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About IAFL

The Islamic Association of the Finger Lakes (IAFL) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) religious organization that serves the Muslim community of the greater Finger Lakes region within the Southern Tier in NY state, including, but not limited to, Horseheads, Big Flats, Corning, Elmira and other areas.

IAFL seeks to provide an amiable atmosphere to the Muslims of the area for regular prayers, and other activities associated with the Muslim calendar. IAFL also seeks to build relationships with communities of other faiths in the Finger Lakes region. We aspire to be an inclusive place that is open to peoples of all faiths. For any interfaith or collaborative activities, please click on Contact us.

Mission Statement

IAFL is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe and secure facility for Muslim worship in Elmira-Corning area. All Muslims are welcome and invited to use the space for their spiritual, educational and social needs.

Vision Statement

Our Vision is to maintain the IAFL Center as a grassroots facility that serves the local Muslim community while promoting connectivity with the Twin Tiers community at large. We strive to be


1. An upright place that promotes the values of modesty, moderation, kindness, charity, forgiveness, patience, perseverance and neighborliness, in the spirit of Islamic teachings.

2. A family-friendly facility where people young and old, men, women and children are treated with respect and equality.

3. A peaceful sanctuary where Muslims can come to worship and gather in tranquility.

4. An egalitarian place where attitudes of any kind of discrimination are NOT tolerated whatsoever.

5. A community-oriented place that brings together a group of worshippers who will be gracious and helpful neighbors to the surrounding local community and support an atmosphere of peace, tolerance and cross-community sharing.

6. An interfaith space that provides a venue for faith communities to interact in a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere.

7. A welcoming place for people of all backgrounds seeking an understanding of Islam and Muslims.

8. An informative place where access to other community services can be acquired.

9. A green space where environmentalism is promoted and practiced.

10. A charitable place where humanitarian and charitable causes are supported.

11. An inclusive place that enables an eclectic management body reflecting the community’s diversity.


The IAFL started with a humble beginning in Big Flats as follows:


June 14, 1978 ( IAFL - Incorporated NYS)

Founding Officers:

Cevdet Melezoglu

Sheikh A. Qadeer

Louise Kureshi

Harry Shabanowitz

Ali S. Khera

Sophia Shabanowitz


Almost four decades later, the IAFL then found a new home in Horseheads. Here's a brief timeline of that journey.


New Mosque Timeline

2008 - IAFL Purchased land (Sister Bushra Sheikh - President)

2011 - April – Greg Abdo (Architect) hired

2012 - July 15th -  Imam Siraj Wahaj (Fundraiser - $450,000 pledges)

2012 - October – IAFL Foundation incorporated for the purpose of building the New Masjid.

2013 - Design Plan Estimated cost about $1.5 Million ( building plans deferred temporarily)

2014 - February – Dr. Abdul Waheed proposed the construction of half the building as phase-I (plans rekindled)

2014 - March - Greg Abdo and Paul Billings (architects) redesigned building for phase I & II.

2014 - August – Fagan Engineers hired for Site Planning (Phase I)

2015 - January – Community Fundraiser ~ $200,000 pledges

2015 - February – Town of Big Flats approved the New Masjid plans.

2015 - October – AJH Design hired for construction management (Project Manager/Architect)

2015 - November - Construction begins

2016 - April - Imam Siraj Wahaj (Fundraiser - $117,000 pledges)

2016 - October – Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah (Fundraiser - $150,000  pledges)

2017 - April - Temporary Certificate of Occupancy 

2017 - May - Inauguration (Alhamdulillah!)


499 Hickory Grove Rd


NY 14845

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