In the hopes of beginning a new life of peace and prosperity, the first Muslims arrived in Canada in 1871. In the early 1930s in Edmonton, Mayor John Fry was approached by a group of Muslim ladies for a plot of land on which a mosque could be built for the growing Muslim community. An amount of 5000 dollars was needed to buy the land that was located next to Royal Alexandra Hospital. Edmontonians from diverse religions and ethnic background joined the fundraising efforts to raise the money needed to build Canada’s first Mosque
The official opening of the Al Rashid Mosque was on December 12, 1938.
The mosque served the Muslims as a religious and community centre. As a result of the mosque’s presence, many Muslim families were attracted to Edmonton. Over the years, the community continued to flourish; their numbers grew to over 16,000 Muslims by the early 1980s. To accommodate the rise in numbers, a new mosque facility was needed. In August of 1982, the new Al Rashid mosque opened its doors to serve over 20,000 Muslims in Edmonton. Many programs and services were born in the basement of the new facility, but as the community grew they branched out and became separate institutions.
Raising a generation of Muslim Canadians was and always has been a priority in our mandate; thus we invested largely in education. This resulted in one of the strongest webs of interconnected Islamic institutions that cater to children from birth to post-secondary education. Edmonton Islamic Academy is one of the most notable astonishing projects of Al Rashid. A state of the art school that offers education in an Islamic environment to over 1400 students and created jobs to over 130 Muslims in Edmonton.
Today the Edmonton Muslim community consists of over 60,000 members comprised of over 62 ethnic backgrounds. Al Rashid serves them as the prominent Islamic organization that leads public outreach activities; provide religious, recreational, and educational facilities to support the practice of the essence and value of Islam. Al Rashid foster’s interfaith understanding to fulfill the spiritual, social, and intellectual needs of all Edmontonians. Its members have contributed to Edmonton’s dynamic character for over a century and look to the future as an opportunity to continue to live in harmony and prosperity with Canadians of all religious and ethnic backgrounds.