Imam Izak-El Mu’edd Pasha
Mosque Masjid Malcolm Shabazz
“It is important that we respect and value life, family life and community life, and celebrate our human dignity. We are all one human family.”
With a gentle voice and humble heart, Imam Pasha speaks of Harlem with great reverence for the people, the individual and collective souls, who have made the pilgrimage here to experience the spirit of this global community.
“Harlem is a world renowned place to be celebrated and preserved because of its history and its significance to African Americans, African Caribbeans, and Africans – the poets, the innovators, the religious leaders and all who have come here. I thank God for all of them.
The Mosque Masjid Malcolm Shabazz, like any great house of worship, has contributed to the cultural identity of this community by inspiring people of faith from around the world to work collectively and to provide all the services and assistance they may need to reach their goals. The mosque is a calm place in times of difficulty and joy.
It is my prayer, in this climate of change and economic investment in Harlem, that the common people of Harlem remain to share in this new renaissance. It is these people who have called Harlem home since its heyday in the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s through the devastation of the 60’s and 70’s and now to renaissance number two. The community needs leaders who will be accountable to people - leaders who will enlighten and inspire people and remind them of the great identity of Harlem as a community of faith.
I was a common believer with a great love for family and all people before I became an Imam. I am a plumber by trade and I was working on a construction project in Virginia for the former Imam Ali Rashed. After he passed in 1993, the people of the Mosque came together and democratically chose me as the next Imam because they knew that Imam Rashed trusted me. My first response was to say no. I felt there were others more qualified to do the job. I felt I was just a plumber trying to help the community in the name of God. But, the people chose me, so I agreed to take the position temporarily. That was fifteen years ago now.”