Supplier and Wal-Mart Drive Muslim Growth in NWA

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When Zakir Sayed moved to Bentonville in 2004, he was a part of a group of men from Wal-Mart and the local supplier community would drive to the Islamic Center of Northwest Arkansasin Fayetteville for Friday prayers. It meant a 35-minute (or more) drive down there, prayers, then the return trip back.

They would take an extra-long lunch hour so they could participate in this important weekly Islamic ritual. That proved to be time-consuming and impractical so some of the men who worked in the Bentonville area started meeting in local homes for the prayers.
More people heard about the gathering and joined in, to the point that they outgrew the ability to fit comfortably in someone’s home.

“Our group grew that we need to rent office space,” Sayed said.

At the same time, the group became registered with the appropriate local, state and federal agencies to be a non-profit, establishing the Bentonville Islamic Center. Click here to read the full story from our partners at