A Brief History of Masjid Muhammad Jersey City
Al Islam began in Jersey City in 1952. It was started by several brothers that were sent here by Minister Malcolm X Shabazz, Muhammad’s Temple No. 7 in Harlem, New York City. The first meetings were held in the home of Brother George and Sister Ada Jenkins on Bergen Avenue. Then at Sister Eva Moore’s home in downtown Jersey City.
In 1955, the Jersey City Temple moved into the Friendship Masonic Lodge on Summit Avenue. A year later, 1956, it moved to Clinton & Jackson avenue over a tavern. That same year, the Jersey City Temple received its number from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and became Muhammad’s Temple No. 21.
In 1960 we moved to 678 Ocean Avenue where we stayed until the late 1960s. Brother Edward Keith Shabazz donated a building to us at 890 Kearny Avenue, this was the first piece of property Masjid Muhammad ever owned.
In 1970, we purchased and relocated to our present location at 297 Martin Luther King Drive.
The first Minister of Temple No. 21 was Brother Edward 3X from Temple No. 7 in New York. He was assigned to us by Minister Malcolm X. Our first Captain was Bro. Fred Austin. Other ministers included Brother Ulysses and Minister James Shabazz.
Brothers Ronald Moore Salaam, Victor, and Edward Keith Shabazz served as Captains.
In 1960 Minister Wallace D. Muhammad visited our Ocean Avenue address; Malcolm X also visited Temple No. 21.
Special thanks goes to those brothers from Temple No. 7 New York who came here in the 1950s and set up meetings. Some of them are Joseph Henry, Samuel, James, and Willie D. (whose sister was the former cook for Muhammad Ali).
Imam Osman Shah, may Allah be pleased with him and grant him paradise, was chosen Imam in 1976. He served in that capacity until his death in 1983. We elected our next leader, Imam Muhammad Armiya. NuMan was elected. He was the Founder of New Mind Productions, first African American Muslim publishing company in the United States. In January 2001, Imam Yunus Ali became the Imam, and upon his passing in August 2008 we elected Imam Abid Hasan, who is our current Resident Imam.
We would like to mention the names of the following pioneering families from the 1950s: The Moores, Jenkins, Williams, Lovelys, Goodrums, Richardsons, Minceys, Arvingers, Stoneys, Mumfords, Owens, Simmons, Keiths, Codys, Bells, Grahams, Coopers, Blackwells, Squires, Butlers, Gordines, Ricketts, Riddicks, Riggins and others.
2021 Muhammad’s Temple No. 21 has evolved to Masjid Muhammad Jersey City serving the establishment of Al-Islam for nearly 70 years.