Nueces Mosque Reconstruction Project

Your Home Away from Home

Nueces Mosque was established as the first Mosque in Austin in 1977 by the UT Austin Muslim Students’ Association. It has served thousands of students over the past 45 years and has been a place for them to build long lasting connections with their faith, identity and community. Nueces Mosque is the largest fully student-run Masjid in the nation, helping students learn to love the Masjid and get involved in everything from property management to planning events to fundraising.

The Nueces Mosque Reconstruction Project aims to address the needs of the rapidly growing Muslim community at UT Austin by replacing the current overflowing 100-year-old facility with a newer and larger facility to better accommodate the community’s current and future needs.

What Starts Here Changes the Ummah - A Global Call to Action

Our vision is to be a beacon of Islam, a center of Dawah (preservation and promotion of faith), and a place of authentic study of the religion. We want to present Islam in its truest light to our community of students and young professionals in order to dismantle doubts, build conviction in their faith and allow them to proudly carry Islam in their hearts and minds.

We are calling upon our Alumni and Austin community to join us in building a self-sustaining, state-of-the-art, welcoming space where students and young professionals come for Ibadah (worship), Suhba (companionship), and Sakina (peace and tranquility).

Earn Sadaqah Jariyah that will continue to reward you for the generations of Muslims that will be inspired and guided by the new center. The new center will be a welcoming place where tens of thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims will come to understand and inspired by the authentic message and beauty of Islam.
Uthman ibn Affan reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said
Whoever builds a mosque for Allah, Allah will build for him a house like it in Paradise.
Source: Sahih al-Bukhari 450, Sahih Muslim 533

Project Master Plan

Phase 0 - Kickoff & Community Engagement
· Project Kick-Off
· Community Surveys & Feedback Sessions
· SWOT Analysis & Strategy Development
· Establish Project Vision & Goals
Phase 1 - Feasibility Analysis
2017 - 2019
· 15+ Community Programming Engagements·  Initial Site Planning
· Options & Feasibility Analysis
· Program and Conceptual Design Development
· Establish Board of Directors
Phase 2 - Financial and Legal Readiness
2020 - 2022
· Corporate Re-Structuring & Granted 501(c)(3) Status
· Financial System Readiness
· CRM Platform Readiness
· Secured Seed Funding
· Financial ProForma Development
Phase 3 - Design & Engineering and Permitting
2023 - 2024
· Architect, Engineers & Consultant Agreements
· Capital Campaign Kickoff
· Schematic Design (complete)
· Design Development (in progress)
· Site Development Plan (in progress)
· Pre-Construction General Contractor (in progress)
· Fire Protection, Lighting, Low Voltage & Interior Design
Phase 4 - Pre-Construction Planning
2024 - 2025
· Order HVAC, Electrical Gear, Transformers, Steel Pkg.
· Construction Drawing
· Bidding, GC Interviews, and Selection
· City of Austin Permitting & Traffic Control Approval
· Secure Construction Loan
· Secure Alternate Location for Nueces Mosque
Phase 5 - Construction
2025 - 2027
· Building Demolition
· Construction Mobilization
· Excavation, Foundation and Utilities
· Major Exterior & Interior Finish Out
· Construction Close Out
· New Building Opening & Tenant Move-In

Nueces Mosque is located on a 14,400 sq ft plot and currently holds two houses that serve as both the Mosque and Community Center. When construction starts, the existing houses will be demolished to build a Masjid, lobby, and offices on the ground floor (14,111 sf), and the Dawah center, Seminary, classrooms, study areas, a cafe, and meeting rooms on the second floor (13,194 sf). The top four floors will be housing for Muslim students and will provide steady income to the center, making the project self-sustaining (32 units, 80 bedrooms, 47,372 sf). Schematic design details are available here. Final design details, including building renderings, section drawings, and virtual walk-through, will be shared once the design development details are available in summer of 2024.

Funding for the Masjid and Dawah Center will come from community gifts and Qard-Hasan while the capital for student housing will be raised through Islamic loan or other financing means.

Nueces Reconstruction Concept

Nueces Mosque Tomorrow

What Starts Here Changes the Ummah

who we are

What's Happening at Nueces


Nueces Mosque regularly invites scholars from all around the country to speak on a variety of topics to bring the community closer to their deen. Some speakers that have visited include Sh. Omar Suleiman, Mufti Abdul Wahab Waheed, and Sh. Kamal El Mekki.

Texas Deen Intensive

Texas Deen Intensive is a weekend-long, intimate educational Islamic conference at the University of Texas at Austin, hosted by the Texas Muslim Students’ Association and Nueces Mosque.


