About Us

History

Founded in 1962, Muslim Students Association (MSA) established prayers in a room at the University of Kansas. In 1978, MSA purchased a house located at Ohio and 1300 street, 1 block east of the religious building at KU, Smith Hall. Muslim community outgrew the space and moved in 1998 to a simple red brick building that was once used as Christian church, located at 1917 Naismith Drive. Few years later, the Islamic Center of Lawrence (ICL) was established as a non-profit organization in the state of Kansas. General Assembly (Members of ICL) voted in 2003 to elect six members forming the first ICL board with the automatic inclusion of the MSA president as the seventh member of the ICL board.

The current location of worship is a former Southern Baptist church. It is a red brick building consisting of sanctuary, upstairs worship area, offices, classrooms, kitchen, and a fellowship hall. The sanctuary faces east and includes clocks that designate the daily prayer times, which change relative to sunrise and sunset.

Demographics

The members of the Islamic Center of Lawrence are diverse in age, ethnicity, and gender, including young children, high school and college students, middle-aged adults, and the elderly. Due to its proximity to KU campus, the ratio between transitional students and permanent residents is approximately 65% to 35% respectively.

At the center, men and women may worship together, however; many choose to worship separately because of personal preference and cultural upbringing. Men worship on the main level, and women worship on the second level. The call to worship is in Arabic, but the sermon is in English. Forty percent of the members are fluent in Arabic. The different ethnicities represented include Arabian, Indian, Asian, African and Caucasian.