About the Bilal Islamic Center
Since 1973 Masjid Bilal Islamic Center has owned and improved its’ over one acre of property at 4016 S. Central Ave, in Los Angeles, since 1973.
This is an historic site previously owned by the International Brotherhood of the Protectorate of Elks, an African American group who built their very spacious club in 1929 or 1930. Purchasing the property in May of 1973, we immediately remodeled the 40,000 sq. ft, 3-story brick building to accommodate our religious needs.
Demolished in 1988
Because of the building’s age and earthquake activities, which made the building unsafe, we demolished it in 1988.
Finally in 1999, we were financially able to begin planning a 3-phased housing, business, educational and religious complex. After architect, Asad Khan of Langdon Wilson Architectural and Design Firm, designed the complex and led the effort before the L.A. Zoning Board commissioner, which was supported by the 9th district councilwomen, the redevelopment agency and the neighbors and community members, our plan was approved.
However, we were still undecided on which phase to begin with first. Discussing this issue with Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Muslim American Leader and Founder of Mosque Canes, has suggested that we begin with the educational facility, because only through education can we compete in the 21st century.
The Year 2000
So in the year 2000, with a six hundred thousand dollar contribution from Muslim businessmen and women, we began construction. However, with the assistance of Ms. Dalal Muhtadi, we drafted a proposal appealing to the Islamic Development Bank’s office in Jidda, Saudi Arabia for a monetary grant to help us complete the schools’ construction.
The Islamic Development Bank is a bank owned by 57 Muslim countries, which offers support for schools and businesses in non- Muslim countries.
With the initial grant from IDB of $295,000 and an additional grant of the same amount, plus contributions from local Muslim and non-Muslim community members, we were able to complete the construction of the school building. The latest fiber optic cables were installed throughout this facility.