Topeka is the Capitol City of Kansas and has a population of approximately 170,750 people. There are 150 churches of various denominations, one Jewish Synagogue and one Masjid at this time. Topeka is also known for the 1954 Supreme Court landmark decision, Brown vs. Board of Education, which allowed schools to be physically integrated by all races.
In 1987, four Muslim families and a couple of single brothers got together and met in various places, clubhouses, community centers and individuals homes to have Sunday classes for children to learn the Quran, adults to read and discuss the Holy Quran and offer salat-ul-zuhr together. As the spirit increased in us to share Al-Islam with others, we began to look for a permanent place to worship. In 1991, we started to have Jumah in various places around the city. These sincere and devoted few founders of the Islamic Center of Topeka are, Brother Dr. Syed Akhtar, Sister Malik Akhtar, Brother Dr. Ashraf Sufi, Dr. Qaiser Sufi, Brother Harris Mustafa, Sister Nilofer Mustafa, Brother Dawar Saeed, Brother Luqman Shabazz, Sister Aliya Hazim, and Brother Omar Hazim. All the above founders have served in some positions, either teacher, president, secretary, treasurer, or board member. May Allah (SWT) reward them for their sincere efforts.
In 1992, the Islamic Center was incorporated as a non-profit tax exempt religious organization. In the same year (1992), an unused, dilapidated one story structure was located at 1115-17 SE 27th St . The fundraising was started and within sixty days, Allah (SWAT) blessed us to raise about $60,000.00, al-hum-du-Lillah. Our Imam, who owns a small construction business, undertook the project to renovate this building into a Masjid. The Islamic Center opened for worship about six weeks after its purchase. By Allah’s blessings and guidance, we saw a consistent growth in numbers in our Islamic community and in our spirituality. Two years later, in 1994, a few brothers visited our Friday prayer service from another country, stated that they were inspired by the work they observed and asked what they could do to help. We met with them in the office and they left a donation of $5,000.00 cash and said for us to look for some more money soon. Three weeks later we received a check made out to the Islamic Center of Topeka for $100,000.00, praise be to Allah (SWT). These brothers were not known in this community before that time and have not been seen in this community since that time. Allah put his goodness in the hearts of men and women. With this money we bought the house next door to the Masjid for $25,000.00 and built a parking lot, added a new entranceway and built a new prayer hall (Masala area). Our Imam was given the contract, after receiving competitive bids from three other local builders. His bid was $25,000.00 lower than the other bids. In 1994, as we continued to grow in numbers, Allah blessed us with the help of some of our founding members to raise more money to buy a triplex across from the Masjid, this rental property helps with the Masjid expenses and is rented out to Muslims in our community. In 1995, our Imam was asked to open the State Senate Meeting with prayer. Our community has grown to have about 150 believers in the city, 80 to 100 come out to Jumah on Fridays. We have weekly Arabic classes, children’s educational classes and adult quranic classes and discussions. We have representatives on the Board of Directors of Interfaith of Topeka, and The Center for Peace and Justice. We provide service to the Kansas Department of Corrections and the many correctional facilities in the State of Kansas. We offer dawah activities, visiting schools, churches, youth centers, civic clubs and other places we are invited to explain Islam.
We thank Allah (SWT) for granting us this Masjid. We thank him for the diversity, peace and unity we have, we ask Allah (SWT) to bless and protect this Masjid and those who enter it for his sake. Ameen.
Imam Omar Hazim