Although the MUSLIM CENTER OF DETROIT traces its immediate history to the establishment in 1985 of the Muslim American Society by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, the community’s history extends back to the 1930s, when the Nation of Islam was led by Warith Deen’s father, Elijah Mohammed. The mosque is located on Davison Avenue, in Detroit, and recently underwent a major expansion. It now includes a large prayer hall, a gym, a social hall, classrooms, and a kitchen. Located in a low-income neighborhood, the center has an active da`wa (missionary) board and provides a wide array of services to families and youth, including counseling, job training, substance abuse recovery programs, and a soup kitchen.
MASJID MU`ATH BIN JABAL is located at the center of a neighborhood that is almost entirely Yemeni. Established in Detroit in 1976, the mosque began as a prayer space in a coffee house. Today, it occupies an old church building with an attached charter school. The sanctuary of the church has been substantially enlarged and now serves as a prayer space that can easily hold a thousand men. A large space for women is set aside upstairs.
Mu`ath Bin Jabal is a focal point for the growing population of Yemeni immigrants now settling along the border of Hamtramck and Detroit. Their school, mosque, and stores are the infrastructure of a strong, socially conservative enclave. The mosque, in particular, is a stabilizing force in the neighborhood.
MASJID WALI MUHAMMAD is home to the first and the oldest African American Muslim congregation. They settled in their current location on Linwood Avenue in 1954, but their original home was on Hastings Street in Detroit’s “Black Bottom.” It was there that the Nation of Islam was founded by W.D. Fard and led by the Honorable Elijah Mohammad in the 1930s. Masjid Wali Muhammad received its current name in 1978, when the Honorable Warith Deen Muhammad led the Nation into Sunni Islam. Formerly called Muhammad’s Temple No. 1, the masjid was re-dedicated as a mosque open for the five daily prayers with a conventional prayer space (without chairs) oriented toward Mecca.