The Lackawanna Islamic Community has been in existence in the Western New York area for more than 50 years to date. We have established, with the help Allah (SWT), a Masjid that could hold prayer services for over 700 people. An organization hall was also established in 1959 for the community for large gatherings such as Eid prayers or other services. An Islamic Weekend School has also been in existence that teaches Islamic/Arabic Studies since 1982.
The majority of the Muslims in this community speak English with the exception of a few elderly people. There are approximately 65% of the Muslims young and old speak ONLY English. There is a demand for an Imam who is fluent in the English language that would help convey the message clearly to the young Muslim generation. The Arabic language is also spoken and understood BUT unfortunately the percentage of the people are very low.
We are currently in the process of establishing a fulltime Islamic School for both males and females (separated) with a full blown Islamic curriculum. With the help Allah (SWT) we will be able to accomplish this goal. Since the community is growing exponentially, we will be in the near future, Inshallah, expanding the Masjid to accommodate for over 1500 people or more. We will also try to incorporate an Islamic Library that will be fully categorized for the Muslim people to study the religion. Over 65% of the houses surrounding the Masjid are Muslim of Yemeni descent. The houses are all mostly of walking distance and the Athan is heard through outside speakers. The people who attend the mosque are from various ethnicities including Yemen, African American, Palestinian, Bosnian and White American.
All 5 prayers are performed in the Masjid in congregation of roughly 100 people. There are approximately 500 – 600 people who attend Jummua prayer. There are Islamic lessons provided on a daily basis after Fajr and between Maghrib and Isha. In the surround area there are approximately 8 Masajid with in the Buffalo and surround suburb area. We have also purchased a large land in the local cemetery that is used strictly for Muslim burials. We are also currently working with the local Imams to open a full Islamic Cemetery and Funeral home as well.