September 1992: Through a donation of one of our then masjid’s members; namely, Dr. Mohammed ‘Ali Masroor, purchase was made of the “Florence Street School” building, and its adjacent lots. Florence Street School was originally built in 1929 (during the era of “Jim Crow,” racial segregation) specifically for the education of African-American students, at the elementary school level. It became desegregated in 1971, and was discontinued for use, by the local, public school system, in 1987. Located at 700 West 35th Street, it was to be developed, renovated and used as an Islamic Cultural Center, Educational facility; and ultimately a studio. The adjacent lots were to be developed to accommodate businesses, apartments, and a masjid. However, because of unforeseen tax liabilities and property valuation issues with the Chatham County Tax Assessors office, the properties were sold, in October of 2000, to a housing development corporation.
February 1993: The masjid began to have brothers designated, mainly through volunteering, to open the masjid for each of the five daily prayers (salawaat). Notwithstanding occasional adjustments, the masjid continues to fulfill this religious obligation to this day.
February 1995: Having both national and international contacts, through various Muslim organizations, individuals in our masjid; among them Dr. Masood Ahmed, Mamdouh Abu Karam, and others; we began to host “Hafeeth of Quraan,” at the masjid, during the month of Ramadaan; mainly, for the purpose of leading the Tawarih Prayers, at the masjid. Among the countries of origin from which these “hafeeth” and “qari” of The Quraan came include: England, Egypt (Al Azhar University), and Saudi Arabia. This practice of hosting hafeeth and qari of The Quraan, during the month of Ramadaan, for leading the tawarih prayers, continued until the year of 2000.
January 1996: An invitation is accepted, by the “office of imam,” to participate, with leaders from Savannah’s Jewish and Christian communities: respectively, in the Mayor of Savannah Inauguration Ceremony’s “Interfaith Benediction.” This “interfaith benediction” tradition was inclusive of Mayor Floyd Adams’ two terms, Mayor Otis Johnson’s two terms; and, as of January 2012, the initial term of Mayor Edna Branch Jackson. Furthermore, during Mayor Adams’ two terms, and once during Mayor Johnson’s administration, via the “imam’s office,” Maajid Faheem ‘Ali, provided the “invocation,” for city council meeting.
August 1996: Through the “office of imam,” Maajid Faheem ‘Ali is appointed by the then Mayor Floyd Adams, to serve, along with other religious leaders, on the mayor’s “Human Relations Council.”
December 1996: The Daw’ah Committee of the masjid sponsors a history making weekend of activities –including various workshops – at Savannah State College (University), culminating with the “Public Address” delivered by Imam Wallace Deen Mouhammed, on December 8th at the Wiley-Wilcox Gymnasium, titled: “Islam in America; Past, Present, and Future.”
November 21, 1998: November 30, 1998, would mark 22 years of Imam Maajid Faheem ‘Ali serving as resident imam of Masjid Jihad. At the suggestion of Mumtahanah ‘Abdul Maalik, the members of the Social and Da’wah Committtees (chaired by Lynne Thompson Hill and Willis [Hakim] Jones, respectively), and Attorney Lester B. Johnson, III worked together to sponsor and organize “In Recognition of 22 Years of Service.” This banquet was held at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront. Imam Salahuddin H. Hanif, of Albany, Georgia delivered the keynote address. Several community leaders, and clergy from various congregations, either appeared on the program or attended the event. Among the many efforts to recognize Imam ‘Ali’s service, commitment, and progress, was a letter of congratulations from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
January 24, 2002: At the local observance of the “Interfaith Prayer Service For World Peace” program, held at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church, before an audience of about 600 persons, Maajid Faheem ‘Ali, through the “office of imam,” pronounces the athaan (Muslim’s “call to prayer”) and gives a prayer, for this occasion; an historic “first” for the city of Savannah.
March 17, 2002: “Getting to Know our Muslim Brothers and Sisters from the Continent of Africa,” was coordinated by the Social Committee (Lynne T. Hill, chairperson) and Atty. Lester B. Johnson, III. Speakers from Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, and Sudan spoke on various topics including Salaatul Jumu’ah, women, weddings, funerals,education, ‘Eid celebrations, business, and foods. The event ended with an African feast.
November 2002: In recognition of their “commitment and dedication” to “service and sacrifice;” and, in following the recommendation provided to the national membership of the Muslim American Society (American Society of Muslims) that was given by Imam Wallace Deen Mohammed, a local effort of “Patriot’s Day” was hosted by the masjid, with the then Chief of the Savannah police Department, Dan Flynn, and the Fire Chief of the Savannah Fire Department, Paul Taylor, being in attendance. Though, without the presence of any city officials being in attendance, a subsequent “Patriot’s Day” observance was held, at the masjid, in September 2009.
