Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 27 August 2015.
Address: 2626 Magnolia Street, New Orleans, LA 70113
Hurricane Katrina UpdateThe mosque has suffered severe damage from Hurricane Katrina, taking on about 5 feet of water. Virtually the entire congregation has been displaced and dispersed. The Imam, Wali Abdel Ra'oof, is currently staying near Baton Rouge. The vast majority of worshippers have suffered severe damage to their homes and businesses. Hurricane force winds damaged the roof of the mosque, a large part of the brickwork on the westward wall has collapsed and a large hole on the eastward wall mark the intensity of the storm. There is currently no estimate as to when the mosque might reopen.
HistoryMasjid Al-Islam was founded in early 1960's in a working-class section of New Orleans. The leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, was instrumental in starting the mosque. In early years the mosque leaders held the title "minister" and the congregation met in various locations. Umar Shariff, now deceased, was the first minister. He was followed by George 4X, Sidney X, Khalil Abdul Alim. Currently Wali Abdel Ra'oof serves as the Imam. He has been associated with the mosque for the past 42 years, since his graduation from Southern University. Mr. Khatib Hassan was a part of a group which was directly involved in founding the mosque. In 1968 the community acquired the building which currently houses the mosque on Magnolia Street. Shortly after they purchased a property across the street which had been condemned. This became the Sister Clara Muhammad School.
Activities and ScheduleThe scheduled prayer service is on Friday at mid-day and it is well attended. There is an Arabic class on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. which lasts for about an hour. The mosque's Imam also participates in interreligious dialogue through various organizations. Members join with all area Muslims for the Eid celebrations held at the end of Ramadan. The mosque participates in many community activities including food drives, voter registration drives, the endorsement of political candidates, interfaith events, etc.
Sister Clara Muhammed SchoolThe mosque runs a school with grades 1-6; this is one of the Sister Clara Muhammad Schools. The principal, Ernest Abdullah, has been with the school since 1975. The school is located at 2700 Magnolia St. and currently has two teachers. In 2003 the school graduated six students. At its peak the school has had about forty student; currently the school has four students, but on average they have about twelve students each year. The school's curriculum is designed according to Louisiana state guidelines. Islamic principles are taught as part of the curriculum and the ideals of Islam are integrated throughout the curriculum.
DemographicsThere are about forty families which make up the congregation of the Al Islam mosque. Most members are African-Americans. Many local Muslims were introduced to aspects of Islam in their youth through exposure to Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam. Like the majority of African-American Muslims, New Orleanians joined main stream Islam under the inspiration of Muhammad's son, W. Deen Mohammed.
Location and DirectionsThe mosque is located in a poor, working class neighborhood. Directions: 1. Go down NASHVILLE towards S. CLAIBORNE AVE. 2. Turn RIGHT onto S. CLAIBORNE AVE/US-90 E. (1.1 miles) 3. After passing Napoleon and then Louisiana Ave. turn RIGHT onto 4TH ST. (0.1 miles) 4. Turn LEFT onto MAGNOLIA ST. (0.1 miles) 5. End at 2626 MAGNOLIA ST., NEW ORLEANS, LA Total Estimated Distance from Loyola University: 2.5 miles