In the early 1980s some Indonesians began having what in Indonesia is called the pengajian, a gathering at which Islam is discussed. A pengajian usually begins with the recitation of the Qur’an, followed by a talk on Islam, and continues to the question and answer session. The pengajian was informally called the Keluarga Pengajian Indonesia di New York City (the Family of Indonesians Pengajian in New York City).
The mosque is named Masjid Al Hikmah, which literary means The Wisdom Mosque. The name refers to the passage of the Qur’an 16:125, which is translated as “call thou (mankind) unto thy Sustainer’s path with wisdom (hikmah )and goodly exhortation…”.