Islamic Mosque of Washington DC
Set on Washington DC’s Embassy Row and surrounded by the flags of Muslim countries, the Islamic Center of Washington DC was the first mosque built in the nation’s capital. An architectural splendor with influences from around the world, the mosque was completed in 1957, becoming the largest mosque in the US. The center hosts around 6,000 worshipers each Friday.
While many people only see the mosque from the outside while strolling Embassy Row, the Islamic Center of Washington DC welcomes visitors inside to take a tour, join in prayers, or take part in cultural lessons and events. A tour provides a deeper look at the building’s architecture and interior design—the decore, from chandeliers to rugs, is made up of gifts from Muslim countries. The center also offers language and religious classes that are open to adults and children of all backgrounds.
You can also visit the center on an Islam-focused group tour of DC. In addition to visiting the Islamic Center of Washington DC, tours also take you to Muslim sites such as the Diyanet Centre of America. Along the way, a guide shares information about the Muslim faith and the role mosques play in the community.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Islamic Center of Washington DC welcomes both Muslim and non-Muslim visitors.
- Women and men must have their legs covered and remove their shoes when inside the mosque.
- Women must wear head scarves.
- Tours are free but must be arranged in advance by phone or email.
- The center is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The center is located on Massachusetts Avenue just east of the bridge over Rock Creek. Parking is limited so it can be easier to take public transportation. If traveling by Metro, take the Red Line to the Dupont Circle stop. From there, you can walk or take a bus to the mosque.
When to Get There
You can visit any day of the week for daily prayers, offered six times daily. Fridays are the busiest day at the mosque, so, if you want to join the throngs of visitors, come Friday. Otherwise, for a quieter experience or a tour, visit on a different day.
Islamic Attractions in Washington DC
While the Islamic Center of Washington DC is the capital city’s first and largest mosque, you can now visit a variety of Islam centers when in DC. Top sites include the Masjid Muhammad, First Hijra Muslim Community Center, and America's Islamic Heritage Museum. Plus, don’t miss the Diyanet Centre of America, located just outside of Washington DC in Lanham, Maryland.
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