The Islamic Center of Columbia, SC, known as Masjid al-Muslimiin, is located at 1929 Gervais street in downtown Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina.
It has been in operation since 1981 and presently serves the needs of approximately five hundred Muslims. Being in close proximity to the University of South Carolina, it also serves as a source of Islamic activity and guidance to the Muslim students, both indigenous Americans as well as students from abroad , while they pursue their undergraduate or graduate studies.
For those Muslim children who attend public schooling in the community, the Center provides the Islamic weekend school on Sundays each week. It is composed of volunteers who provide a course of study consisting of Qur'anic Arabic, Hadith Studies, Islamic Manners & Behavior, Qur'anic Recitation, and Islamic History to approximately 60 children. The week-end school runs for approximately nine months in duration yearly and operates on a modest cost to cover books, and supplies. The Center is also engaged in providing da'wah to the prisons of the South Carolina Department of Corrections on a volunteer basis. These services are provided weekly, and consist of Islamic lectures, study classes, and counseling. Transitional living assistance is also provided for those ex-offenders who are Muslim and who have been released from the custody of the Department of Corrections. The Center also sponsors a Muslim women's forum for educational development, health, and welfare as well as social and recreational activities designed to provide an Islamic environment for Muslim women to cultivate Islamic values, virtue and respect for the role and responsibility of Muslim Women.
The Center also provides audio/visual productions and literature through sale and charitable distribution and sponsors regular guest lectures by noted Islamic speakers. This effort is sometimes held in conjunction with the Muslim Students' Association of the University of South Carolina, and provides a beacon of information to the broader community.
An organized da'wah effort is underway to convey the message of Islam to the broader community by way of street teaching, social events, free literature distribution, local media presentations and community-wide lectures.
The Center also provides a forum and organization for Muslim Youth and coordinated by responsible adult members of the adult and youth members of the community. A variety of activities are sponsored weekly and monthly to encourage active participation by the youth, and to provide the youth with a healthy social, recreational, and inspirational outlet for their energies.
It is hoped that a Muslim community food co-op will be developed so as to serve as a basis for savings for participating families. Also, consideration is being given to the establishment of a transitional living quarters for ex-offenders who have become Muslim since their incarceration, as well as for the accommodation of new Muslims. The transitional living setting will provide room and board, employment and economic development, and an Islamic environment conducive for growth for those persons who may be vulnerable to the unsafe influences of the communities from which they came.