November 2002: Existing historically, as the only “continuous, organized effort” of a masjid (dating back to the 1968 days of the then “”Mohammed’s Temple of Islam,” of the Nation of Islam’s movement) with the establishment of “The Islamic Center of Savannah,” Masjid Jihad becomes the “oldest masjid” in Savannah, Georgia. Though, without the presenceof any city officials being in attendance, a subsequent “Patriot’s Day” observance was held, at the masjid, in September 2009.
January 2003: A major renovation effort that included: providing front entrances for males and females (Brothers and Sisters); erecting a combination, brick and chain link fence, around the masjid’s perimeter; laying a combination, brick and stone sidewalk, at the masjid’s front area; installing central heat and air conditioning; painting the masjid’s exterior; and installing a metal roof on the masjid was initiated. This major renovation effort would extend over a three-year period, and it would be completed in the summer of 2006. September 2009. May 8,2004: Through the “office of imam,” Maajid Faheem ‘Ali, is invited to provide, both, the “invocation” and “benediction” at “The One Hundred Sixty Fourth Commencement Ceremony “ of Savannah State University. As a member of the Historic Black Colleges and Universities system, this graduation program was historic in that it marked the largest graduation class, at that time, in Savannah State’s existence. An article about this historic event was printed in the August 13, 2004 edition of the Muslim Journal.
June 7, 2004 Imam Maajid Faheem ‘Ali was a speaker at the “Interfaith Service for World Peace and Global Justice,” where the theme was “Bridging Our Differences…Connecting Our World.” The event took place at the Ritz Theatre in Brunswick, Georgia.
June 4, 2005: In an effort to address the need for a greater business presence, and a stronger business community among Muslims and African-Americans, a “Business Conference” titled “The Spirit of Competition—Striving as in a Race for Virtuous business Life,” is sponsored by the masjid, at the City of Savannah’s Entrepreneurial Center. In addition to invited speakers from the academic and technical sides of starting one’s business, including “how to” secure the financing of one’s business; and how to develop a “business plan,” the conference included a tour of the Entrepreneurial Center, with an emphasis placed upon the services provided by the center, itself.
2006: In Amir N. Muhammad’s publication America’s Masaajid andIslamic Centers A Pictorial Account, in which he captures the photographic images of over 100 Masaajid and Islamic Centers across the United States of America, on page 67; listed among the Masaajid and Islamic Centers of the “southeastern region,” is a picture of Masjid Jihad, before it’s major renovation effort that began in January 2003.
March 4, 2006: Emphasizing and highlighting the tremendous significance that Al- Islam places upon “education,” through the coordinated efforts of the masjid’s Treasurer, ‘Abdul Mumin Saleem, and the Chairman/Chairperson of the Masjid’s Fundraising Committee, Lynne Thompson Hill, an historic banquet, focusing upon “education” and the “freedom movement” of African-Americans, is held at the Marriot Riverfront Hotel. The theme for the historic event was: “Heroes and Heroines of the African-American Tradition: Recapturing the Ethos of the Freedom Movement.” The Keynote speaker for the occasion was Dr. Evelyn Dandy.
January2007: The New South, a locally published magazine, publishes an article titled: “Faces of Faith,” an article concerning religious diversity in Savannah, wherein, Maajid Faheem ‘Ali, via the “office of imam,” is interviewed by the magazine’s reporter Andrew Odom with photographer Cain Douglas Gray; with Maajid’s responses, during the interview, being listed as the “lead” quotes, for the article.
December 18, 2007: During the pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudia Arabia, on the “Day of ‘Arafah,” Imam Maajid Faheem ‘Ali (having been appointed to this responsibility) delivers the sermon/lecture (khutbah) on the “Plain of Arafah,” for the delegation, with which he was traveling.
April 2008: Our masjid is invited to participate with other churches, of various denominations; churches located, primarily in the downtown Savannah area, in providing volunteer labor to various social service agencies and individuals (who would not otherwise have this service provided) throughout the city of Savannah. This work-effort is provided during the early spring and fall seasons of each year. The name of this volunteer, work-effort is: “Congregations in Service.” Our masjid continues to participate in this program, in coordination with other persons of the Jewish, Christian, and Baha’i faith traditions.
