Islamic Center of Deer Park was founded in 1978 by Dr. Hisham Mahmoud El-Said and his wife, Dr. Barbara Fawq Al Awad, who immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt in 1960.
Their vision of establishing the Islamic Center of Deer Park began when they purchased a former Baptist Church at 5800 Telephone Road (which was later sold due to financial difficulties). They bought another building at 6200 Bissonnet Street which had been a Protestant church since 1955 but had been abandoned by its last owners. In 1982 this building was converted into a Masjid [Place of Prayer] and community center.
In 1986 the Islamic Center of Deer Park purchased land for $569,000 near Highway 249 and Louetta Road which would be the future site of the Islamic Center.
On June 4, 1993, the Foundation Stone Ceremony started and ended with a prayer and special recitation from the Holy Qur’an in the presence of many dignitaries and over 1,500 Muslim men, women, and children. The President of Pakistan was so touched by these events that he sent his representative to attend this ceremony too. Soon after Dr. El-Said passed away leaving all this work to his wife who continued it with great honor and care until her passing in 2004 at age 78.
The leaders appointed Imam Muhammad Hussein Yaqub as its spiritual leader who has been serving since 1978 when they began praying in the Basement of their private residence under the guidance of Azhar University in Cairo.
On August 23, 2005, the official opening and dedication of the Mosque took place in presence of many city and state dignitaries and an estimated 3,000 Muslims. The foundation was also dedicated to Dr. Hisham Mahmoud El-Said and his wife Dr. Barbara Fawq Al Awad for their efforts in serving this community as well as giving them a permanent place to practice their faith.
The mosque is now home to about 2,500 Muslim families with 5 daily prayers along with Friday Prayers every week. From its humble beginnings as a small group of 40 people gathered in a private residence at 5813 Bissonnet Street began this new phase on August 23, 2005, where it is surrounded by several mosques that pray alongside every week.
The Mosque is divided into sections for men and women during prayer time while the rest of the building has a library, meeting rooms, classrooms, computer lab, full kitchen, and offices for community use by Muslims and non-Muslims. For the 2009 – 2010 fiscal year it received an award for Economic Stimulus Act Grant for $984,638.00 from the United States Department Of Treasury which was used to fix their water heater system mostly in the restrooms area.
The total size of the Islamic Center of Deer Park is about 6 Acres with the capacity to accommodate more than 500 Muslims at one time. On regular days prayers can be held every third Friday at the Christian church next door where its parking lot can hold up to 100 cars along with full access to this church prayer hall which is used by the Muslim community on regular and special occasions and for their annual EID (Eid Al-Fitr) Prayer.
Overall, this mosque has had a great history of positive accomplishments and services in the Deer Park area with the remainder of work to be done by Imam Muhammad Hussein Yaqub, the board members, and the overall Muslim community.
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