30 Years of Islamin East Orange Facts, Noteworthy Firsts and other Ideas and Contributions from three decades of Service
Ahmed Burhani - Founding Imam. Spring 1981 - October 1993, 12 years
Dawud Adib – Imam. November 1993 - April 1995, 1 year 6 months
Abu Muslimah – Imam. April 1995 - Present, 16 years and 8 months
The Islamic Center of East Orange was established in the spring of 1981 at 239 Central Avenue.
The Islamic Center of East Orange, Masjid Rawdatullah at 61 Lincoln St was purchased on December 27, 1983
The Muslims move into The Islamic Center of East Orange on Lincoln St in the early spring of 1984
The Islamic Day School was established at 61 Lincoln Street in the fall of 1984
The Islamic Day School rented 261 William St from July 1, 1992-June 30, 1997
The Islamic Center of America, Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah, 215 N. Oraton Pkwy was acquired on June 24, 1997
Firsts for the Masjid and School
First Imam, Khateeb and leader of Taraaweeh: Ahmed Burhani
First marriage was between Kevin Scott Williams and Sister Karen, May 20, 1981.
First Islamic Center of East Orange marriage certificate dated August 15, 1981. Faheem Jameel Rasheed and Sister Celestee
First Men’s Dinner held at a Muslim owned facility (as opposed to hotel or other rental space), May 1994 at the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC)
First minbar built for the Masjid, 1994
First class of Imam Abu Muslimah, The Best of the Sinners are the Repenters, Spring 1994
First athaan called outside for the 5 salaah, 1995 by Abu Najmah
First 12th grade graduate from IDS, Sihaam 1995
First Eid at Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah was Eid Al-Adhaa 1997, Al-Khateeb: Abdur-Rahman Al-Afriki
Last salaah offered at Lincoln Street, Ishaa Friday October 1997
First salaah at Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah, Fajr Saturday October 1997
First Khutbah at Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah: Let the Sunnah go Forth and Don’t Stop it. October 1997
First athaan on Jumu’ah at Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah called by Haroon Abdus-Salaam October 1997
First lecture at Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah: “Insulting the Muslim is Fusooq and Fighting him is Kufr,” 1997
First 12th grade graduating class at Madrasatu Ahlis Sunnah 1998
First year Madrasatu Ahlis Sunnah had over 300 students,
First year Madrasatu Ahlis Sunnah had over 400 students,
First Friday in Ramadan Sister’s Branch of Maktabatu Ahlis Sunnah Bookstore opens 1998
First conference at Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah, Qur’an Conference spring 1998
First cook for the school’s lunch program was Brother Fard from Masjid Ikhwah in Brooklyn
First salaah offered on the present green carpet, Jumu’ah Nov 1999
First Masjid library established 2008
First Eid Al-Adhaa slaughter at Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah Nov 2011
Forgotten Firsts – can you answer these questions?
First child born from the Center?
First delegation to Hajj?
First college grad from the school?
People and their Ideas
Imam Ahmed Burhani found the rental space on Central Ave in 1981
Huriyyah Nassirudin used to bring food to the center on Central Ave, which had no kitchen facilities
Eddie Salaam, along with D. Bilal Beasley was responsible for the Muslim Voter Registration/education activities
Eddie Salaam and Na’im Muhammad would handle burial at the grave sites
Sister Karen heads and runs the Islamic Day School at Lincoln Street from 1984-1992
Isa Muhammad puts the niche in for the Qiblah on Lincoln Street 1984
Edward Wadood’s wife heads a committee to put up the chandelier on Lincoln Street 1984
Jamal At-Taa Tary establishes the Men’s Dinner 1984
Dawud Hasan suggests and runs a Summer Camp at Lincoln Street 1985
Dawud Hasan establishes a security team 1985
Shaikh Khidr shows the importance of the position of the Imam and helped structure the Center 1987
Imam Ahmad Burhani takes a delegation to Hajj 1988
Khaleel Abu Hibiscus helps build the little front wall on Lincoln Street
Abu Ameer Kevin Williams institutionalized and ran the bookstore
Abu Ameer Kevin Williams organizes a Da’wah effort and lecture series at Rutgers Newark: Islam in Perspective. Some of the guest speakers were: Abdullah Idris Ali, Dr Ihsan Bagby, Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips, Imam Zaid Shakir, Sheikh Khidr Lawrence, Jamal Badawi Professor Amir al-Islam and the ISNA group
Dawud Hasan starts Difaa Program started 1992, a self defense program for Muslim men
Sister Haleemah found the rental property on William Street 1992
Sister Haleemah leads and moves the Islamic Day School to William St in Orange 1992
Zaid from Jersey City and Sulaiman Basheer, may Allah have mercy on them both, introduced washing and shrouding to the Muslims of EO
Abdur-Rahim Raines organizes a hajj trip which developed into a yearly Hajj package for the Masjid, 1994
Abdur-Rahim Raines has Abdul-Lateef build a minbar, 1994
Abdul-Wali takes a checklist to keep track of our buildings’ condition 1995?
