This profile was last updated in 2018
The community of Masjid Al-Qur’an was founded in the 1930s in Boston’s South End as Temple 11 of Elijah Mohammed’s Nation of Islam and moved to its present location in Dorchester in 1958. Malcolm X (who later took the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz after performing the hajj to Mecca) became a member of the Nation of Islam in 1951 and later taught at this masjid as did Louis X (now Minister Louis Farrakhan). In 1975, Imam W.D. Mohammed, son of Elijah Mohammed, was elected the leader of the Nation of Islam. Under his leadership, the community was transformed; members began to follow the teachings of the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH – Praise be upon him). The congregants follow orthodox Sunni Islam and the masjid is no longer affiliated with the Nation of Islam.
Description of Services
With its distinctive green awning, the red brick building easily accommodates the 150-200 men and women who gather for prayer every Friday at 1:00 PM. Worshippers and visitors enter the prayer hall through ablution rooms via a central narthex. The congregation sits on the carpeted floor facing the holy city of Mecca. The men are seated at the front of the hall nearest to the imam and the women sit behind them. In both the men’s and women’s sections there are folding chairs set up for the older members of the congregation. There is no divider between the male and female sections. At the end of the khutba (sermon) the imam leads the salaat (prayer).
In addition to Friday community prayers, Masjid Al-Qur’an has an extensive array of educational and social activities including Islamic education classes. In the spring of 2005 the masjid began a weekly program titled, “Most of All, Get an Understanding,” which aims to educate non-Muslim members of the community on Islam. The masjid is a member of Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, an interfaith group comprised of 70 faith communities in the Boston area. As part of their urban-suburban partnership program, Masjid al-Qur’an has been paired with Temple Shalom, a reform synagogue in Newton. The partnership has brought rabbis to speak at the masjid and members of the masjid have attended prayer services at the synagogue. The two religious centers have coordinated volunteer activities together such as a food drive and delivering food to home-bound elders on Christmas day. Imam Taalib draws inspiration for the partnership from the fact that the building which houses the masjid was formerly home to a Jewish function hall.