Islamic Cultural Center of New York


Islamic Cultural Center of New York, Manhattan. Image 1

The Islamic Center of New York is a religious and cultural organization established in the early 1960’s and planned as an Islamic institution comprising a Mosque, a school, a library, a lecture hall, a museum, and residence for its Imams.

Its objectives include:

  • serving the neighboring Muslim Community of Manhattan in particular, and the larger Muslim Communities of America in general, by answering their religious needs and providing them with a place of worship, as well as classes to help them (along with their children) to gain detailed knowledge about their religion;
  • enlightening American public opinion with true knowledge about Islam, its teachings, its ideology, its philosophy, culture and its countries;
  • providing Muslim Communities in the United States of America with religious guidance, and correct religious opinions and legal rulings of Islamic Law over religious, cultural and social critical questions;
  • promoting good understanding and friendly relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Islamic Cultural Center of New York, Manhattan. Image 3

Islamic Cultural Center of New York, Manhattan. Image 2

Plans for a large Islamic center in New York were originally drawn up in the late 1960s as the first cultural center occupied a location at 1 Riverside Drive by 72nd street. The first Islamic Center started functioning on a small scale from a modest townhouse at that address. However, the board of trustees later aspired to build a new larger center in a way suiting its prestigious position in the community, and to be one of the landmarks of New York City. Later, an overall project comprising a mosque, a school, a library, a museum, and a lecture hall, were planned out. After years of delays which included raising funds from Muslim countries, a prolonged process of relocating tenants, and the eventual demolition of the buildings on the site; construction of the Islamic Cultural Center began in October of 1984. Construction of the associated mosque began on May 28, 1987, the day which corresponded to the end of Ramadan. The cornerstone of the minaret was laid on September 26, 1988.

Construction was delayed during the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait and the First Gulf War. The mosque opened on April 15, 1991, for the feast of Eid ul-Fitr. In the end, more than 46 Muslim countries made contributions toward the $17 million construction cost of the mosque.

Contact info:
Islamic Cultural Center of New York
1711 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10029