Early Muslims in Kansas City

Not all Muslims are Arabs and not all Arabs are Muslims.  As we saw, the Arabic language was first introduced to Kansas City as early as 1893, through an Arabic Church. Christian Arab immigrants from Syria not only established an early Arab community in Kansas City, some were also instrumental in helping the immigrant Muslims later.

During the 1950s a group of local followers of the Nation of Islam established Mohammad’s Temple Number 30. They met at various locations before settling at 2715 Swope Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri. The building was an old church purchased with donations from Nathanial Mohammad (son of the honorable Elijah Mohammad). Other donors included former boxing champion Mohammad Ali.

Muhammad's Temple # 30, 2715 Swope Parkway, Kansas City, MO – 1974

It was in 1975, after the death of Elijah Mohammad, that the temple’s name was changed to Masjid Omar (after the late son of Nathanial) and joined mainstream Islam under the leadership of W.D. Mohammad.

In 1973 the University of Islam, first Islamic school in Kansas City, was established. In 1976 the name was changed to Sister Clara Mohammad Elementary and Secondary Schools.

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