Bedford-Stuyvesant's Dar-ul-Islam Movement

Maggie Schreiner

Two women with five children gather on a sidewalk in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Khalil Abdulkhabir, Young Girls and Teachers at the Yasin Mosque,
circa 1975, 2020.002.005; Khalil Abdulkhabir photographs of the Dar-ul-Islam movement,
2020.002, Center for Brooklyn History.

The Dar-ul-Islam, known as "the Dar," was one of the most significant grassroots movements established by African-American Sunni Muslims in the United States. The founding members of the Dar-ul-Islam came from the Islamic Mission of America, founded in 1939 by Daoud Ahmed Faisal and Sayedah Khadijah Faisal, at 143 State Street (the “State Street Mosque”). In 1962-1963 members of the State Street Mosque broke away to found a new mosque, first in Brownsville, and later, the Yasin Mosque at 52 Herkimer Place in Bedford-Stuyvesant. At the height of the movement, there were over forty mosques connected with the Dar movement in the United States.

In a forest setting, there are two boys running in the foreground, with several additional figures in the background.
Khalil Abdulkhabir, Jawwalah Scouts (Troop 599) in a race
competition at Ten Mile River Scout Camp, Catskills, NY, circa
1974, 2020.002.021; Khalil Abdulkhabir photographs of the
Dar-ul-Islam movement, 2020.002, Center for Brooklyn History.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant Dar community, centered around the Yasin Mosque, provided many educational opportunities for children. The photograph above depicts two teachers from Madrassah-tush-Shaheedin with a group of young students in front of the Yasin Mosque. Madrassah Tush-Shaheedain, a grade school teaching kindergarten through grade 8, was located in a nearby satellite building at Bedford Ave and Jefferson St. The Dar community also had a day care and a scouts group, the Jawallah Scouts.

These photographs are from the Khalil Abdulkhabir photographs of the Dar-ul-Islam movement collection (2020.002), a new collection at the Center for Brooklyn History. Khalil Abdulkkhabir discovered photography during his work with Youth In Action, an anti-poverty program which was active in Bedford Stuyvesant between 1963 and 1978. Abdulkkhabir devoted his time to photography projects to educate and motivate youth. His photographs were also published in Jihadul Akbar, a monthly magazine published by the Dar-ul-Islam movement.


Interested in seeing more photos from CBH’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images, or the digital collections portal at Brooklyn Public Library. We look forward to inviting you to CBH in the future to research in our entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections. In the meantime, please visit our resources page, available here or access the resources of the former Brooklyn Collection here. Our reference staff are still available to help with your research! You can reach us at


This blog post reflects the opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Brooklyn Public Library.


Paula Silver

Fascinating, I want more of the history of the dar movement up to the present day. I recall a large moslem center with school north of Bushwick Ave in the 1980s and wonder if this was part of the dar movement.
Wed, Feb 17 2021 2:08 pm Permalink
Imam Halim Mus…

In reply to by Paula Silver

The Islamic group that was on Bushwick Ave was not part of the Dar ul Islamic Movement though its founder, Dwight York (known then as Imam Isa al-Mahdi) came out of the same masjid (mosque) that the founders of the Darul Islamic Movement did. More info on this can be found in my book: THE DEVELOPMENT OF AL-ISLAM IN THE AFRICAN- AMERICAN COMMUNITY.
Thu, Apr 15 2021 10:11 pm Permalink
Warren Marcus

I am looking forward to learn more the real reality of social life that sadly I know so little about. I say this because we all able to learn and grow to be better people and likewise contribute to a more just world world in our times and be part of a legacy that is better then the one we inherited. Warren Marcus
Wed, Feb 17 2021 5:51 pm Permalink

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