Islamic Center of Washington

Completed in 1957, the Islamic Center of Washington is a mosque and Islamic cultural center in Washington D.C., located on Embassy Row near the bridge over Rock Creek.


History of Islamic Center of Washington

The idea for an Islamic Center was originally conceived in 1944 when the Turkish ambassador died and there was no mosque in which to hold his funeral. The Washington diplomatic community played a leading role in the effort to have a mosque constructed.

Support came from the Muslim American community and most of the Islamic nations of the world, who donated money, decorations, and craftsmen to the project. The Islamic Center is controlled by a board of governors made up of various ambassadors.

The site was purchased in 1946 and the corner stone was laid in 1949. The building was designed by Italian architect Mario Rossi and was dedicated on June 28, 1957 with President Eisenhower in attendance. When it opened, the Islamic Center of Washington was the largest Muslim place of worship in the Western Hemisphere.

The mosque has been visited by many high profile dignitaries, including several presidents. The highest profile visit was by George W. Bush on September 17, 2001, only days after the September 11th attacks. On national television Bush quoted from the Koran and assured Americans that vast majority of Muslims are peaceful.

What to See at Islamic Center of Washington

Some 6,000 people attend prayers at the mosque each Friday. As well as a mosque, the Islamic Center of Washington contains a library and classrooms for courses on Islam and the Arabic language. Around the building are flags of the Islamic nations of the world.

Quick Facts on Islamic Center of Washington

Site Information
Names:Islamic Center of Washington
Country:United States
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:38.917091° N, 77.056759° W
Address:2551 Massachusetts Ave.
Washington, D.C.
Hours:Mon-Sat 10:00am- 5:00pm, Sun 10:00am- 2:00pm
Lodging:View hotels near Islamic Center of Washington
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Wikipedia (some text incorporated under GFDL)
  2. Islamic Center - Washington DC Visitor's Guide
  3. Islamic Center of Washington - - user review and photos
  4. Religion Collections at the Islamic Center Library - Library of Congress
  5. Remarks of President Bush at the Islamic Center, September 17, 2001

More Information

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© Gene Bonventre
© dbking
© Jeri Gloege

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