East Texas Islamic Society
In early 1988, a number of Muslim families in the Tyler area became keenly aware of the necessity of establishing an Islamic Center consisting of a mosque for prayer and a school to teach the new generation the Arabic language and the proper basis of their Muslim religion, in addition to acquainting the community with Islam; thereby removing the misconceptions prevalent among some.
Alhamdullilah, there were Muslim families residing in Tyler and its neighboring communities, in addition to many Muslim students from various Muslim countries were being educated in Tyler. During the meeting of Eid, May 29th, 1988, the Islamic community of East Texas decided to establish an Islamic Society Corporation for the East Texas area, which would be located in Tyler. A charter was drawn up, the Executive Committee formed and the corporation was filed with the State of Texas. With generous contributions, we were able to buy almost 4 acres of land on Hwy 64 East and paid for it in full in December of 1988. We first bought a mobile home to use for fulfilling the needs of prayers and Islamic classes for the kids as well as get together activities.
After three years of accumulating funds, in early 1992 the decision was made to start building the mosque using Mezayek Construction Co. of Tyler. One year later, in July of 1993, we were performing prayers and Alhamdullilah, since then the numbers have continued to grow. In April of 1996, with generous Muslim community donations, we were able to purchase the land adjacent to the Mosque. The house was already on the property and it has been used for the Imam residence, classrooms and other activities.
As more Muslim families moved to East Texas, the number of kids attending Islamic classes grew to the point where all classrooms in the mosque were in use as well as the rooms available at the house. With the growing attendance, the community recognized the need for an Islamic school. After a year of meetings and input from the community, the School Committee and the Executive Committee made the decision in late 2000 to build a school building. The layout plans were drawn using the communities input as well as outside consulting and research. Phase one of the project was to plan the building in such a manner as to facilitate future expansion and accommodate building codes and safety laws required for the future accreditation as an Islamic school. The next step was to accumulate funds, and Alhamdullilah, on Eid day of 2000, the Executive Board asked for generous contributions from the community to start this project.
Alhamdullilah, once again the Muslim community of the East Texas Islamic Society came forward with generous pledges and donations totaling $50,000.00. After a continuous effort of accumulating funds, the final layout and plans were worked out with the help of Pyramid Homes. The Executive Committee decided to use Pyramid Homes as the main contractor for the school building and Alhamdullilah; the dirt work began in late 2002. Alhamdullilah, the school building project was completed and the opening ceremony was done on Eid ul Fitr of 2003 and the Islamic classes began meeting in the Tyler Islamic School Building.