BACKGROUND- On May 24th, 2005, Dr Raji Ayinla, the founder and Director of the Bronx Islamic Cultural Center with the encouragement and spiritual support of our chief Imam, Sheikh Ibrahim Gonja, went into contract to purchase from Suya African Cuisine Center, inc, a commercial property located at 50 East Tremont Avenue (corner of Walton Avenue) in central Bronx, New York. The property was initially leased with option to buy in one year and was subsequently purchase on July 20th 2006. What was originally slated by Suya African Cuisine Center, Inc to be the largest African restaurant became the largest Masjid in the Central Bronx area. The building was dilapidated at the time of contract signing and required significant renovation to make it habitable. Purchase price including the cost of renovation was $1,300,000. Financing was obtained through Ijara Islamic financing from Devon Bank in Chicago, Ilinois, USA. The Balance due by the end of 2010 is approximately $580,000 (see attached).
Our immediate goal is to secure funding to pay off the remaining balance and to secure funds to pay our Islamic teachers as well as expand the existing structure. The Bronx Islamic Cultural Center (Masjid Annasr), located on 50 East Tremont avenue opened its doors on the first Friday of Ramadan, October 7th, 2005. The center is being utilized to bring Muslim individuals and families together, to strengthen the Muslim Umma, to provide Islamic education, cultural activities and to reinforce Islamic values and practices through a full range of programming. This is particularly important for our youth and children who we continue to lose everyday to the western culture.
The building which houses the masjid and the Islamic school is approximately 10000sq ft located in the financial district of Central Bronx. There are 3 levels i.e. basement, main floor and mezzanine.
The masjid opens everyday for five daily prayers including Juma’a and other Islamic activities. The congregation is diverse and representative of the community. The prayer services are conducted by Highly qualified Islamic scholars who earned their degrees from Islamic Universities of Medina, Jordan and Cairo. Currently our Imams work on Voluntary basis until such time that we have adequate funding to support them.
WEEKEND QUR’ANIC SCHOOL
Most of our children attend public schools during the week so they miss out on the foundation of every Muslims education, learning their Islam.
The weekend school fills this gap by giving our children proper Islamic education necessary for them to succeed as Muslims. We currently have approximately 40 students in four classes staffed by qualified and experienced teachers. Due to financial limitations we are unable to expand the school and to attract more teachers. There is an urgent need to create a state of the art Islamic library to help with Islamic research and da’awa