Muhammad's Mosque No. 11
During the 1980s, Mosque No. 11 was able to purchase a former funeral parlor located at 10 Washington Street in Dorchester, which is its current meeting and worship place. The early members of what would become Muhammad’s Mosque No. 11 convened at a home of one of the members located at 5 Wellington Street during the 1950s. As the membership size grew, a larger facility became necessary, and in 1957 members organized a month-long donation drive that enabled them to place a down-payment on a former recreation hall located at 35 Intervale Street in Dorchester. This facility was used until the move to Washington Street three decades later.
Muhammad Mosque No. 11 is located on a prominent corner off of Washington Street. Surrounding the Mosque is Unity Plaza, Grove Hall Mecca Mall, and an array of other commercial facilities. The main facade of the mosque still resembles the funeral parlor it once was, though now bearing the Islamic crescent-star symbol in white on the red awning that covers the main entrance. A small customized marquee stands to the right of the entryway, displaying information about the Mosque’s upcoming events and other relevant information. To the left of the awning is the Mosque’s sign. Upon entering, one will find a main hall or lecture room, where sermons are delivered. To the left of the main hall are several administrative offices. Behind the building, where the parking area is located, is a door leading to the MYE Academy classrooms.
Activities and Schedule
Sunday classes are available for youth, while Muhammad’s Youth Enrichment Academy (MYE) provides classes during the summers and on Saturdays during the academic year. The Mosque holds bi-weekly evening lectures at its facility, and also maintains both radio and TV programming. For information about these services, visit http://www.noiboston.org/programs/.
While Lois Harrison Johnson was principal of Dover Elementary School, the Mosque was allowed to offer some of its services to students. Playing the role of “surrogate parents,” Minister Muhammad explained that members of the Mosque were able to assist students, many of whom came from single-parent homes, with adolescent issues. Year-long activities for youth are also organized by the Mosque.
Minister Don Muhammad attests to the Mosque’s collaboration with the local Dorchester police during the 1980s in an effort to dismantle the hustling of drugs, which was prevalent in the area at the time.
Affiliation with Other Organizations
Muhammad’s Mosque No. 11 has worked with the Neighborhood Development Corporation of Grove Hall (NDC) to develop Grove Hall Mecca Mall in 2001 in response to the high percentage of unemployment in the Dorchester area during the late 1990s. The shopping center and the Mosque are within close proximity to one another. Additionally, the Mosque has worked with the NDC to develop Unity Plaza, a smaller commercial and shopping area, also located within close proximity to the Mosque. The Mosque continues to work with the NDC in developing Dorchester and the surrounding area.
Date Center Founded 1957
Religious Leader and Title Minister Don Muhammad
Membership/Community Size The mosque serves close to 3,000 members, of which approximately 200 are active members.
Ethnic Composition Primarily African American with a sizable percentage of Latino, Haitian, and Jamaican members.
(Source: www.pluralism.org – The Pluralism Project at Harvard University)