area immediately surrounding the Masjid and the larger community.
- Encouraging stabilization of the neighborhood by urging Muslim families to move into area as homeowners and tenants.
- Assisting in the reduction of crime and negative activities through the establishment of congregational prayer seven days per week as well as educational and social programs at various times throughout the week.
- Encouraging Muslims to invest in more than a half million dollars (conservative estimate) worth of property in the area surrounding the Masjid.