New York – 2009

Eid Celebration Revisited

The following post was written by Nzinga Knight, a New York based fashion designer who grew up attending Masjid Khalifa in Brooklyn. Becoming an eveningwear designer evolved out of me wanting to have the right dress for Eid. At my mosque then people go hard for Eid. The cooks put their heart into the food, we have an entertainment program that is unrivaled, and people come out dressed in their

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Day 30: Celebration

I’ve seen many spectacular sights in my short lifetime and tonight I have come up with the top four: 1. The ka’bah in Makkah, Saudi Arabia 2. Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia 3. Masjid Al-Aqsa in Palestine 4. Seeing a niqabi in Brooklyn get down on Eid After tonight, I have to bump the birth of my nephew down to number 5. I hope my brother doesn’t mind.

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My attempt to disappear

The following is a post written by Musa Syeed, a close friend of the 30 Mosques project who did itikaf during Ramadan. Itikaf involves spending the final nights at the mosque during Ramadan secluded in worship. After a few thwarted attempts, my plan was at last finalized. And it seemed pretty tight, I had all my supplies. I would make my getaway on the R train, and ride it straight

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Day 29: Islamic Center at NYU

What better place to end the month of Ramadan than with one of the beacons for the Muslim community in New York, the Islamic Center at NYU. This is the on campus center for  Muslim students at New York University, but under the leadership of Imam Khalid Latif,  this place has bloomed into one of the most popular hotspots for New York City’s entire Muslim community. Khalid Latif works double

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Day 28: Islamic Cultural Center

I was on an emotional roller coaster today. I woke up jumping for joy about NPR doing a second story on us, this time now the entire country knows how beautiful New York’s Muslim community is. Then, I looked outside my apartment window to see that my car had been towed. To make a long story short, I spent 4 hours and $240 recovering my car that a construction company

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Day 27: Masjid El-Ber of Astoria

What a day today. I started off my morning talking about 30 Mosques on the Brian Lehrer show on NPR. We had a great conversation and hope you enjoy it. For the rest of this journey, I will be Bassam-less because he is in Texas spending the last remaining days of Ramadan with his family. So tonight, I visited Masjid El-Ber in Queens. I had heard of this place before

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Day 26: Masjid at-Taqwa

Tonight, Bassam and I went to Brooklyn to visit one of New York’s finest mosques, Masjid At-Taqwa. This is the mosque of Imam Siraj Wahhaj, one of the US’ leading Muslim scholars and also one of the most sought after public speakers. I’m sure anyone who has met Imam Siraj has a story about how he impacted his/her life, but for me, he’s one of the people that mentored me

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Masjid Khalifa Revisited

The following post was written by Nzinga Knight, a New York based fashion designer who grew up in this mosque. Masjid Muhsi Khalifa is my home mosque. Like the theme song for Cheers, Masjid Khalifa is the place where everybody knows my name and they’re always glad that I came. Since 1975 this Mosque has been under the leadership of the late Warith D Mohammed. I began going to Muhsi

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Day 24: Masjid Khalifah

Tonight our journey learning about New York City’s rich Muslim roots led us to Masjid Khalifah in Brooklyn. Decades ago pioneers planted the seeds in hopes of developing a community. The people you meet now are the flowers that have blossomed from it. This is one of the many temples that Malcom X and his then Nation of Islam congregants helped establish in the late 1950s. They passed by this

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Day 23: The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood

“How’s my hair?” The most sensible question to ask the residents close to the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood (MIB), clearly. Today, Aman and I were going to be on NY1, a local news network, for our 30 mosques project. Since I have a tendency to look  awkward in front of a camera I wanted to cross my t’s and dot my i’s before they turned on. Aman, on the other

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Day 22: Albanian Islamic Cultural Center

Staten Island definitely has some of the most precious hidden gems in New York City’s Muslim community. So tonight Bassam and I were joined by our homey Jordan Robinson and together we hopped on a ferry to Staten Island to do some treasure hunting. Hello Statue of Liberty. We got off the ferry and took a short cab ride to our destination the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center. Before I begin

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Day 21: Harlem Islamic Cultural Center

Today we visited this new masjid that was established a couple of months back. Take two steps away from the bodega and you’ll miss it. A brief dhikr took place before iftaar. The congregants at the masjid were incredibly hospitable. Everyone I walked by asked if I had enough orange juice, tea or coffee. The majority of the people were from West Africa and spoke both Walaf and Arabic. We

