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About

The known history of Muslims in South County and Kingston goes back to many decades. Muslim students attended the University of Rhode Island (URI) as far as we know since the 1960s and Muslim professionals and businessmen have lived in the area for a long time. The last known concentration of Muslim students at URI was in the 1980s. Muslim students and community members had for decades performed Jumaa prayer in the Memorial Union or in the Multicultural Center at URI. While the activities of Muslims in Kingston at URI were very limited, in the late 1990s and early 2000, Professor of Economics Mohamed Sharif organized Islamic Conferences at URI.

In the 1980s and 1990s there were many discussions and attempts to establish an Islamic center in Kingston; however these efforts were not successful. In 1999-2000 new members moved into the community and began to aggressively plan to establish an Islamic Center. In June of 2001, Masjid Alhoda was established in a rented space in the Little Rest Commons on Fortin road.

The founding board, which led this initiative, was made of Brother Nasser H. Zawia Professor at URI and Engineer Hassan Ahmed, Mustafa Alshafie (graduate student in engineering), Brother Taher and Mohamed Al-Sultan (graduate student in pharmacy). Within months, brother Hasibul Haq was active in the center and subsequently served in every board along with brother Hassan Ahmed for the next twelve years. Other community members such as Brother Kaled Siddiqi, Ahmed Zaki, and Najih Lazar were founding members and also played key roles over the years. In more recent years Brother Wael Al-Mulkie and the Chemesdine family have helped to revitalize the center and provide much support.

Masjid Alhoda within the first years was renamed through a general body meeting to the Muslim Community Center of Kingston to emphasize its purpose as a center , as the community worked to meet the obligatory requirements of maintaining a mosque. The general body also voted to increase the term of the board to two years and to remove term limits from board service.