The Malcolm Shabazz Story

Twenty Five Years of 

Human Excellence and Progress

“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity”  Holy Quran 3:104

We live in a world where wisdom is often homeless because what is good for a few becomes the landlord of our thinking and evicts what is good for the many.  That we are one humanity made from one human soul is a truth and a reality too often misunderstood and ignored even if proved by the agreement of scripture and science.

This understanding of our unity is often violently divorced from the human perception of reality because of the interloping of “rugged individualism”, alternate truths”, and notions of invidious distinction which tend to dominate community sensibilities and consciousness.

The history of Malcolm Shabazz Community (a small community of faith in Harlem) is a microcosm of those positive possibilities that faith, right perception and the coalescing of diversity can accomplish in a neighborhood or a nation.


Almost twenty five years ago February 14, (1993) Izak-EL Pasha was elected to be the leader (Imam) of historic Masjid Malcolm Shabazz (Formerly Muhammad Temple #7 established by Malcolm X/Malcolm Shabazz in 1956).

He wasn’t running for the office at all.  He was a helper, a builder and a businessman volunteering at work that day (far away on a farm and school campus in rural Randolph Virginia, the (Muslim Teachers College).  When he was tapped to be leader by the members of Masjid Malcolm Shabazz, it was the result of a special election.

Imam Pasha the 7th Imam of the Malcolm Shabazz Community took office after the passing of the great Imam Al Rashed. He assumed the office on the condition that leadership would be a “we deal” i.e. a deal where everyone would carry his own weight and pledged to help him uplift the entire community (via business, education and cooperation, with all good people who seek excellent results in upgrading the quality of human condition).


Seven Lots, 48 Houses for Community Residents, hundreds of New Apartments

Upon being elected to the office, there were seven large abandoned vacant lots owned by NY City which blighted the 115th Street and 116th Street corridor area.  Another two blocks north (117th Street and 118th Street) which were also dilapidated condition.

What followed was progress joined to cooperation, giving rise to hundreds of new apartments units, which alleviated the burden of community and government.
Malcolm Shabazz Development Corporation sponsored

(A)    Malcolm Shabazz Garden 48 (3) family homes on West 117th Street and 118th Street between Adam Clayton and 5th Avenue occupied largely by local residents.  This was designed to provide ‘foreclosure proof’ housing to Harlem Residents by way of making available rental units that could cover the mortgage.

(B)    The Renaissance Plaza 241 condo priced moderately.  Again promoting units’ ownership stakes for community.

(C)    Millennium on Fifth 128 units of green and smart cooperative building affordably priced.

(D)    Malcolm Shabazz Court 15 West 116th Street nearly 40 middle income apartments opposite the world famous Kalahari Condominium.

(E)    Malcolm Shabazz LLP Buildings 64 and 66 West 116th Street, 104 and 111 Lenox Avenue 42 units of newly renovated apartments.

Priced for 80 percent AMI – (Low Area median Income Resident)

(Note:    MSDC is duplicating the same initiatives in Inkster Michigan and has already purchased a 10 acre high school in Inkster with complete academic and athletic facilities, 28 homes for low income ownership, a roller rink family center etc. Harlem Market and 10 additional businesses.


In 1994, MSDC took in hundreds of Harlem Street Vendors who were fleeing the initiative of police who had been ordered to remove them from the 125th Street corridor.  MSDC took in these street vendors and started a Business Incubator Program which has become world renowned success as The Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market.


Via the unique “Faith Communities together” program, Masjid Malcolm Shabazz Community under the Leadership of Imam W. D. Mohammed and stewardship of Imam Pasha has accomplished a microcosm of what peace might look like for people of faith worldwide.

Congregation of faith believers have come to see Masjid Malcolm Shabazz House of Worship as a place of refuge.

A) The Baptist Temple Church held religious services for two years in the Masjid Malcolm Shabazz building once their Church had been rendered unusable.

B) The Harlem Jewish Minyan had its Shabbat service Saturday Sabbath prayer series) for over one year as Masjid Malcolm Shabazz House of Worship.

C) Catholics and Muslims have engaged in an Interfaith Dialogue and friendship for nearly 20 years beginning with meeting Chiara Lubich of the Catholic Focolare Movement and Imam W. D. Mohammed leader of American Muslim at Malcolm Shabazz.


The value of these events should be noted worldwide.  Muslims, Christians, Jews find agreement that there is one G-d one creation and one human family, is proof that goodness on the rise and that conflict has suffered a setback.


Standing across the street from Masjid Malcolm Shabazz, one will see three floors.

The First Floor contains business from MSHM Incubator Program. This feeds the body or material needs of human progress.  The communal life needs entrepreneurial spirit.

On the Second Floor sits the Clara Mohamed Elementary School (the upper room) where universal knowledge and moral perception of the Quran is shared and cultivated and new ways of knowing are explored.

On the Third Floor is the Masjid Malcolm Shabazz prayer place (Musullah). Here congregation prayer is highlighted  (daily prayers 5 times a day) and practiced each Friday.  It is in the dome of wisdom.

In arms of co-operation and good leadership, wisdom has found a home here at Masjid Malcolm Shabazz and its community works

Think About It!
muslims mosque new york shabazz