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Revisited: Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center

This entry was written by Fatima Ashraf. A community activist who wants to “make it plain,” as brother Malcolm taught us. Why can’t we all just get along? Wait, maybe we can… B and A asked me to join them at Al-Khoei Mosque in Jamaica, Queens on Wednesday. I for one, was elated to go – the last time I prayed in a Shi’a masjid was when I was in

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Day 20: Makki Masjid

A few blocks from the subway in Brooklyn, Bassam and I took a stroll down Coney Island Avenue and found a bustling street of Pakistani run businesses, including a hospital. Check out the banner on the hospital celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day last month. Across the street from the hospital was our destination, the Makki Masjid. It’s a predominantly Pakistani mosque that is basically in its first phase of construction, as

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Day 19: Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center

Today Aman and I went to the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in Queens. It is one of the largest Shi’a mosques in NYC. The place hits close to home for me. My parents sent my brother and I to Al-Khoei for summer school when I was about seven years old. When my brother learned the adhaan, the call to prayer, from school and did it in front of our family,

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Day 18: MAS Youth Center

I was tired and slept my way to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Thankfully the train ride took 70 minutes so I was fresh by the time I got off the train. There was a certain calmness in the air, something you just don’t get in Manhattan. There are many mosques in Bay Ridge and it was tough to choose which one to visit. Somehow or another, we decided on the Muslim

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Day 17: Mount Hope Masjid

Today Bassam and I were joined by our good friend Omar Mullick as we went into the south Bronx to check out the Mount Hope Masjid. This is a congregation of primarily West Africans. One of the people that talked to us said most of the people are from s Togo and Ghana. He said the two countries’ cultures are similar, comparing them to the similarities between New York and

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Day 16: Jamaica Muslim Center, Inc

Note: Many comments from this posting have disappeared. We encourage those whose comments have disappeared to re-post their thoughts. Sorry for the inconvenience, Aman and I are looking into this issue. How do you get to Sesame Street? Follow a muppet. Jamaica Muslim Center? Follow the topis (hats) and hijabs on Hillside Ave. O, how Jamaica has changed! Back when we lived in Astoria, I remember coming here with my

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Day 14: Riverdale Islamic Center

Today, Aman and I went to the Riverdale Islamic Center in The Bronx. It’s interesting how no other borough in New York has a definitive THE in front of it. I have yet to hear anyone say the Queens or the Brooklyn. (Update: Turns out the Bronx comes from the landowner who acquired the borough back in 1639, Jonas Broncks. – Here’s a snippet from an article: “A river ran

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Day 15: Noor Al-Islam Center

Our first trip on our journey to Staten Island, way overdue. No Bassam today, but instead I took my little brother Zeshawn and my cousin Salman to the Noor Al-Islam Center on Richmond Terrace. This is a World War II bomb factory they converted into a mosque. But before I get to that, we first took a chillaxing 25-minute ferry ride to Staten Island. Bye bye Manhattan and Statue of

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Day 13: Masjid Dawood, another take

This entry was written by Fatima Ashraf. A community activist who wants to “make it plain,” as brother Malcolm taught us. Masjid Dawood, better known as the Yemeni Mosque on State St, is a sad story in my opinion. But let me start with the good, since it is Ramadan. The sister’s section is on the second floor. The carpet in this masjid always reminded me of the Dome of

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Day 13: Dawood Mosque

Today I was was Bassam-less and continued my journey into Brooklyn to one of my favorite places to pray at, the Dawood Mosque. This is a predominantly Arab mosque with a fair amount of South Asians and African Americans as well. I got there about 10 minutes before prayer and was confused why it seemed like I was one of the only one there. But then I heard people chatting

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Day 12: Masjid Tawhid Inc.

