Much like its surroundings, the space that houses Northwest Indiana Islamic Center was once a vast expanse of corn fields. In 1991 the space caught the eye of some 10 Muslim families some of whom had been living in the area since the 1980’s. They decided to buy the property for $36,000 for the 10 acres to build a prayer of worship and religious education. These families had been commuting for 45 to 60 minutes to the existing mosques in Chicago, Gary or Michigan city for Friday prayers. In addition the same families would rent a room in the Lake County Library for Sunday school for their children.
The founders had a vision that even though the property and the project at the time seemed to be greater than their immediate needs, the coming years would see an accumulation of congregants and use of the land would be justified.
Construction started in October 1992 and the first Friday prayer, attended by 9 individuals, occurred some 6 months later. By 1999, the existing structure had become too small for the needs of the community and a new prayer hall and a multipurpose gymnasium / community center was built. This was followed by the establishment of full time schools in addition to the Sunday school and the three day per week school.
Twenty-five years later the center is the spiritual home to some 100 families and Friday prayers are attended by some 300 individuals. The center is involved in many interfaith activities and is part of Children of Abraham, an interfaith organization that ships free medical supplies to third world countries.