With the first day of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, just around the corner, I decided to explore a little bit of Islam’s cultural heritage in Washington as a way to Better Know The District.
The Washington, D.C. area has among the highest percentage of Muslim-origin residents in the country. After Los Angeles, New York and Detroit, it ranks 4th, though the majority of them reside in the suburbs. Nonetheless, an estimated 16,000 muslims reside in downtown D.C. with 6 mosques or masjids providing prayer and other services for the community. Far away from the grand mosque of the Islamic Center with its tall minaret lies the smaller yet historically important Masjid Muhammad. Located at 1519 Islamic Way NW, a short block of 4th street between P and Q, it succeeded the Nation of Islam Temple #4 (which used to be located at 1525 9th street NW) as one of the main place of workship for Black Muslims. Although no longer affiliated with the Nation of Islam, it continues to serve as the center of activity for D.C.’s African American Muslim population. Now you know 😉