In Brooklyn, go east on Ralph Ave and you’ll see two mosques. The Bangladeshi masjid. And then, two blocks later, the West African one. My good friend Ibrahim AbdulMatin pressed me hard this afternoon to go to the West African masjid. To be honest, it was difficult passing up the South Asian mosque. I was Aman-less today and wasn’t ready to be out of my element. But I had to

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Day 11: Masjid Al-Hikmah

Bassam and I headed back to Queens to check out Masjid Al-Hikmah. The building is extremely difficult to miss in the homey residential neighborhood on 31st Street This place has a predominantly Indonesian congregation. Given the fact that Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the entire world, the breathtaking size of the mosque seems fitting. Apparently last week the mosque had this awesome food festival that I wish I

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Day 10: Masjid Al-Farooq

Brooklyn: New York’s cultural hotspot and the place that rappers have to give shoutouts to 31 times in every hip hop record. Step outside the subway station at Atlantic Avenue and immediately you get hit with crazy amounts of gentrification, including this huge shopping center. Lucky for me, the place I need to go to is Masjid Al-Farooq. It’s about a block away from the subway and it’s a four

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Day 9: Masjid Aqsa

Today, I decided to stay in my neighborhood and visit Masjid Aqsa. The mosque is a couple of blocks south of my apartment on 116th and Frederick Douglas. The community is predominantly West African. It is said that this area also houses the majority of the Senegalese in New York. Similar to other masajid in Manhattan, vendors surrounded the entrance selling everything from Madani Dates to Nike socks. One of

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Day 8: Masjid Noor-ul-Huda

The Bronx! My family was in town today, so I decided to bring them along to visit Masjid Noor-Ul-Huda off Gun Hill Road. This is a large house they renovated into a breathtakingly beautiful mosque (that’s my Mommy on the bottom right). I’m floored by the fact they only spent $500,000 to build this place. Check out how beautiful the interior is. This place was 3 levels. Wudhu and bathrooms

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Day 7: Al-Iman Mosque

Little Egypt, Queens. Where it smells like argilah and tantalizing arabic cuisines named “Magic Carpet” live. We won’t tell Disney if you don’t. The Al-Iman Mosque is tucked along these streets. A really nice set of double doors welcome the congregants, well, the male congregants. Unfortunately, the sisters entrance isn’t as lofty. Left of this entrance is a small door that leads you to the sister’s prayer and wudu area.

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Day 6: Madina Masjid

Today, Aman and I trekked out to Madina Masjid. It’s located in the heart of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The masjid sign outside reads, “Islam Is The Way. Read The Quran The Final Revelation.” An interesting sign for a predominantly upper middle class white neighborhood. Similar to the 29th st. masjid, we were filed into the basement to break fast. Everyone sat shoulder to shoulder waiting for the

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Day 5: Islamic Center of Mid-Manhattan

This place provides refuge from all the posh fashion shops up and down Lexington Avenue in midtown Manhattan. I broke my fast with some milk, dates and a plum.The people who go there consisted mainly of young professionals, who mostly work in the area. The person I sat next to was named Waleed and works for the investment group Barclays Capital. He’s a cool guy and is coming to my

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Day 4: Islamic Cultural Center of NY

Wow. This mosque hiding behind the trees is believed to be the largest mosque in the NYC area. Its primarily funded by the Kuwaiti government. Lined around the masjid gates were vendors and congregants waiting for iftaar. This is also the first masjid in New York that resembles a traditional masjid. There was a brief drought of dates which led everyone to attack the bananas. Thankfully, a new batch of

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Day 3: Malcolm X’s mosque

Today we went to the Malcom Shabazz Cultural Center on W. 116th Street in Harlem (the photo I took was crappy, so I borrowed one from our friends at Salatomatic.com). At one point in time this was a casino that soon became a full-fledged mosque dedicated to Muslim pioneer Malcom X. The masjid volunteers kindly served us water with dates wrapped in foil. It was a very intimate gathering. They

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Day 2: Harlem Neighborhood Mosque

I was in a hurry to get home today, so I ended up just going to the mosque on E. 110th Street, about two blocks from my house. Afterwards, I went to the Halal Chinese restaurant nearby. I just moved to this neighborhood about a week or so ago, so it was my first time going to the restaurant. Pretty nice guys, I ordered the Singapore Mei Fun (its what

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Day 1: The Journey Begins

Tonight my friend Bassam Tariq and I came up with an insanely random idea: What if we prayed at a different mosque every single day for the month of Ramadan? Hence, this Web site was born. Tonight we prayed at Masjid Rehman, located on West 29th Street and Broadway. The place was insanely jam packed, you should have seen how many taxi cabs were parked outside the place. This is

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