Masjid Yaseen (Islamic Center of Arabi)

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 11 October 2009.

Phone: 504-277-9222
Email: (phone is disconnected)
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Hurricane Katrina update

Masjid Yaseen is closed indefinitely, having sustained heavy damage from the hurricane. The mosque was directly affected by the breaches to the Industrial Canal, the same breaches which flooded the Ninth Ward. Both the mosque and the Qur'an school are in need of major repairs, having sustained damage from both winds and flood waters. The congregation has been directed to attend services at Masjid al-Tawbeh (West Bank) or at Masjid Abu-Bakr Al-Siddiq (Metairie). The students attending the residential Qur'an school relocated to various places before the storm struck. Many have now enrolled in Qur'an schools in Atlanta, GA and Shreveport, LA. All information found below is relevant only as a description of the mosque prior to August 29, 2005. The mosque has been gutted and repairs to the building should be underway some time in the spring of 2006. Plans have yet to be finalized for the reopening of the Qur'an school.

Activities and Schedule

Masjid Yaseen is the mosque for a small community of Indian Muslims who live in St. Bernard Parish, LA. They are part of the Muslim Association of Arabi which includes Masjid al-Tawbeh. The mosque has served the community for the past 20 years under the leadership of Mr. Abdur Rahman Khan, their current president. Members observe the daily schedule of five prayer times, plus a Friday sermon of about thirty minutes which is followed by a short prayer service. The services are for males only, except during Ramadan when a curtain is put up to allow women access during the evening prayer service. An communal breaking of the fast ("iftar") is served every night during Ramadan. The mosque provides space for funeral services and wedding services as necessary. Members of Masjid Yaseen gather to visit sick members of the community regularly. They also serve as hosts on occasion for travelling Muslims engaged in "da'wa," or spreading the faith throughout the community and to outsiders.


Masjid Yaseen is located just outside of Orleans Parish on a main thoroughfare that runs through Arabi to Chalmette. The mosque is located in a modest section of a building which also houses a collection of small businesses. A parking area accommodates a dozen cars; others park on nearby streets. The mosque has space for about 100 worshipers. Two doors lead directly into the main prayer area while another door at the left leads to a hallway which runs straight to the back. Wall-to-wall carpeting is laid diagonally to orient the congregation towards the "qibla," marked by a niche ("mihrab") which points the shortest direct distance to Mecca. The hallway leads ultimately to an area for washing, located at the back of the prayer hall. On the left side of the hall is a small shop which has religious articles. Beyond that are eight separate utility rooms.
The close-knit nature of the mosque can be seen by the simple manner in which the call to prayer is issued: a man steps upon a platform and performs the call without benefit of any amplification.

Qur'anic School

The school is just a minute's walk from the mosque, located in its own building next door to the last business in the row. It is a residential school which currently has twelve students who share a dormitory. The primary goal is to teach students the Qur'an, and to memorize it entirely. The students are between eleven and fifteen years old and come from Baton Rouge, Texas, Alabama and New Orleans. Most of the students are supported by the mosque but a few pay for their living expenses. Meals are cooked at the home of the school's supervisor, Saed Osman Uddin. Their daily routine has them rise for the 5:20 prayer session after which they are free. Study of the Qur'an takes place from 7 - 11 a.m. After lunch they attend the midday prayer (zohar) at 1:45. From 2 - 4 p.m. the students study English, Math and other subjects with a Muslim teacher who comes from Nunez Community College. From 6 - 8 p.m. they study independently. The school was founded in 1990 with the help of Hafiz Patel, a British Muslim from Dewsbury (Yorkshir) who has developed an effective curriculum for Qur'anic studies.


Masjid Yaseen has had six Imams in its twenty years of operation, beginning with Hafiz Thayeeb. He was followed by Yusuf Bholaya, Abdul Sattar, Hafez Jaffar, Maulana Khan and the current Imam, Sheik Rafiz ul-Islam. The mosque's founder, Abdur Rahman Khan, has been active in the formation of other mosques in New Orleans as well. The mosque has recently purchased the former gas station next to the school and plans to develop a school for girls may be realized some years from now.


The congregation is predominantly Indian, with many members coming from the South Indian city of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh). Members often speak Urdu amongst themselves, and some are conversant with Telugu. Several African-American members also regularly attend.