The completion of the Pullman Islamic Center in August of 1982, at a cost of $350,000, was a milestone in the development of the Muslim community in the Palouse region. For more than 20 years, Muslims rented houses or campus, municipal, bank or church facilities to carry out Islamic observances and to hold social activities.
The idea of building a mosque in Pullman was proposed in 1978 and the fundraising began almost immediately. Funds were collected from Muslims in the area and across the globe. No funding was received from any foreign government or organization.
The land was purchased in 1981 and construction began in March 1982. Earl Russell, a Pullman contractor, built the Islamic Center according to designs by Pullman engineer Munir Dawud.
The Islamic Center was completed and opened in August 1982, and official opening ceremonies took place in October 1982. The then-president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Syed Muhammad Syeed, and Dawud Zwink, then a member of the ISNA General Secretary, attended the opening ceremonies along with members of other Muslims communities in the Pacific Northwest.
Masjid Al-Farooq is named after Umar al-Khattab, the second caliph (or leader) of Islam after the death of Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him. Umar al-Khattab's honorofic title was "Al-Farooq", meaning "one who distinguishes truth from falsehood."
The Islamic Center serves about 300 Muslims in the Palouse area, in conjunction with the Moscow Islamic Center. Most are international students and their families at Washington State University or University of Idaho, although a growing number are faculty or staff members and their families. The Muslim community is ethnically diverse, with members from more than 35 countries as well as from the United States.
The Islamic Center is operated by the Pullman Islamic Association and administered by an elected board of trustees and executive committee. The association is a federal non-profit organization. The center is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which is a division of the Islamic Society of North America. The Pullman Islamic Association and its sub-units are also affiliated with ISNA.