While the Muslim Center of Detroit traces its immediate history to the establishment in 1985 of the Muslim American Society by Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, the community’s history extends ultimately to the 1930s, when the Nation of Islam was first established in Detroit by Warith Deen’s father, Elijah Muhammad. The mosque is located on Davison Avenue in Detroit, in an old stone building that was once a bank. The mosque underwent significant expansion and renovation in 2005.
The Muslim Center’s new facility includes a large prayer hall, a gym, a social hall, classrooms, a kitchen, and administrative offices. Located in a poor urban neighborhood, the Center has an active da`wa (missions) board that provides a wide array of services to local families and youth, including counseling, job training, a soup kitchen, and substance abuse programs. Working with New Detroit, Inc., the Muslim Center also provides a summer camp and athletic programs for local young people. Led by Imam Derrick Ali, the center is also active in interfaith work and hosts an annual interfaith Thanksgiving dinner. With a largely African American and African immigrant congregation, the Center is open to all believers and is especially adept at making visitors feel welcome.