Sister Mina and Rabia teacher Arabic and Qur’an to the Sisters 1995-present
Umar Nasser develops Ilm On Line 1994-1995
Brothers from Boston asks the Imam to do a lecture on the phrase: “Let the Sunnah go Forth” 1995
Umar Nasser develops Masjid Logo “Let the Sunnah go Forth” 1995
Umar Nasser comes up with the idea to have controversial topics delivered as lectures to fill the Masjid and raise money.
Umar Nasser names the bookstore: Authentic Sources Bookstore 1996?
Musa Owe finds the new location of the Islamic Center of America, October 1995
Who came up with the idea of the big buckets for sadaqah? 1995 Maybe Mika-eel Hatcher Muhammad or Hanif Muhammad
Hanif comes up with remodeling the kitchen and purchasing appliances to reinstitute the Jumu’ah food sales 1995
Umar Nasser comes up with the idea of $1,000.00/family to purchase Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah Oct 1995
The Imam and his board donates $1,000.00 dollars each for Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah October 1995
Umar Nasser “Let the Sunnah go Forth” sweater fundraiser 1996
Abu Hasna introduces the weekly “A Reminder Benefits the Believer”
Dr Qadri organizes an effort to raise funds for the purchase of Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah 1996
Ibn Abdul-Haqq comes up with the “Ladies Night Out” fundraiser
Kevin Ali puts us in touch with the decision makers in Trenton which led to the purchase of the property at 215 N. Oraton Pkwy
Rajaan Singleton negotiates the first interaction between the Muslims and the State which led to the purchase of the Masjid
Abu Ameer suggests what became the new name of the Masjid, Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah
Mika’eel Hatcher Muhammad suggests what became the new name of the Center, Islamic Center of America
Fiaz develops the automatic deduction system which takes money out of the donors account automatically and deposits it in the School’s account 1996
Azeezah Muhammad chooses the fonts for our letterhead, late 1996/early 1997
Abdur-Rahman Al-Afriki delivers the Jumu’ah Khutbah which raises the final amount for Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah spring 1997
Saabir Range donates the final amount needed to purchase the Islamic Center of America
Billy Muhammad has a surveyor establish the direction of the Qiblah in Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah 1997
Sister Wakeelah Rahman developes the food pantry, 1998
Billy Muhammad and Sister Cynthia Brown has the corner of Munn Ave and Summit St named Ahlus Sunnah Plaza May 15, 1998
Ron Ali from Las Vegas has street signs put up around the city stating the direction of The Islamic Center of America
Ron Ali runs an Adult Education Center at the Lincoln St site
Sister Widad and Wakeelah came up with the idea for a sister’s wudoo room
Mustafa Abdullah, Dawud Hasan and Abdur-Rahman Dorch establishes the School of the Fighting Arts Nov 1997
Umar Abdallah redesigns the Masjid and the School’s logo, that design is the present design
Sister Islah develops, writes and edits Risaalatu Ahlis Sunnah 1997-1998
Ismaa-eel Owens Hanif develops the idea of a newsletter, Saheefatu Ahlis Sunnah, but it has never been realized
Saadiq Abdullah suggests, develops and gets the School’s lunch program approved 1998
Website developed and named by Abdullah Muslim
Aisha Muslim invites the Muslims and their coworkers from City Hall to the Masjid for iftaar during Ramadan, late 90’s or shortly thereafter
