This profile was last updated in 2009
The Society for Islamic Brotherhood (S.I.B.), the organization that sponsors the Mosque for the Praising of Allah, was formed in the 1950s. In 1970 the S.I.B. rented 724 Shawmut Avenue and later purchased the building. The Masjidun Li Hamdi Allah is one of the oldest continuously operating mosques in Boston. From 1980-1983 the mosque supported a full-time Islamic primary school (Al-Azhar).
The masjid (mosque) is currently undergoing major renovations to make the building compliant with government safety standards. To raise money for the renovation the mosque is sponsoring a donation drive. The following description is accurate as of August 2007. On the first floor of the mosque there is a small store which sells Islamic books and prayer robes. To the left of the store, leading to the men’s prayer space, is the newly constructed men’s wudu station, which is a cleansing area where men perform their required partial ablution prior to beginning prayer. Upon entering the mosque one immediately ascends the stairs to the second floor where the women’s prayer space and the office are located. In the women’s prayer room there is a shoe rack, bathroom and the office for the Islamic Multi-Service Organization (IMSO). On the third floor is the men’s prayer space. The men’s space is not large enough to accommodate the 150-200 men who attend Friday prayer services so there is a platform in the parking lot adjacent to the building for overflow. Walls throughout the building have undergone or are undergoing renovation.
Activities and Schedule
The mosque holds Jum’ah prayers on Fridays at 1:15 PM. The mosque hosts weekly Sisters Islamic Studies Classes with themes that change each season. Class topics have included purification and developing good Muslim character as well as lessons in Arabic and the fundamentals of the Muslim faith. In 1995, the masjid started the Islamic Multi-Service Organization to address the social service needs of the Muslim community. The IMSO supports a clothing pantry, provides counseling and employment referrals, and sponsors a youth mentoring program. They also maintain a garden adjacent to the mosque and provide over 200 individuals and families with food each month. The IMSO is beginning an Elder Social Day Program to reach underserved members of the Muslim community. The program will offer recreational and social activities for persons ages 60 and over. Every year the mosque holds an annual fundraising dinner with a guest speaker. In 2007, for instance, the theme of the event was: “The Shape of Things to Come: Islamic Vision for Tomorrow’s America,” and included keynote speaker Imam Siraj Wahhaj of Masjid Taqwa in New York.
Affiliation with Other Communities/Organizations
In 1990, S.I.B. began an effort to establish the first unified “Eid Prayer in Boston.” The service attracts such large numbers that it is held in the Reggie Lewis Track Center at Roxbury Community College. The S.I.B. was joined by Masjid al-Qur’an, The Islamic Society of Boston, and The Islamic Society at Boston University, among others, in sponsoring numerous events that bring together Muslims from throughout the region. In 1989, the S.I.B. initiated the effort to build an Islamic Community Center in Roxbury. The project was later taken over by the The Islamic Society of Boston. The controversies surrounding the ISB’s project of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury (ISBCC) stalled construction for more than three years. After the settlement of lawsuits in 2007, construction restarted, and on June 9, 2007, the ISB held a ceremony for the capping of the ISBCC’s minaret. Due to the proximity of the Cultural Center, the two mosques will likely enjoy collaborations for generations to come. The ISBCC and the Muslim American Society-Boston Chapter (MAS) held an Intercommunity Solidarity Day on June 27, 2007 as part of the final phase of construction, which was attended by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Imam of the Mosque for the Praising of Allah, Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, helped organize the gathering along with the Islamic Center of New England (ICNE), ISB, and MAS. Imam Abdullah remarked on the need for intercommunity dialogue in light of the ISBCC controversy and reflected on the event’s outcome: “Unity does not mean sameness. It means togetherness,” which he went on to explain is the reason for the ISBCC project’s success and is “evidence of our ability to work together.” Updates to original research conducted by Summer Intern Jessie Thisell (2005) were made by Summer Intern Nour Goda (2007), after meeting with Imam Abdullah in July 2007.