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Mother Mosque of America

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Religion

View of the front entrance of the Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Built from the ground up by community members, the Mother Mosque of America is the first and oldest mosque in North America. Opened on Feb. 15, 1934, it served both as a mosque and social center for the Muslim community of Cedar Rapids. On a national scale, Mother Mosque members were integral in establishing the first Muslim National Cemetery in 1948. Additionally, congregant and WWII veteran Abdallah Ingram petitioned President Dwight D. Eisenhower to include Islam as a religious affiliation option in the U.S. Military. Following this petition, deceased Muslim servicemembers were allowed to be buried in accordance with traditions set in place by our national government and Islam.

In 1971, the congregation outgrew Mother Mosque of America’s walls, built a larger mosque and sold the original building. For nearly 20 years, the original building changed ownership and was used for various purposes. Due to neglect, it deteriorated. In 1990, The Islamic Council of Iowa purchased the building, and the community began the mosque’s restoration. Exactly 58 years to the date it first opened, Mother Mosque of America reopened. Today, the mosque remains a place of worship and resource center for those curious about Islam.

References

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