Nueces Mosque serves iftaar to over 500 congregants every night during Ramadan. Nightly taraweeh is led by nearly a dozen students. During the last 10 nights, Nueces also conducts Qiyam al-Layl and serves Suhoor.

Inter-Faith Iftar

Nueces hosts a special Iftar every Ramadan open the community and gives people of different faiths a chance to build bridges by breaking bread together.

Open House

Nueces Mosque hosts an open house event every year to educate the local community on basic aspects of Islam and Muslim culture.

Social Events

Hundreds of students congregate every day at Nueces Mosque to pray, eat, study, and work together building lifelong bonds and a community unlike any other.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is your vision for the Center for Education and Outreach?

Our vision is to establish an institution at Nueces Mosque that will fortify the faith of young students, train and educate future leaders, and provide a platform for civic, societal, and interfaith engagement. Our project goal is to construct an iconic institution in the heart of Texas that will house a Masjid, Dawah Center, Seminary, and an Education Center for new and renewed Muslims from all over the world.

Why is it named after Mufti Umer Esmail?

Mufti Mohamed-Umer Esmail was among the most prominent Muslim leaders in the Austin area. His untimely passing in 2019 profoundly impacted the entire community. Mufti Umer (Rahimahullah) served for decades as an imam in Austin, overseeing the North Austin Muslim Community Center, leading the Nueces Mosque for over a decade, and ultimately presiding over the Islamic Center of Lake Travis. A regular presence at interfaith events and a frequent speaker on Islam, he was affectionately known as Sheikh Umer. Particularly beloved among the University of Texas students whom he guided at the Nueces Mosque, Mufti Umer left an indelible mark on the institution, significantly influencing its vision and purpose. Naming the center after him is a tribute to his dedicated service to the community.

When is the project expected to be completed?

The project is presently in Phase 4 – Design and Engineering. The schematic design has been finalized, and the site development plan is scheduled for submission to the City of Austin in March 2024, Insha-ALLAH. We have engaged the services of a permit expeditor, and we anticipate having all the necessary permits in place by early 2025. Our objective is to commence construction in 2025 and ensure completion no later than 2027, Insha-ALLAH, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Nueces Mosque. Kindly refer to the project master schedule on our website for more details:

What are you building and how much will this project cost?

The new building will be a six-story, approximately 75,000 sq ft mixed-use facility with three components:

  • Ground floor: Masjid, lobby, and offices (14,111 sq ft)
  • 2nd floor: Mufti Umer Center for Education & Outreach (13,194 sq ft)
  • 3rd to 6th floors: Gender-segregated housing – 32 units/80 bedrooms (47,372 sq ft)

Situated near downtown Austin, where construction costs are considerably higher than typical suburban Islamic Centers, this high-rise vertical construction project is estimated to cost between $300 to $350 per sq ft. Although phased construction is generally not recommended or economical, all options are being explored.

Funds for the Masjid and the Center are being raised through community donations and Qard-e-Hasan. Funding for the student housing will come from an Islamic loan or other available financing options.

We have initiated a nationwide capital campaign with the goal of raising at least $4M this year, spanning across Austin, Dallas, Houston, and throughout the US. We urge all our alumni, students, and their families to unite in rebuilding Nueces Mosque – a place that has provided a secure home away from home for students over the past 45 years.

Additionally, we are collaborating with Islamic banks to secure construction loans for student housing. Construction will commence as soon as we have secured $6M-$8M in cash and loans, Insha-ALLAH. The remaining funds will be raised during the construction phase.

Why are you including student apartments in this project?

One of our core goals is self-sustainability. This entails Nueces Mosque's ability to generate sufficient funds through apartment rentals to cover all operating expenses, including maintenance, staff salaries, and programs. Our vision is to provide Muslim students at UT Austin with access to world-class programming, direct contact with the Imam, teachers, counselors, and visiting scholars, along with the best facilities for a place they will call home and their spiritual sanctuary.

According to a recent market analysis conducted by CBRE, a global leader in commercial real estate services and investments, UT Austin currently has 13,480 bedrooms available for student housing, with an additional 5,834 under construction, and there is still a net demand for over 7,000 more beds. Nueces Mosque student housing aims to cater to this demand by offering a safe and wholesome Islamic living environment for Muslim students at UT Austin, complete with gender-segregated floors.

What is your construction approach and why can’t this project take a phased approach?