Habeeb Bay’ah has been the chef for all important and private events in the Center
Pioneers: Imam Ahamd Burhani, Wahyuddeen Shareef, Wali Muslim, Edward Wadood
Signees on Incorporation of the Islamic Center of East Orange, Dec 14, 1981:
Qaadir Rashad Bilal, Kent Hassan Ahmad, Earl Siddiqu, Bilal Abdul-Jabbar, Abdul-Rauf F. Mahmud, Isa Idris Muhammad, Haris Bahiyuddeen Rasul, Abdul-Muhaimin Hasan, Mulazim Madyun, Halimah Ihsan Muhammad, Celestee G. Rasheed, Syeida Sharia Abdul-Azeez
In addition to original board, other Board and Consultative Council members over the years 1984-2011 include:
Kevin Dawud Amin, Shakoor Mustafa, Kalen Tauheed, Amir Abdul-Ghani, Hanif Muhammad, Khalil Saahd, Jihad Abdul-Mumit, Abdul-Hakim Abdullah, Amin Salaam, Khalil Saahd, Jamal Yahyah Att-Taa Tary, Shaikh Al-Khidr Lawrence, Shamsiddin Muhammad, Umar Abdul-Baaith, Abu Ameer Kevin Williams, Qasim Nathari, Khalifah Rasul, Dawud Hasan, Amin Nathari, Khaleel Abdul-Khaaliq, Malik Sultan, Shakir Washington, Saadiq Adullaah, Maleek Majid,
Khateebs: Imam Ahmad Burhani, Khaleel Saad, Dawud Amin, Imam Dawud Adib, Imam Abu Muslimah, Sheikh Ahmed Saalim, Abdur-Raman Al-Afriki, Hesham Aly, Maleek Majid, Malik Sultan
Imams for Salaah: Dawud Hasan, Dawud Amin, Abdur-Rahman Al-Afriki, Hesham Aly, Abdul-Azeez, Mustafa from Syria and others
Imams for Taraaweeh: Imams Ahmad, Dawud and Abu Muslimah, Chahid, Abdur-Rahman Al-Afriki, Mu’aath Nooruddeen, Abdul-Azeez, Sheikh Fu-aad Al-Qassaas, Taamir, Abdul-Haqq Bandi, Jalal, two brothers from Saudi Arabia and Ibraheem ibn Chahid and others
Teachers of classes in Masjid: Sheikh Khidr late 80’s, Chahid Benjoulloun, Umar Abdul-Baa’ith, Imam Dawud Adib, Imam Abu Muslimah, Abdur-Rahman Al-Afriki, Abdul-Muqeet from Baltimore, Ismaa’eel Ibraaheem from Brooklyn, Umar Salim from Trinidad, Abdul-Azeez the Haafith, Abdul-Haqq Stewart, Rasheed As-Salafy, Majdy Wardah, Jalal the Ustaath, and Sisters Mina, Rabia, Kabeerah, Umm Halimah and others
Mu-eth-thens: Abdul-Hakeem Abdullah, Abu Najmah, Haroon Abdus-Salaam, Safwan Abdul-Haadi, Bilal from Chicago, Elijah and Emanuel the twins, Heshaam Abdul-Hakeem, Abdul-Haqq Stewart, Al-Ameen Shareef, Hanif Muhammad, Nazih Abdush-Shakoor, Al-Qaasim Shareef
Bookstore: Abu Ameer Kevin Williams, Umar Abdul-Baa-ith, Abdul-Baatin, Saadi Shabazz, Jihad Muhammad, Jihad from Corona, NY, Abu Hasna, Abu Musa, Abdus-Samad and Abdul-Haqq Stewart. Sisters Widad, Nadirah Williams, Muslimah Prey and Miriam
Principals: Sis Karen Williams, Haleemah Ali, Aisha Muslim, Sis Njeri, Umar Abdallah, Malik Sultan, Ronald Hasan, Dr Khadijah, Qamaruddin Hosienah
Business Managers: Salim Ali, Abu Ameer Kevin Williams, Hanif Muhammad
Secretaries: Sisters Taalibah, Nafisah Hunter, Jamilah, Azeezah Muhammad and Cynthia, and Rasheed As-Salafy and Khaleel Abdul-Khaaliq
Janaazah Staff: Khaleef Shabazz, Abdul-Malik Bilal, Abdur-Rahim Raines, Abu Dameer, Al-Ameen Shareef, Abdul-Haqq Stewart and many Sisters whose names will be mentioned at the next janaazah demonstration, in sha Allah
Maintenance: Abdul-Hakeem Abdullah was a supervisor, Chahid Benjoulloun, Najee, Abdul-Azeez, Abu Habbaabah, Abu Muhmmad, Mustafa Abdullah, Abdul-Malik Bilal
We ask that you help US preserve OUR history correctly by bringing to our attention any inaccuracies, omissions, etc. And Perfection is with Allah alone. Jazak’Allahu khair.
