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Mosque Foundation in July, 2013
The Mosque Foundation is located in Bridgeview, Illinois. It serves the spiritual, religious and communal needs of area Muslims by means of nurturing their faith, upholding their values, and fostering the wellbeing of the community around it through worship, charity, education, outreach, and civic engagement.
In 1954 a handful of Palestinian émigrés on Chicago’s famous Southside formed the Mosque Foundation of Chicago with the dream of one day building a structure to house the religious and cultural activities of their growing young families. Today, that dream has become one of the busiest mosques in America, serving a community of more than 50,000 Muslims.
Built in 1981 on a few acres of swampy land in the middle of mostly abandoned prairie in Bridgeview, with a prayer hall capacity of 300 worshippers. No one could foresee that the mosque’s establishment would inspire a Muslim neighborhood of hundreds of beautiful new homes around the mosque, two full-time Islamic schools at its edges, a Community Center down the road, and dozens of thriving businesses.
The community has steadily diversified to include Muslims of many languages and experiences—all praying side-by-side, with their children, in a brimming mosque that cannot contain them.
Imams are active in counseling, education, spiritual guidance, and arbitration. Community members work with local and national Islamic, interfaith, and civic organizations on numerous initiatives. These include protecting American civil liberties, empowering Muslims locally and nationally, improving the quality of urban life across America, and helping the poor, immigrants, and the oppressed by advocating for justice and peace.
1954: Official Registration
1963: Interim Location Purchased
1976: Tax-exempt Status Approved
1977: Mosque Architectural Plan Completed
1978: Construction Began
1981: Mosque Opened
1986: Aqsa School for Girls Opened in Mosque*
1996: Youth Center Opened
1998: Interim Expansion Completed
2002: Lot for Additional Parking Purchased and Developed
2004: Reopened Youth Center after Major Remodeling
2005: Muslim Community Donated Lakeshore Chicago Garden to the City of Chicago
2005: Food Pantry Opened
2006: Expanded Youth Center to Community Center
2007: Started Mosque Foundation Community Pulse Newsletter
2007: New Website Launched
2008: Second major expansion completed
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