The project design, engineering, and construction is being managed by a team of professional and reputable firms who have experience with high-rise construction in the UT West Campus area. We will likely end up paying more but a project of this size and magnitude has to be handled by the right team of experts. We have hired a team of consultants and permit expeditors who specialize in UT West Campus zoning laws and building codes to ensure we can secure relevant permits and approvals on-time.

High-rise construction in a downtown area differs significantly from building Islamic Centers in the suburbs. In addition to the lengthy permitting process, Nueces Mosque will also need to obtain an expensive permit from the City of Austin to block the adjacent streets during construction. A construction crane will be installed on the site to vertically erect the building and then dismantled once the structure is completed. We have only one opportunity to complete the entire project, as it is not feasible to install a crane on top of an existing building to add additional floors. All building materials must be secured in advance to ensure the project is completed within the city-approved construction window.

How much parking will be available at the new center?

The new center will not provide any on-site parking. Instead, we are looking for several off-site parking options, including leasing and joint development opportunities for an off-site parking floor. Significant majority of our daily attendees are students attending UT Austin, which is just two blocks away and within safe walking distance. It should also be noted that most University students arrive without cars, especially foreign students and freshman students. If needed, the University has significant parking spaces for lease on-campus in garages and off-campus in the West Campus neighborhood.

Austin downtown and the University of Texas West Campus is going through a mobility transformation with heavy focus on alternate mobility solutions, elimination of on-site parking requirements, and pedestrian friendly experience. Furthermore, construction costs have increased significantly for parking garage space, estimated at approx. $45,000 per underground parking spot. Hence, based on prohibitive cost, small lot size, limited number of underground parking spots that can be built, and availability of alternate off-site options, it was decided to exclude parking from the building design.

Can people make pledges now and donate when construction starts?

We need to raise at least $4M in 2024. These funds are required for critical pre-construction expenses, such as ordering long lead expensive construction material – HVAC, electrical switchgear, electrical transformers, and steel package. We are accepting major gift pledges now, but we need to collect them by summer of 2024 in order to mobilize the construction site (demolition, excavation, scaffolding, and foundation). All the funds being raised for the project are kept in a separate secure account and strictly used for the reconstruction project. Current masjid operation funds are raised and managed in a separate account.

Does my donation qualify for company matching?

Nueces Mosque is a registered non-profit organization with several company matching programs. Please consult your HR Department for additional details.

Benevity users can check online: Google, Apple, Visa, Intel, Microsoft, Dell, etc.

Where will the community pray when the mosque is being reconstructed?

Nueces Mosque will rent facilities on West campus and/or on UT campus to provide daily prayers, Friday prayers, Ramadan, as well as regular programs and activities. This will be in place well before we break ground. Cost for space rental is included in the Masjid operational budget.

I love that Nueces is a student run masjid, what will be the students’ role in the new building?

Nueces Mosque will continue to operate as a fully student-run Masjid. Students will oversee all current activities, including programs, events, maintenance, fundraising, operations, finance, security, Jummah, etc. Additionally, we will maintain a board of directors in a supporting role, and professional resources will be provided to assist with facilities and property management once the apartments become available.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Certainly. Nueces Mosque is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN # 83-4294610). To qualify for a donation deduction on your U.S. taxes, kindly retain your email donation receipt from Nueces Mosque as your official record. For any additional questions or designation requests, please reach out to

Is my donation Zakat eligible?

As a matter of policy, Nueces Mosque does not actively solicit zakat funds for the reconstruction project. However, based upon the below mentioned legitimate and valid scholarly conclusions, we will accept funds from donors who feel comfortable discharging their personal zakat towards this noble project and mission.

Nueces Mosque is a one-of-a-kind community consisting of academics, intellectuals, students, young professionals, and families, uniquely situated in the backdrop of the seat of government and nestled on a leading academic and research campus. The aims and objectives of the Nueces Mosque Reconstruction Project reach far beyond simply building a mosque.

Through the establishment of the Nueces Seminary which aims to become the gold-standard of Islamic education for university students and the novel Shaykh Mufti Mohamed-Umer Esmail Da’wah Center, Nueces Mosque stands to be at the center of the preservation of faith, the authentic study of the religion, and the source of spiritual and intellectual growth for the entire community. A lengthier paper illustrates that the issue of zakat-eligibility is a matter of legitimate scholarly difference of opinion. Among those opinions is one which permits organizations that have a da’wah mandate to accept zakat funds.

Nueces Mosque believes that it qualifies as such an organization because of its central role in “establishing conviction in the hearts and minds of young Muslim students and being uniquely positioned to spread Islam in the West.”

For any further questions or designation requests, please contact