Our Mission Statement
The mission of theISLAMIC CENTER OF AMERICA is to provide the facilities and the means, to the best of it's ability, that will allow the Muslims, regardless of race, gender or nationality, to worship Allah alone without ascribing partners in worship with Him by learning, practicing and calling to pure Islaam all together in unity, without partisanship or division, based on the Qur'aan and the authentic Sunnah with the understanding and the agreed upon practices of our Righteous Predecessors from among the first three outstanding generations and those that follow them with correct belief and the performance of good deeds.
In 1981, theISLAMIC CENTER OF AMERICA was founded as Masjid Rawdatullah - The Islamic Center of East Orange for the sole purpose of providing the Muslims with a place to worship Allah. In 1983, the Muslim community purchased a 5,000 square foot building to accommodate the growth of Islaam in East Orange, New Jersey. The Muslim community established an Islamic Day School in 1984 with the objective of educating Preschool and Kindergarten children in an Islamic environment, which later expanded to a full-time school with all grades from Preschool through Twelfth-Grade. In 1997, the Muslims acquired a 66,686 square foot facility that could house a complete Islamic Center that would satisfy all the religious needs of the Muslims and changed our name to theISLAMIC CENTER OF AMERICA The current Islamic Center includes Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah - with over 19,000 square feet;Madrasatu Ahlis Sunnah- with nearly 20 classrooms within the new facility and old facility; andMaktabatu Ahlis Sunnah - which was established originally in 1985 to disseminate Islamic books, tapes and other materials to the community and has grown into two separate bookstores to service the men and the women of the community.
The Islamic Center of America, Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah, Madrasatu Ahlis Sunnah and Maktabatu Ahlis Sunnah were founded in 1981, under the leadership of Imam Ahmad Burhani, as The Islamic Center of East Orange, Masjid Rawdatullaah, for the sole purpose of providing the Muslims with a place to worship Allaah. Two short years later, the small Muslim community had already outgrown the modestly rented storefront at 239 Central Avenue, East Orange, New Jersey.
Humbly attempting to please Allaah, the Muslims purchased a 5,000 square foot building at 61 Lincoln Street, East Orange, New Jersey, to adequately accommodate the growth of Islaam in East Orange, New Jersey and the increase in Muslims around the surrounding areas.
In 1997, the Muslims acquired a 66,686 sq. ft. facility on one and a half acres to house a complete Islamic Center that would satisfy all the religious needs of the Muslims. The Masjid, which is over 19,000 sq. ft., holds over 3,500 believers and is one of the largest in the country, if not the largest. The Center is open all day, every day, for all of the five Salaah, Salaatu-Jumu'ah, classes, etc.
10-25-13 Another Call for Unity, 18 Years Later Pt1
11-01-13 Another Call for Unity, 18 Years Later Pt2
A Response to the Imaam of the 4th Ave Masjid concerning his recent statements of ignorance concerning "Masjid Diraar", The Islamic Center of America and the Imaam of Masjidu Ahlis Sunnah.
11-08-13 Tafseer Surah Al-Falaq-Envy
11-15-13 Evil Propaganda Against Ahlis Sunnah
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