The Mother Mosque of America, once known as The Rose of Fraternity Lodge and also known as Moslem Temple, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, is the first permanent structure to be built specifically to serve as a mosque in the United States. Construction was completed on February 15, 1934. This small structure served as a place of worship for Muslims for nearly forty years. When a larger local mosque, the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids, was built in 1971, the building was sold. Successive owners over the next twenty years allowed the building to fall in to disrepair. It is also slightly older than the Al-Rashid Mosque in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Construction was completed February 15, 1934, and the small structure served as a place of worship for Muslims for nearly 40 years. When a larger local mosque, the ”Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids”, was built in 1971, the building was sold. Successive owners over the next 20 years allowed it to fall into disrepair.
The Re-birth of the Mother Mosque
After the Mother Mosque was sold, it was used as a club for teenagers, a recreational center for youth. Later it was used as a shelter for Cambodian refugees and finally was rented to a church.
All the Islamic characteristics and architectural details had vanished from the building. It should be noted here, that for some reason all those who used it in their different ways from what had been its original purpose; the teenage club, the Cambodian shelter and the church, not one of them succeeded.
Then the Mother Mosque quickly deteriorated under the effect of the weather. No heating was provided, the roof leaked, damaging the interior walls of 1930’s lath and plaster.
The Mother Mosque is listed on both the Iowa State Historical Register and the National Register of Historic Places as an ”essential piece of American religious history, which symbolizes tolerance and acceptance of Islam and Muslims in the United States.” It was listed on the National Register in 1996 as Moslem Temple.