Red Deer Islamic Center
Red Deer Islamic Center
The first meeting of the early Muslim pioneers of Red Deer took place on February 6, 1976. The intent of this meeting was to formally establish the presence of a Muslim community in the area and arrange regular congregational prayers. The five families that attended this first meeting were from Fiji, India and Iran. Today we respectfully refer to them as the founding executive members of the Red Deer Muslim Community. The first congregational prayer took place on February 13, 1976 at the house of one of the members. It was the Isha prayer. Thereafter, the group met regularly on Friday evenings at member’s houses. Over the next several years, more Muslim families moved to Red Deer. After about ten years of regular Friday evening congregational prayers at member’s houses, the group decided to meet at a public venue, with the hope of attracting more Muslims. The Cronquest House located in Great Chief Park was rented every Friday evening during the summer of 1987. In 1988 the Red Deer College was also used for a short period of time, but soon they went back to using their houses. The idea of a permanent location (Musjid) for the local Muslim community came up many times. But being a relatively small population, with limited financial resources, the idea was not pursued further. In July 1988, Central Alberta Islamic Cultural Association was formed and registered as a non-profit organization. Later that year, the Association decided to look for a modest house to serve as a temporary location for Friday prayer. However, it soon became apparent that a residential house would not be suitable and that a permanent location for a Musjid should be found. With the intention of establishing a Musjid in Red Deer, the Association officially started fundraising in the province of Alberta, with fundraising events and campaigns in the cities of Edmonton, Calgary and Lac La Biche. The search for a building site commenced in early 1990. A serviced lot located at 195 Douglas Avenue was purchased from the City of Red Deer in November 1990. An architectural firm from Edmonton was hired to complete the design and construction drawings for the Musjid building. The sod turning ceremony was held on May 8, 1992 and construction commenced on August 8, 1992. A construction company from Red Deer was hired for the key components of the construction and this was supplemented by hundreds of volunteer man-hours by local Muslim brothers. To raise additional funds for the construction phase, members of the Association expanded their fundraising campaigns to other cities in Canada and the United States, including Vancouver, Toronto, Oshawa, Hamilton, Cambridge, Ottawa, Winnipeg, San Francisco, San Jose, Phoenix, Houston and the Northwest Territory. Financial support was also received from as far afield as Fiji and Australia. By November 1993 the main floor of the Musjid was complete and immediately began to be utilized for the Friday prayer. With the remaining construction completed, the official opening of Salah El Deen Musjid took place on October 15, 1994. The opening ceremony was attended by Muslims from Calgary, Edmonton and Central Alberta as well as several other invited guests. With a significant increase in the Red Deer Muslim population after 2005, the Association began to look at various options to increase the capacity of the Musjid. In August 2007 the basement was carpeted and included as a part of the Musjid. In April 2009 a mezzanine floor was added to the Musjid and designated for females. The previously designated female area on the main floor was removed to create more space for men. Today, Alhumdulillah, with the help and guidance of Allah (SWT), our dedicated volunteers continue to serve the Islamic needs of the Central Alberta Muslim population. We make dua to Allah (SWT) that He accept all our efforts and forgive our short comings.