Masjid Bilal Launches Second Phase of Rebuilding Plan;
Construction of a New Masjid Complex
Masjid Bilal Islamic Center, the oldest identifiable Muslim community in Los Angeles, is currently initiating a new fund-raising campaign to complete phase two of it's three phase plan, which is construction of the new Masjid Bilal and Community Center. Project designer Asad Khan, President of Langdon-Wilson International Architecture, submitted final design plans for the new project, which were officially approved by the Los Angeles Building & Safety Department in November 2018.
The beautiful new masjid complex will be constructed on 56,000 sq. ft. of debt-free land owned by the Masjid Bilal Islamic Center community. Upon completion the facility will encompass an entire city block at the intersection of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Central Avenue.
The rich history and tradition of Masjid Bilal, located in the heart of South Los Angeles, has been part of the city's culture for over sixty years. The Bilal community first rose to prominince after purchasing a very large two-story building at 5606 Broadway in the early 1960s. After a decade of growth, which included the opening of a parochial school, the congregation needed more space.
Thanks to Allah (G-d) the most High, in May of 1973, the Muslim community purchased and took possession of an historic 40,000 square-foot, three-story brick building located just a few miles from downtown Los Angeles, on an acre of land for $180,000.00.
However, during the 80's several strong earthquakes rumbled through Los Angeles. Masjid Bilal was especially hit hard and had to be demolished. That would begin the community's quest to construct a new religious, educational and business complex.
In 1999, Asad Khan, of Langdon-Wilson International Architecture, was contracted to design a 3-phased plan for the property. With the help of Councilwoman Rita Walters, the City Zoning Commissioner issued the community official approval for the plans.
Phase one was to build a modern state of the art 16 classroom educational facility. In 2007, the school building would be completed and named Bilal Learning Center. The project was acheived with financial support from Saudi Arabian Businessmen and women, grants from the Islamic Development Bank of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Mohammed Dakhil, Dalal Muhtadi, Talal Zarif and the good charitable believers of Masjid Bilal Islamic Center.
On August 1st, 2016, final design plans were submitted to the Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety by project designer Asad Khan, President of Langdon-Wilson International Architectural Firm. Nearly two-years later, the Masjid Bilal community has now received official city approval to build a new Masjid and Community Center, which includes a 55-ft minaret towering above Los Angeles.
On Saturday, November 17, 2018, Masjid Bilal Islamic Center held the official groundbreaking for its new multi-million dollar rebuilding project. Religious and community leaders including 9th District Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price, attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
"It took us a while—we had many hurdles to cross—but we now have the building permits in-hand for the mosque, minaret, and the community center," project designer Asad Khan, President of Langdon-Wilson International Architectural Firm, told the crowd in attendance. "The mosque and 55 foot-tall minaret will be built first, and then we will complete the community center."
"What an exciting day in the new 9th (district)," stated Councilman Price. "We know what an important role this Mosque has played in our community—right here on Central Avenue. This is going to be a facility not just for Muslims, but for others as well."
In 2014, Councilman Price, who is Christian, successfully led an effort to have the month of July officially declared Muslim Heritage Month in the city of Los Angeles.
"I'm proud of the involvement we've had over the past few years since I've been in office," added Price. "We appreciate the unique role the Mosque is playing, not just in the development of resources for our kids, but for the contribution you're making up and down this corridor and in our city."
"I wouldn't want to miss this very historic day," said noted scholar Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of Orange County. "Imam Abdul Karim Hasan and I have known each other a very long time— I pray to Allah that the groundbreaking today brings this project into fruition very soon."
When complete, the new Masjid Bilal Islamic Center complex will serve as a permanent testament to the contributions and history of Muslims in Los Angeles. With Allah's help, the community will continue forging ahead towards the future with the same energy and determination that has defined it for more than a half-century. Everyone is invited to join and support this monumental task.
Donations can be made securely, directly through the Masjid Bilal website.
For mail, send your checks payable to: Masjid Bilal Islamic Center 4016 S. Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90011
Donations can also be made by electronic transfer utilizing: Bank of America - Acct# 325110240655 / Routing# 121000358