Islam Temple is known as the "Mother Temple of the West." A petition was presented to the Imperial Council in 1883 to open a Temple in San Francisco and the State of California. Islam Temple was duly constituted on March 6th 1883. The jurisdiction of six (6) other California Shrine Temples, Aahmes, Al Bahr, Al Malaikah, Ben Ali, El Bekal and Tehran Temples, was carved out of Islam Temple's original territory. The Islam Temple (known as Asiya Shriners since 2002) jurisdiction today includes Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties.
Islam Temple of San Francisco received its dispensation, from Illustrious Walter M. Fleming, First Imperial Potentate of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North America, in 1883. At that time the Mystic Shrine was but an infant of seven years, it having been organized in New York City in 1876. But the news of its success in the East sped across the continent, where a little group of Knights Templar and Scottish Rite Masons in San Francisco received it with enthusiastic acclaim. In this group were leaders of the Bar Association, the medical profession and the financial and business world. By unanimous choice General William H. L. Bames, a famous lawyer and orator, was elected first Potentate, with Reuben H, Lloyd, as Chief Rabban. With these two men, Islam Temple was steered through its first and hardest years. In the early 1880's San Francisco was emerging from its pioneer mining camp clothes and assuming the leadership of commercial affairs that it has since retained on the Pacific Coast. Masonic Lodges were springing up throughout the city and throughout the adjoining towns. Islam Temple, however, was the only Shrine Temple in this entire section, and Masons journeyed from all over Northern California to traverse the burning Sands within its shelter.
When Islam Temple was only nine years old it made its first bid for fame by competing and capturing the Imperial Council Session of the Mystic Shrine. This great meeting was held in San Francisco in June 1902 and brought visitors from all parts of the world. At that time, Charles M. Murphy was Potentate of Islam Temple, assisted by Colonel George Filmer, who later became Potentate. Colonel Filmer served as Potentate for six years, which constitutes a record never before equaled in this San Francisco Temple.
Islam Temple grew steadily until 1922 when the membership totaled approximately 10,000. It was likewise one of the wealthiest Temples in the United States, despite the fact that there were many larger Temples. In 1918, Islam Temple moved from temporary quarters on Powell Street to the magnificent Mosque at 650 Geary Street, which was built at a cost of approximately $150,000. The land and building belonged to Islam Temple and were free of all indebtedness. Islam Temple appropriated $100,000 for the entertainment of the Imperial Council and the festivities arranged by the committees in charge of the entertainment of the 250,000 visitors set a new mark for achievements of this kind.
The Mosque at 650 Geary Street served as Islam Temple's home until 1972, when the Temple moved to 1651 19th Avenue. The Islam Temple nobility voted to sell the Mosque at 650 Geary Street rather than expend the funds to modernize the structure to the required building codes. An Islam Temple investment fund, under the management and control of the elected Board of Trustees, was created by resolution and the funds from the sale of the Geary Street Mosque have been in the investment fund since the sale. Part of the earnings from the investment fund have been used over the years for the operation of the Temple. At a special stated meeting in November 1992, a resolution was passed to use part of the investment funds as the down payment for the purchase of property on West 20 Avenue in San Mateo. A Building Fund Campaign was instituted to help pay the mortgage. Each Noble, of Islam Temple had the opportunity to invest in our Temple's future. In addition to the building Fund Campaign, the overall plan included leasing out part of "our new home" to raise revenue to meet Temple operation obligations and help pay the mortgage.
Islam Temple moved into our new home in July 1994 and because of the plans to lease out a portion of the building until the mortgage is paid off, our address is now 1925 Elkhorn Court, the side entrance to the building. Our new home is being used for many business and social functions by the Divan, Units and Clubs.
Islam Temple changed it’s name to Asiya Shriners in 2002.
On February 13, 2014, Asiya Shriners received a prestigious Mayor's Award from the San Mateo Chamber of Commerce and Certificates of Recognition for the "invaluable contributions to the community" from the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate of the State of California, California State Assembly, Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County and City of San Mateo.