Our Mission at The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center is to help uplift the moral value of human life through empowering and inspiring the human potential.
The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center is a Muslim community information and outreach Center working to service the community that it is in and the Chicago land area. We want to help better the quality of life in our communities through servicing the community with programs such as feeding and clothing the homeless, an adult education programs, substance abuse programs, , after school programs for our youth, block club meetings, community forms, and business education workshops to name a few. We invite and would like to work with like minded people from other faith traditions to join us in our noble endeavors.
Bahar Center History
The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center was founded by a group of Muslim from the community of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed who wanted their life represented in the community they lived in. They open up Masjid Al Mu’minun at 8607 1/2 south Ashland Ave in the year1990 here in Chicago IL. They begin to introduce themselves to the community by doing da’wah (which is propagation work) and latter it leads to the first community Walk for Moral Excellence.
After being established for a couple of year they grew too close to twenty families. It was decided that the current location was too small and needed a larger location to grow. Through fundraising the Masjid was able to raise enough funds to secure a property at the current location of 2525 W. 71 St. in 1994.
Since then the name was changed from Masjid Al Mu’minun to The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center in honor of Ephraim Bahar who was a man who worked hard and made big sacrifices to help the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in establishing the Nation of Islam in Detroit, Chicago, Boston and New York to name a few. Ephraim Bahar was among Elijah Muhammad’s most faithful and revered followers. Ephraim Bahar was rich in the spirit of doing for self. And he devoted his life’s work to supporting the mission of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
We take pride in naming our Center after a dedicated elderly Brother, whom we lovingly call a Pioneer. His unfailing love for Almighty Allah and the Religion of Al-Islam and his hard work in the Cause of Al-Islam in its early years in the United States of America has left its mark upon the Heart of this Community. It is for this reason that The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center honors his name as an inspiration to all of us to carry forth with his spirit and dedication.
Since its doors were opened in 1994 at 2525 West 71st Street, The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center has worked closely with other community organizations like S.W.O.P. (Southwest organizing project), IMAN (Inter City Muslim Action Network), C.I.O.G.C. (Council of Islamic organization of greater Chicago), the Focolare community and our neighbors.
The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center is always ready to help in community affairs, embracing the neighborhood block clubs, the CAPS Program, and opening communications between all faith communities. Together we bridge our common bonds to work towards improving our communities and Remaking the world with moral excellence.
Brother Ephraim Bahar
At a time when racism was at its zenith and injustice was rampant, a man opened his eyes in the gutter after being presumed dead; still filthy and dirty. He reeks with the scent of the gutter and as he sits up people began to notice him. In the gutter, people had stepped on him, spit on him and ridiculed him. He had been deemed worthless, hopeless, useless and of no account. His attempt to rise from the gutter is nothing less than a miracle. As his back straightens, he stands and begins to brush himself off; he lifts his head to speak. His first words are, “PROTECT YOUR WOMEN”.
This voice crying in the wilderness of North America was Elijah Poole resurrected as The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Once he came back to life he raised others in Detroit, Chicago, Boston and New York to name a few. And among his most faithful and revered followers was Ephraim Bahar. Ephraim Bahar was rich in the spirit of doing for self. And he devoted his life’s work to supporting the mission of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Having not been educated in the ways of the white man, Ephraim was an exceptional student in the Lessons and Problem Book of his great teacher. Filled with the spirit to do for self, he started his own business. He collected discarded articles on the street which others may have called junk and he made his fortune. He made generous contributions to the Number 2 Poor (a fund established by Master Muhammad). In the evenings he could be found distributing candy to the children at the University of Islam. Always smiling and cheerful and in a giving mode, he is remembered not only for his generosity and vast command of the knowledge of the culture but for his leadership in demonstrating the right thing to do. In fact a not so common use of “Bahar” as defined in the Arabic language is a very generous man with extensive knowledge. Ephraim Bahar was a pillar of this community, a stable foundation in a time of turmoil and a rock to build this center on. He is loved and revered by those who knew him and those of today who know of him. And his spirit still lives today at the Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center.
By Ernest Abdullah