Foundations: Our Story
As the northern suburbs grew, so did the number of Muslims seeking a sense of community. Groups gathered in private homes for Islamic study and prayers. The existing Masjids were too far away to attend regularly and the need for a local Masjid was imperative. In April 1978, with thirty member families, the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit was established as a non-profit organization.
Initially, the organization continued to meet in homes and also rented space in Larson Middle School for lectures and community dinners. In just one year, vigorous fund-raising accomplished purchasing a three-acre parcel of land. The property included a small blue house and garage which were immediately put to use as a home for the community. By 1982, the plans and continued fund-raising made the construction of the IAGD masjid a reality.
Once built, the IAGD masjid became a focal point for Muslims in the area, and the gatherings grew. Sunday Islamic classes, monthly community dinners and ’Eid salat burgeoned. As the surrounding suburbs grew, so had the number of Muslims who chose to move near the Masjid and to make it a cornerstone in their lives.
The community had grown exponentially. In a matter of just a few years ’Eid prayers were offered in 2 and 3 sittings and Sunday Islamic classes split into morning and afternoon sessions. The building was quickly becoming inadequate, unable to meet the needs of the community. Additional nearby parcels of land were acquired, the parking lot extended, and plans for expansion got underway.
The expanded facility opened in November, 2001. The expansion provided critically needed space in the prayer area and an enlarged dining hall, gymnasium, formal classrooms, conference room, library, professional kitchen and other amenities. A few years after the 2001 expansion , with the continuous growth of the community, the expanded facilities seemed too small to accommodate the fresh needs. IAGD had to spread its Sunday School education classes over Saturday and Sunday.
Furthermore, daytime school was also established and the needs and demands for education continue to grow. Additional land was acquired and plans are currently being drawn to further expand the facilities.
Ground breaking for the expansion was held in May, 2000.