The first Friday prayer service in the Central Florida area was held in a small trailer on Goldenrod Road, in Orlando, purchased by a few Muslim families in the early 1970’s. Intending to secure a place to pray together as a community, little did this handful group of pioneers realize they were actually laying the foundation for the largest and most diverse community of Muslims in Central Florida.
By the early 1980s, the less than handful of Muslim families grew into a small dispersed community and acquired property on Goldenrod Road with a small house on it. This house served as the first unofficial Mosque as a new building was being constructed, with the blessings of God and the contributions of the humble community, brick by brick, to be the first official Mosque in Central Florida. As the community started to grow and waited patiently for the new building to be constructed, the blessed shade of a large oak tree in front of the house served as additional space for the community to perform congregational prayers under. This marked the beginning of the Islamic Society of Central Florida (ISCF).
In 1993, as the Muslim community continued to grow in numbers and geography, the community decided for the Islamic Society to start serving other parts of the greater Orlando area with additional locations and services. The Mosque on Goldenrod Road was named Masjid Al-Rahman (Mosque of the 'Source of Mercy', an attribe of God) and ISCF established itself as an organization providing services related to other needs of the growing community when forward-thinking members of the community founded the Muslim Academy of Central Florida (MACF). MACF focused on providing stellar education to the future generations of the community with an Islamic perspective and environment. These progressive leaders recognized the value of a good education as stressed by the first revelation revealed to our Beloved Prophet Muhammad.
By the year 2000, the Islamic Society of Central Florida had opened five additional Mosques that included Masjid Al-Quddus (Holy & Pure Essence) and Masjid Al-Haq (the Truth) in the downtown Orlando area, Masjid Al-Hakim (Wisdom) in Deltona, Masjid Al-Mumin (Righteous) in Titusville and Masjid Al-Rahim (the Dispenser of Mercy) in Pine Hills. Additionally, the MACF moved into its newly constructed facility, the Muslim Education Community Center Auditorium (better known as M.E.C.C.A), and elevated the full-time school as the first established accredited private Muslim Academy in Central Florida.
As the Muslim population continued its growth, ISCF opened its first Masjid in Seminole County, Florida. Masjid Al-Salam (State of Peace) opened it doors in the Sanford community in what used to be an empty Lutheran Church property. After the tragic events of September 2001, the outreach efforts were organized into a new initiative at ISCF known as the Center for Peace. The Center for Peace was established to listen to the needs and voices of our non-Muslim community neighbors, and to illuminate the true essence of peace, compassion, and mutual respect in Islam through dialogue and presentations. The Communication and Media department was officially established in 2003 to maintain contact with the media networks in Central Florida and provide a dominant moderate voice portraying the true message of Islam to the general public.
The Islamic Society of Central Florida continued its tradition of serving the community, as commanded in the Quran and tradition of the Prophet, by providing a unified platform for the Muslim community. By late 2006, the Muslim community in South Orlando joined the ISCF family with ISCF's establishment of Masjid Al-Aziz. In early 2007, another independent group of Muslims joined the organization and established Masjid al-Malik near the University of Central Florida. In 2010, a community in Sebring, FL also decided to unite with ISCF with Masjid al-Jabbar, making that the 10th facility ISCF strives to serve the greater Central Florida community with.
Today, by serving the needs of the more than 40,000 Muslims in the Central Florida area and the community at large, ISCF is on a progressive path to expand the essence of Islam; of peace and compassion. We provide numerous programs and services with a full-time daycare, a Muslim cemetery where community members can properly buried, a growing Muslim Social Services department with food pantry, Zakat services, free health clinic, job placement opportunities, and much more. We invite you to make ISCF your community and come grow and serve with us!