The first formally organized activities for Muslims in Ithaca that we can trace began in the late 1960s and were begun by Muslim staff and faculty members to serve the Muslim population at Cornell University.

Though the majority of Muslims here at any given time are students residing from a few months to a number of years, the permanent resident Muslim population in Ithaca now includes not only university staff and faculty members but also business owners, physicians, professionals, people in all walks of life and their families.

Until recently, almost all organized religious services for the Muslim community have taken place at Cornell University. The Friday congregational prayer and the iftars and Tarawi prayers during  Ramadan are still held there and are attended by Muslims both with or without connection to the university.

The idea of establishing a permanent masjid in Ithaca has been discussed for over 30 years, and in 2001 the Al-Huda Islamic Center of Finger Lakes Charitable Trust was formed as a vehicle for collecting funds for this purpose. In January of 2015 the Al-Huda Trust purchased a piece of land on Graham Road in the Village of Lansing and had the zoning approved for religious use.

In the fall of 2014, a few community members recognized that the efforts made toward establishing a permanent building must be complemented with a foundation for supporting sound Islamic practices and activities. They began renting a building in downtown Ithaca and established Islamic Community Outreach Services (ICOS), which started an Islamic Sunday school for children, made halal meats available locally for sale, established the five daily prayers held in congregation, provided a community meeting place for Muslims and became a hub for masjid fundraising efforts, and began a coordinated active outreach to the non-Muslim community and other faith congregations in the Ithaca area.

In November 2017 the Ithaca Muslim community took the official step of incorporating as a member-based religious organization under the New York Religious Corporations laws, forming  the Al-Huda Islamic Center, Inc. This organization continues and furthers the establishment  of services to support the growing Muslim community.

The collective effort toward establishing a permanent place of worship for Muslims in Ithaca and Tompkins County continues.

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