History of the Islamic Center of America

The Islamic Center of America is one of North America’s oldest institutions.  Established in 1963, the Islamic Center has been serving the needs of Muslims in the greater Detroit area as well as throughout the United States. The Islamic Center of America has a long a rich past that embodies the American Muslim Community's search, struggle and triumph to find a place to belong.   The story begins in 1949, when Imam Jawad Chirri, a man who could not speak or understand English came to America at the request of a small group of people who where yearning for Islamic guidance.  It culminates as an Islamic Center that has become more than a place of worship but an Institution and a beacon for Islam in North America.   "New Beginnings: The Story of the Islamic Center", by Raad I. Alawan, is an in depth documentary of this journey.

Call us to order your copy of the DVD "NEW BEGINNINGS" at (313) 593-0000.

Photo of Sheikh ChirriImam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini
March 23, 2006.

Asalaamu Alaykum My Dear Brother and Sisters

 It has been one year since the grand opening of the new building of the Islamic Center of America, which is truly a huge Islamic landmark in the west in general and in the United States in particular. The small jihad is over and now remains the greater jihad; we have finished off with the smaller challenge so thankfully we can move onto our larger challenge which is to establish the roots of moderate and open minded Islam in a pluralistic society such as the United States. Unfortunately it is currently a society that is growing more anti Islamic and anti Muslim due to the influence of negative and misleading propaganda generated by Islamophobia. Recent polls by the Washington Post indicate that 46% of Americans have negative views about Islam. This percentage has almost quadrupled from 13% right after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

This shows clearly that we Muslims must double our efforts to provide a more accurate perception about our great religion; the religion that respects the human being so much that it considers the human being the "most sanctified" of His whole creation. According to some ahadith, it is lighter in the eyes of God to vanquish the entire Earth than to shed one drop of human blood unfairly.

Some, including Samuel Huntington have predicted that the world is moving towards a clash of civilizations; the Eastern Islamic Civilization against the Western Secular Civilization and this clash even though it has not yet occurred, is inevitable and unavoidable. However a more optimistic perspective suggests that the so called clash of civilizations can be avoided, but only through dialogue bridging the gap with real and constructive discussion between the east and the west, between Islam and Christianity. In a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican recently, I asked the Pope to take the lead in encouraging and promoting the Muslim- Christian dialogue, knowing that Muslims and Christians currently make up more than half the worlds population. The Pope agreed with me and emphasized the significance of such dialogue and indicated that he is already committed to such discourse.

I truly believe that building a real and permanent dialogue between the West and the Muslim world would eradicate the misunderstanding, prejudice and the kind of tension we see today that has become so prevalent in our world, tensions that would eventually lead to catastrophic consequences. Building such dialogue is imperative in working toward our ultimate goal which is the propagation of Islam, something that we encourage our community to actively engage in and become a part of.

Disseminating the message of Islam and educating the world about it and offering our fellow citizens a real understanding of Islam is not only a religious duty that Islam encourages, but it is also a necessity that has been mandated by the extreme hardships that Muslims are enduring while living in the west where they face a fierce anti Islamic campaign aimed at defaming the religion, a campaign that smears Islam with terrorism and violence and labels it a backward, uncontemporary religion unfit to coincide with democracy.

It is all of our duty, so let us all come together to fulfill this goal with the help of God.

"Say: This is my way; I call to Allah, I and those who follow me being certain, and glory be to Allah, and I am not one of the polytheists.”
The Holy Quran 12:108

Imam Hassan Qazwini
Religious Leader
Islamic Center Of America

The Islamic Center of America, under the leadership of Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini, gives Muslims an opportunity to benefit from a University style sermon with a broad mix of  religious practices, science, ethics, current events, and tradition all with a common sense approach.  Imam Al-Qazwini, featured on the PBS documentary, Muhammad the Legacy enables the listening audience to feel connected with events which took place over 1400 years ago, thus making Muslims closer to following the Prophet Mohammad's (PBUH) Sunna (tradition).  The Imam, since his arrival, has re-ignited the community's youth movement and has established the Young Muslim Association (YMA).

Imam Hassan Qazwini, from a prominent religious family, was born in Karbala, Iraq.  He joined the Islamic Seminary in Qum, Iran in 1980 and graduated in 1992.  He pursued the highest Islamic studies in Jurisprudence, fundamental of Jurisprudence and Qur'anic commentary.  During his studies, Imam Qazwini ran an Islamic Journal - "Annebras" (The Eternal Light).  He has been honored to attend academic lectures of great scholars such as:  Ayatollah Waheed Khorasani, Jawad Tabrizi and Muntazari and has authored and published two books including Meditation in Sahehain and Prophet Mohammad: The Ethical Prospect.  The Imam speaks three languages including English, Arabic, and Farsi.

In 1992 he migrated to the USA and directed the Azzahra Islamic Center in Orange County, California.  In 1997 he moved his wife and three children to Detroit and joined the Islamic Center of America, founded by Imam Mohammad Chirri, to become the religious leader.

To read more about Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini visit www.qazwini.org.

Mission Statement
The purpose for which the Islamic Center of America was formed is to receive, administer and distribute funds to; preserve and teach the religion of Islam; perpetuate the social, moral, and religious standards of Muslims in the United States; teach the Arabic language; educate the American society about Islam and the Arab culture and to promote a positive relationship with the religious Marj'aiyah that follows the Ja'afari School of Ahlul Bayt.


Haj Dr. Afif Jawad, Ph.D., Chairman
Haj Haythem Fakih, 1st Vice Chair
Haj Jamal Dakroub, 2nd Vice Chairman
Haj Salah H. Hazimi, Treasurer
Haj Wiley Pickett, Comptroller
Br.  Ron Amen, Corresponding Secretary
Haj Adnan Chirri, Recording Secretary


Hajjah Nabiha Makki
Abbas (Alan) Abbas C.E
Haj Sobhi Abdul Sater
Kassem Allie-Ahmad
Haj Dr. Rida Al-Ansari
Hajj Allie Bazzy
Abdel Munem Bazzy
Haj Ibrahim Baydoun
Haj Ali Harajli
Haj Dr. Walid Harb
Haj Khalil Kadouh
Charles (Chuck) Khalil
Hassan Makled

Dr. Mohamed Majed
Haj David Turfe Esq

Haj Noureddine Saab, Ed.D.
JIm Safiedine


Haj Dr. Nassib Fawaz

Haj Khalil Alawan
Haj Moussa Bazzy

Haj Eddie (Amad) Bedoun
Haj Allie Fayz
Haj Hussein Hamood

Haj Abdullah Harp, Ed.D.
Haj Hussein Makled
Haj Sadone Mashike
Haj Chafic Moussa, Building Manager
Haj Nayef Samhat
Haj Nassib Souwiedan
Haj Mohamad Turfe

Executive Administrator

Br. Kassem Allie


The Islamic Center will be eternally grateful for their dedicated service.

Haj Sadone Mashike*







******Updates coming soon...........


May Allah Rest Their Souls


Bismahi Ta'ali

Dear Members of the Community:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Center of America, I wish the best for you and your family.  We also want to thank you for the continued support you have given to help make our new Center a reality.  Your donations and pledges continue to exceed our utmost expectations.  With your  moral and financial support, our dream is being fulfilled.

Best regards,

Hajj Afif Jawad, Ph.D.
The Islamic Center of America