Al-Islah Islamic Center

2733 Caniff
Hamtramck, MI
Ethnic Composition - Primarily of Bangladeshi descent

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History: The Al-Islah Islamic Center was founded in 2000 by a group of Bangladeshi immigrants , most of whom are followers of Allama Abdul Latif Chowdhury (Fultholi). It is the first Bangladeshi mosque to have opened in Hamtramck. They began in a small storefront on Joseph Campau and moved to their current home, a renovated medical clinic, in 2001. The group is working now to renovate the building next door that they purchased in 2004. They hope to establish a traditional madrasa (religious school) in this new space. The Al-Islah Islamic Center gained national media attention last year when they sought to broadcast their idthan (call to prayer) from a loudspeaker outside the mosque. While the right to broadcast the idthan was achieved in Detroit in the 1970s and in Dearborn in the 1980s, many Hamtramck residents were opposed to this practice in their city. The Al-Islah leadership found itself in an election year battle with the City Council. The matter was eventually resolved in a special city-wide election, with Al-Islah winning handily.  Newspaper coverage of their idthan campaign and an interview with mosque president, Abdul Motlib, can be found here. (activate link)

Description: The Al-Islah Islamic Center is open daily for all prayers. Their masjid occupies two floors of a former medical clinic, and has a separate prayer space for women. Their interior decorations are minimal, consisting mostly of a row of arches in the main prayer hall. They currently operate a weekend Islamic school for children where they teach Arabic, Bangla, and the Qur’an. They also offer a summer school. For adults they have tafsir weekly on Sundays and they offer youth meetings once a month. Women attend the center most frequently for tafsir and occasional special programming. While the mosque was founded by Bangladeshis, it is open to all Muslims. The administration has good relations with the local school board, with other mosques in the area, and with local churches and interfaith coalitions.