The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) is both a mosque and a cultural center for Muslims in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Formed in 1981, the ISB came about when Muslims new to Boston felt the need to gather together on a regular basis to preserve their Islamic identity and observe their beliefs and obligations as Muslims. The ISB began meeting in a hall reserved at MIT for five daily prayer times, the Friday prayers, and the weekly seminar classes. As time went on, more Muslims found out about the ISB, and a new meeting place was needed. That location ended up being in the suburb of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Muslim community in that area embraced the new venture and transformed it into the current ISB.
If you are planning a trip to the ISB, located at 204 Prospect Street in Cambridge, MA, you might wish to avoid Fridays which are really busy due to Friday prayers. To get specific directions or to learn more about various programs at the ISB, call (617) 876-3556.
The History of the ISB and the ISBCC
The ISB was founded in 1981 by Muslim students as a joint project of Muslim Student Associations at Harvard University, Boston University, MIT, Northeastern University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Suffolk University and Tufts University. The ISB purchased a Cambridge building as a community center in 1991, and in 1993 a second location was acquired and renovation began. In 1994, the ISB opened a second location as a Mosque, as well as purchasing a rental property to provide supplemental income for the annual operating expenses of the ISB.
The Islamic Society of Boston is a cultural landmark and continues to grow into a cultural center that is the largest Islamic center in New England and the second largest on the East Coast. The 70,000 square foot building stands proudly on Malcolm X Boulevard in Boston. In addition to the Mosque, the ISBCC plans to house a school by the year 2013, as well as a library, an interfaith center, an exhibition area and a morgue. Many in the community are actively involved in the fundraising efforts to see this project come to fruition. To date, there has been $13.7 million raised for the $15.5 million project, so fundraising efforts continue.
Due to the two-decade effort to build the ISBCC, Muslims in the area, the Roxbury community, the city of Boston and the leaders of other faith groups have come together more than they had in previous years. For example, more than 250 leaders of different faiths attended an Interfaith Solidarity Event to support the building of the ISBCC.