September 2009: Combined with the masjid’s “Patriot’s Day” observance, the “Islamic Artifacts Exhibit,” of collector and historian – Willis Hakim Jones- is held at the masjid. Hakim’s exhibit evolved in quantity and quality, which prompted him, in coordination with Dr.s Peggy Blood and Mohammed Mukhtar, of Savannah State University, to host and exhibit in Savannah State’s Social Science Building, titled: “Islamic Expo 2010.” This exhibit was hosted at Savannah State beginning August 24, 2010. Furthermore, because of the expanding collection of articles, documents, publications, etc., with a specific emphasis of the metamorphosis/evolution of the “ Nation of Islam,” to Quraanically based Islam-under Imam Wallace Deen Mohammed’s leadership, Hakim’s Islamic exhibit was again hosted-in part-at the masjid, during an International Food Festival in October 2011; at Armstrong Atlantic State University in March 2012; and, as a sequel to “Islamic Expo 2010,” in October 2012, “Islamic Expo 2112: Reflections and Accommodations for the Global Islamic Presence ;” again, hosted in the Social Science Department, at Savannah State University.
November 5&7, 2010: The Reform Judasim Synagogue in Savannah, Temple Mickve Israel and Masjid Jihad join over 100 masaajid and 100 synagogues internationally in what it termed a “Weekend of Twinning.” This “Weekend of Twinning” observance encompasses 22 countries. The local effort continued in 2011; and, it was expanded, locally, in 2012 to include the congregation of Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church; thereby, evolving into a “Weekend of Tripletting,” i.e. being inclusive of the 3 Abrahamic Faith Traditions. This event is coordinated to occur, internationally, during a weekend in the month of November of each year. Autonomy is provided to the local efforts, with respect to specifics and the nature of how the observance is performed. Therefore, the “lecture” followed by an “interactive session” format, featured facilitators: Rabbi Arnold Beltzer and Imam Maajid F. ‘Ali, 2010; Rabbi Daryll Crystal and Imam Maajid F. ‘Ali, 2011; and Rabbi Robert Haas, Pastor Billy Hester, and Imam Maajid F. ‘Ali, 2012.
1980-June 2012: Ibrahim ‘Abdul Maalik served in the capacity of assistant imam at which time for purposes of relocation, his resignation was tendered.
June 15 & 16, 2012: Interfaith and Interracial Conference, coordinated through the efforts of First Tabernacle Baptist Church and Masjid Jihad, is hosted at First Tabernacle. This conference was inclusive of religious leaders and others including: First Tabernacle Baptist Church-Rev. Dr. Clarence “Teddy” Williams, Masjid Jihad - Imam Maajid Faheem ‘Ali, Second African Baptist Church-Rev. C. M. Brown, Asbury Memorial UMC-Rev. Billy Hester, Holy Spirit Lutheran Church-Rev. Jim Nelson, St. Matthews Episcopal Church-Rev. Cheryl Parris, St. Paul C.M.E. Church-Rev. Da’Herri R. Thurmond, Sr. Thankful Baptist Church-Rev. Paul Shepherd Chatham County Sheriff’s Department-Ret. Col. McArthur Holmes, and The Polote Corp.- Bennie Polote, Sr. This conference featured lectures and workshops with presenters reflecting upon the theme of: “Embracing Time Tested Traditions for the Preservation of Fatherhood.”
Summer 2012: In coordination with Lynne Thompson Hill, Faraz Yousuf develops/creates Masjid Jihad’s website www.masjidjihad.com
December 30, 2012: Because of her untiring commitment to community-building efforts and her sustained support for masjid’s activities and events, expanding over a period of thirty-six (36) years; and, because of her work with Masjid Jihad’s Education Youth Leadership Preservation Committee, extending to incorporate her serving as Chairman/Chairperson and as an instructor(tress) with the Clara Mohammed Weekend School, until she was no longer physically/medically capable to sustain her work –efforts; Sakinah Ziyadah Sabir ‘Ali, via the Education Youth Leadership Preservation Committee of Masjid Jihad coordinated “The Ni ‘mat Sabreen Abuwi Museum/ Library of Masjid Jihad Inc.” dedication ceremony, at the masjid. “The Ni ‘mat Sabreen Abuwi Museum/ Library of Masjid Jihad Inc.” is located on the masjid’s second floor.
2014: In as much as “2014” will represent the “40th year” of the masjid being located at 117 East 34th Street; and, with an awareness of the religious significance” associated with the number “40;” i.e. Noah’s flood lasting “40 days and 40 nights;” Moses’ wandering in the wilderness for “40 years;” Jesus Christ having fasted for 40 days; and, Prophet Muhammed (ppbuh) having been inspired with Quraanic revelation at the age of “40;” and, when he was asked to identify “who” is to be considered to be one’s neighbor, he responded: “count 40 houses to your right, 40 houses to your left, 40 houses to your front, and 40 houses to your rear,”…it is, therefore, with the religious significance associated with the number 40 that a “40 Year Anniversary” of Masjid Jihad being located at 117 East 34th Street is to be observed.
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