Today, there are four mosques in the Huntsville metropolitan area, including the city of Decatur. In the city of Huntsville itself are the Huntsville Islamic Center and W.D. Mohammed Center. While in the city of Madison, just north of Huntsville, is the North Alabama Islamic Society; colloquially referred to as the “Madison Masjid” (the native Arabic term for mosque) among local Muslims. There is also a mosque in the city of Decatur, which is near Huntsville as well. The Shiite mosque has been sold to a massage spa and has ceased to function. Along with this, the Huntsville Islamic Center also hosts a full-time kindergarten through 8th grade school for Muslim children. The most prominent religious cleric in the area is the imam of the Huntsville Islamic Center, Ragab Abdelmoneim, who arrived in Huntsville from Egypt in May 2013. The imam is a graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt and taught there before coming to Huntsville after being hired by the Huntsville Islamic Center.
A hallmark of the Huntsville Muslim community is its ethnic diversity. The dominant groups in the Huntsville Muslim population are immigrants from South Asian and Arab countries such as Pakistan, India, Egypt, and Palestine, as well as the children of these immigrants. But the area has also always been home to a sizable African American Muslim community. In recent years, the ethnic diversity of the Muslim population has continued to grow with new arrivals from different backgrounds, such as West African and Afghan.
The Huntsville Muslim community is also actively involved in the surrounding community. For example, pre-COVID, Muslim volunteers would gather in the Huntsville Islamic Center and conduct food drives for homeless people either by taking food to homeless camps in the Huntsville area or to homeless shelters in Huntsville such as the Downtown Rescue Mission. After the rise of the pandemic, such activity came to a halt but will likely resume in the near future with the falling away of COVID restrictions.
Huntsville Muslims also engage in outreach and education efforts to educate their non-Muslim neighbors about Islam. Before COVID, the Huntsville Islamic Center used to hold an annual event called “Meet Your Muslim Neighbor” where people from the surrounding community could come to the mosque and learn about Islam. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the event has not taken place, and no efforts have yet been made to revive it.
The Huntsville Muslim community is still relatively new and continues to grow. Just recently in March 2022, the North Alabama Islamic Society completed an expansion and renovation of its facility, and similar projects continue in other mosques in the area. The community will likely continue to grow and flourish in the coming decades.